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Old 01-13-2008, 02:51 AM   #151
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Just a little picture for 24...

March 1st my friend....March 1st we will come into your house and embarrass the **** out of you guys.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:23 AM   #152
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Default Avalanche 5, Hurricanes 4

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -The Colorado Avalanche had more problems than simply winning so far on this road trip. Scoring also was becoming in issue.

At least for everyone except Marek Svatos.

"He's been on fire lately," teammate Cody McLeod said. "He's been the only one that can score, it seems."

On Saturday night, Svatos got some timely help.

He capped a third-period rally with two goals in about 2 minutes, and the Avalanche rallied three times from two-goal deficits to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 in their first visit to Tobacco Road in exactly five years.
The Avalanche's Marek Svatos (40) shoots the puck past Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, while being defended by the 'Canes Dennis Seidenberg, for the tying goal during the third period in Raleigh on Saturday. Svatos would put home the game winner a few minutes later. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlake)

The late goals gave Svatos nine goals in his past 10 games and helped the Avalanche stop a two-game losing streak.

McLeod, Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk also scored, McLeod got his first career NHL assist and Colorado improved to 12-0-3 against Carolina.

Erik Cole, Keith Aucoin, Chad LaRose and Cory Stillman scored for the short-handed Hurricanes in their second loss in a row at home. They have only two victories in their past eight games, thanks mostly to injury list that goes six-deep. Those out include Matt Cullen, Justin Williams and Bret Hedican.

Still, Carolina controlled the first two periods and led 4-2 entering the final 20 minutes. That's when the game fell apart for the home team.

McLeod, called up from the AHL in December, got it started with good effort behind the net. Instead of centering the puck, he stuffed it over the left leg of goalie Cam Ward to make it 4-3, and Svatos took over from there.

"He has been scoring a lot of goals," Colorado coach Joel Queneville said. "And he doesn't need much of an opportunity."

First, Svatos reached around Carolina defenseman Niclas Wallin to poke in a rebound to tie the game, then grabbed another blocked shot to give the Avalanche the lead. Ward made a nice save but lost control of the puck, and Svatos was the first one there to put it through for the game winner.

"I got a couple of chances there in the third period and was able to put them in the net," Svatos said. "It was an open game, a crazy game. They made the most of their chances, but we came out skating hard in the third."

It was the kind of victory that can turn around a season; a loss such as this might have the opposite effect on the Hurricanes.

"Any loss is deflating," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "We let it get away. We had it 4-2 with 9 minutes to go and we let it get away. That's going to be a tough one to swallow."

The Hurricanes used Aucoin's second goal in two games to take a 2-0 lead in a first period highlighted by two fights. In the first, Carolina rookie Tim Conboy got tested on his first NHL shift by Colorado enforcer Scott Parker. Conboy led his minor league team in penalty minutes and held his own in his first tussle.

A couple of minutes later, Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore went at it with Cody McCormick, but this showdown was over in a matter of seconds.

The loss also spoiled Ward's first assist of the season, when he moved way out of the crease at the end of a power play to get the puck to Casey Borer. He passed to Stillman, who beat Theodore with a slap shot from just outside the right circle.

That one made it 4-2 before the Avalanche's comeback.

"It's pretty obvious what's going on," Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour said. "We're depleted, for sure, and we don't have a margin for error. It's going to be a dogfight all year and we know that."

Notes: During the first period, a promo during a timeout had the Hurricanes players coming up with their favorite NASCAR driver. Dale Earnhardt Jr. easily outdistanced Jeff Gordon in votes.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:33 AM   #153
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Default Avalanche-Panthers Jan 13, 2008, 5:00 PM EST



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The struggling Florida Panthers haven't had much of a home-ice advantage over the last two months. They've never had any kind of home-ice success against the Colorado Avalanche in their 14-year history.

The Panthers look to avoid losing their eighth straight home game against the Avalanche as they meet Sunday at Bank Atlantic Center.

After opening the season 5-2-0 at the Bank Atlantic Center, Florida (20-22-3) has a NHL-worst 4-9-2 home record since Nov. 9.

The Panthers lost their fifth straight home game on Saturday night, falling to Tampa Bay 5-3. They allowed a pair of second-period goals, and have been outscored 16-6 during their current skid.

"In the second period some guys didn't compete enough," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "(They) ended up costing us the game."

The Panthers have had even less home success against the Colorado franchise, going just 1-10-0 all-time against them at home. Florida has not beat the Colorado franchise since a 4-2 victory over the Quebec Nordiques on April 22, 1995, at Miami Arena. The Nordiques became the Avalanche the next season, and the Panthers have lost seven straight games against the Colorado club.

These teams last met in Florida on Jan. 21, 2004, as the Avalanche won 6-5.

In their only meeting last season on Feb. 6, the Avalanche beat the Panthers 5-4 in overtime. Colorado has won three straight over Florida, and six of the last seven meetings.

The Avalanche (23-18-3) beat Carolina 5-4 on Saturday, snapping a four-game road losing streak.

Colorado entered Saturday' third period down 4-2 before rallying behind two goals from Marek Svatos in just over 2 minutes.

Svatos leads the Avalanche with 19 goals, and has nine scores in his last 10 games.

"He's been on fire lately," teammate Cody McLeod said. "He's been the only one that can score, it seems."

Paul Stastny added his 16th goal, ending a career-high 10-game goal-scoring drought.

Goaltender Jose Theodore stopped 30 shots on Saturday to pick up just his fifth win in his last 14 games. Theodore made 28 saves in last season's victory against Florida, his first game against the Panthers as a member of the Avalanche. He is 8-8-0 with three ties, a 2.41 goals-against average and two shutouts in his career against Florida.

Peter Budaj, who has posted a 2.97 GAA in losing his last three starts, has never faced the Panthers in his three-year career.

Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun, who was selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team on Friday, stopped 20 shots on Saturday, and is just 1-6-0 with a 3.34 GAA since Dec. 28. Vokoun, in his first season with the Panthers, is 7-9-0 with one tie and a 3.21 GAA lifetime against the Avalanche.

Backup goalie Craig Anderson, who is just 1-4-1 with a 2.76 GAA, stopped 17-of-22 shots in just over 30 minutes in an 8-1 loss for Chicago in his only start against Colorado on March 22, 2003.

Florida captain Olli Jokinen scored his team-leading 22nd goal on Saturday, ending a six-game goal-scoring drought.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:17 PM   #154
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Default Avalanche-Lightning Jan 15, 2008, 7:30 PM EST



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The Colorado Avalanche are hoping their offensive struggles are behind them.

They'll be looking to wrap up their five-game road trip on a high note on Tuesday when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Avalanche (24-18-3) won 4-3 in a shootout in Florida on Sunday, a day after beating Carolina 5-4. Colorado had dropped seven of its previous eight games before the two wins, averaging just 1.6 goals over that span.

Colorado's offense has been hampered by injuries - forward Ryan Smyth has not played since Dec. 31 because of a broken ankle and captain Joe Sakic has been out since the end of November with a hernia. Neither is expected back for close to two months.

However, a number of the Avalanche's scorers have been slumping as well. Andrew Brunette had scored just one goal in 18 games before picking up two against the Panthers.

"It's nice to get a bounce here and there and have a decent night like that," said Brunette, who got his first multigoal game of the season. "Sometimes you have games where you get a little hot streak going."

Marek Svatos, who leads the Avalanche with 20 goals, also scored on Sunday and has seven goals in his last six games.

"It was overall a very tight game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "They kept coming back every period."

The Avalanche, who won for the second time on the five-game trip, will open a five-game homestand after Tuesday's game. Colorado, 8-12-3 on the road, had dropped four straight away from home before winning its last two.

Colorado is making its first trip to Tampa Bay since a 5-4 overtime win on Jan. 19, 2004. The Avalanche are just 3-8-1 on the road against the Lightning (17-23-5).

Tampa Bay, however, has lost four straight and seven of eight at home after starting the season 11-3-1 on its own ice. The Lightning have been outscored 17-6 in their last four at home.

They are coming off Saturday's 5-3 win over Florida - just their third in 14 games overall. Nick Tarnasky scored twice for the first time in 132 career games, and Brad Richards also had two goals.

"It's just exciting to be part of a win," said Tarnasky, who entered the game with just one goal this season. "I haven't had a night like that since my second year in the American (Hockey) League."

Tampa Bay allowed at least three goals for the 10th straight game and let Florida come within one of the lead before Richards scored into an empty net. The Lightning rank last in the league with 3.40 goals yielded per game.

"We had the game in total control but we continue to make things exciting," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella. "It's unbelievable how we just continue to keep teams in games."

Tampa Bay has scored five goals in each of its last two wins.

"Tonight the puck found my stick at the right time and I was able to get off good shots," Tarnasky said. "It's something I can build on now and hopefully get us going in the right direction."
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:09 PM   #155
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Default Avalanche 3, Lightning 0

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Jose Theodore made 22 of his 32 saves in the third period, leading the Colorado Avalanche past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Theodore picked up his 24th career shutout, and first since Feb. 28, 2004, against Carolina. He had gone 109 games without recording a shutout.

Jeff Finger and and Paul Stastny had power-play goals for the Avalanche, who have won three games in a row. Milan Hejduk added an empty-net goal with 1:34 left.

Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier was held without a point for the third straight games, his longest drought this season. The Lightning have lost 12 of 15.

Colorado's struggling power play converted its first opportunity when Finger snapped a personal 18-game goal-scoring drought at 5:30 of the second. The Avalanche entered with the second-worst power-play unit in the NHL, and had just one man-advantage goal in 29 chances over the previous nine games.

Stastny made it 2-0 with a rebound goal on Colorado's third power-play with 3:33 left in the second. It was the fifth time this season, and first since Dec. 9, that the Avalanche scored more than one power-play goal.

Colorado outshot Tampa Bay 20-10 through two, including 11-3 in the second. Theodore was rarely tested during the stretch, but did stop a high-slot shot by Brad Richards late in the second.

The Lightning's Karri Ramo kept his team within two by making a glove save on Tyler Arnason's shot from the low slot early in the third.

Tampa Bay had 10 of the first 12 shot during the opening six minutes of the third, but Theodore turned aside an in-close shot by Martin St. Louis.

Notes: It was also the first time this season Colorado had more than one power-play goal in a road game. ... There were two fights in the opening 1:51 of the game. ... This was the first time Colorado played in Tampa since a 5-4 overtime win over the Lightning on Jan. 19, 2004. ... Tampa Bay completed a swap of minor leaguers with Dallas, sending defenseman Dan Jancevski to the Stars for right wing Junior Lessard.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #156
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stastny out 3 weeks after surgery

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny had surgery to remove his appendix Thursday and will miss up to three weeks, including his first All-Star game on Jan. 27.

Stastny, the team's leading scorer, felt pain in his abdomen Thursday, and the team's medical staff determined he needed the appendectomy, trainer Matthew Sokolowski said.

Sokolowski said Stastny is expected to fully recover in two to three weeks.

Stastny would have been the seventh NHL player to follow his father in an All-Star game.

Stastny has never before missed an NHL game, appearing in all 82 during his rookie season and 46 this season.

He has 17 goals and 32 assists on the season.

The Avalanche recalled center T.J. Hensick from Lake Erie of the American Hockey League.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:59 PM   #157
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We can't get a break...
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:50 PM   #158
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The Lake Erie Monsters have signed left wing Jeff Friesen to a professional tryout (PTO) contract, General Manager David Oliver announced Tuesday.

Friesen is a seasoned NHL veteran, playing in 893 games over 13 years. The 31-year old Friesen amassed 218 goals and 298 assists for a total of 516 points in that time. He has played with five different NHL teams during his career (San Jose, Anaheim, New Jersey, Washington and Calgary). Friesen was the San Jose Sharks' 1st round choice (11th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He won the NHL’s most coveted prize, the Stanley Cup, with the New Jersey Devils in 2003.

“It's a great opportunity for our young players to learn from a Stanley Cup Champion. It can only benefit our team to have Jeff’s leadership qualities in the locker room and on the ice,” said Monsters general manager David Oliver.
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:38 PM   #159
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Default Blackhawks-Avalanche Jan 18, 2008, 9:00 PM EST



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The banged-up Colorado Avalanche are enjoying their third winning streak this season of at least three games. The current one, however, is their first since losing star forwards Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth to injuries.

The Avalanche look to match their longest win streak of the season Friday night, and they'll try to do it after losing yet another top player as they open a five-game homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Already playing without Sakic, the best player in franchise history, the Avalanche were dealt another huge blow Jan. 3 when they learned Smyth, the team's third-leading scorer at the time with 28 points, would miss eight to 12 weeks with a broken right ankle.

Sakic, who hasn't played since Nov. 30, underwent hernia surgery last month and isn't expected back for close to two months.

The bad news kept coming for the Avalanche on Thursday. The team learned that center Paul Stastny, Colorado's leading scorer with 17 goals and 32 assists, had surgery to remove his appendix and will miss up to three weeks.

Stastny, who had appeared in 128 straight games to start his career, will miss the All-Star game Jan. 27 after being selected for the first time.

Colorado (25-18-3) lost three of its first four games without both Sakic and Smyth, but has rebounded to win three straight - all on the road.

Jose Theodore made 22 of his 32 saves in the third period, and Stastny had a goal and an assist as the Avalanche closed a five-game trip Tuesday with a 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay.

It was Theodore's 24th career shutout, and first since Feb. 28, 2004, with Montreal. He had gone 109 games without recording a shutout.

"It feels like it's been a while, obviously," Theodore said. "Every time you enter a game, you always think about the shutout. You want to win, but when you look back, it's always a bonus. A shutout is really a team effort."

Theodore has been in net for all three wins during the current streak, posting a 2.27 goals-against average.

"I thought he was rock solid," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "He looks real sharp in this last stretch of games, and tonight was as good as we've seen him."

Without Sakic, Smyth and now Stastny, the Avalanche will continue to depend heavily on younger players. They have had six players make their NHL debuts this season, a number bettered only by Chicago (7).

Stastny scored one of Colorado's two power-play goals Tuesday, its first road game this season with more than one. The Avs were 1-for-17 on the power play in their previous six contests.

Colorado will face Patrick Lalime - Chicago's usual backup goaltender - after he won his second straight start Wednesday, 6-1 over St. Louis.

Lalime made 32 saves and rookie Patrick Kane had two goals and an assist, leading the Blackhawks (21-21-4) to their second consecutive win following an eight-game skid (0-6-2).

"If he (Lalime) keeps winning, he'll keep playing," coach Denis Savard said. "He made some big saves when we needed them. He plays big in goal. He's been there before."

Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago's top netminder and highest-paid player, has a seven-game personal losing streak (0-6-1).

Kane, the NHL's leading rookie scorer with 43 points, had gone nine games without a goal.

"Hopefully we can start a little streak here to make up for our losing streak," Kane said. "It was a good all-around team win."

Kane and Patrick Sharp each had a goal and an assist in Chicago's 5-3 home win over Colorado on Oct. 19.

This will be the first game for Sharp since he agreed to a four-year contract extension Thursday. Sharp already has career highs with 22 goals and 36 points in his third season with the Blackhawks, and leads the NHL with seven short-handed goals.



CHICAGO - Chicago Blackhawks forward Jason Williams will be out at least six weeks after surgery Friday to repair a sports hernia.

Williams has 19 points (7-12) in 20 games this season, including two game-winning goals.

Williams last played Nov. 28, getting an assist in the Blackhawks' 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning before injuring his groin.

Last edited by Bronx33; 01-18-2008 at 07:41 PM..
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:17 PM   #160
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I'm really impressed with the play of the Cody Mac's...those two along with Guite, Parker, and the irreplaceable Ian "It's all about Lappy" Laperierre give the Avs a whole lot of toughness and grit.

It looks like Tay-o-door has finally found his confidence after a couple of years. He's looking really solid in his nets.

Am I the only Avs fan that thinks J.M. Liles is a very good NHL defenseman?

After a sluggish start Scott Hannan has really started to show why he was so hotly pursued last summer. Once he realized that he's not offense oriented his play picked up dramatically.

Marek Svatos is as streaky as they come. He did his best Scott Stevens impression last night with a huge check along the boards. His stats are somewhat concerning to me though. What does he have 20 goals, and 2 assists? Rick Nash put up something like 50 goals, and 50 something points a few years ago...but Svatos isn't even close to being in Nash's league. Sell high with that kid.

Finally...while I'll never forgive Andrew Brunette for scoring the goal that ended the great Patrick Roy's career...he has to be the most underrated player in the whole NH and L. He always works hard, and produces...especially when paired with Sakic. He's a slick passer, and surprisingly strong on the puck...and that goal he scored against the Cansucks awhile ago was tremendous.

Whoops. This is a rambling...silly post.

Bye bye.
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Old 01-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #161
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I'm really impressed with the play of the Cody Mac's...those two along with Guite, Parker, and the irreplaceable Ian "It's all about Lappy" Laperierre give the Avs a whole lot of toughness and grit.

Hes the only lanche throwing the body on every check hopefully his play spread through the team because his play can help this team through the rough spot we are going to see with all the injuries.


It looks like Tay-o-door has finally found his confidence after a couple of years. He's looking really solid in his nets.

Hopefully......

Am I the only Avs fan that thinks J.M. Liles is a very good NHL defenseman?

Hes great extremely solid and ont of the few D men we have that will jump into the play on O though he is very valuable as a trade but i hope he stays hes a franchise kinda guy if his play continues and gets better.

After a sluggish start Scott Hannan has really started to show why he was so hotly pursued last summer. Once he realized that he's not offense oriented his play picked up dramatically.

We seems to not be able to afford D men going in deep and we really have a problem cycling the puck out to the points for shot thus the decline in defensive points. We seem to always get caught in deep allowing the oddman rush.


Marek Svatos is as streaky as they come. He did his best Scott Stevens impression last night with a huge check along the boards. His stats are somewhat concerning to me though. What does he have 20 goals, and 2 assists? Rick Nash put up something like 50 goals, and 50 something points a few years ago...but Svatos isn't even close to being in Nash's league. Sell high with that kid.


I really think has alot to do with Qs system (it sucks) remember not to long ago svatos was in Qs doghouse for none production (well it's hard to score) when you not on the ice.

Finally...while I'll never forgive Andrew Brunette for scoring the goal that ended the great Patrick Roy's career...he has to be the most underrated player in the whole NH and L. He always works hard, and produces...especially when paired with Sakic. He's a slick passer, and surprisingly strong on the puck...and that goal he scored against the Cansucks awhile ago was tremendous.


Love the guy i always have (in a sports admiration way) i was in the can when he scored that goal btw.


Whoops. This is a rambling...silly post.

Bye bye.

Stop by more often....
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:31 PM   #162
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Stop by more often....
By the Cody Mac's I meant both McCormick, and McCleod. I've liked McCormick since his first stint with the Avs when he flat out beat Jarome Iginla up in a fight. That's no small task either. Iginla can bring it, and I guess the fact that he was mixing it up with a kid like McCormick shows that. McCleod looks like he's going to fill the void that Hinote left when he moved on to St. Louis. He doesn't have Hinote's speed, and he clearly doesn't know how to fight, but he finishes his checks and has some skill offensively. McCleod has scored some pretty goals.

I disagree re: Your take on the Avs D getting deep in the offensive zone. I think they're better when they do. The odd man rushes are a result of the forwards not seeing the play, and dropping back to cover for them. They've improved greatly on that recently though. I think the Avs problems defensively all year lie in their forwards far more than the D-men, and the two guys in nets. Just watch Detroit, and watch where their forwards are when their D jump in the play. I think the Avs are getting there.

Re: Svatos. Good point in regards to his ice time...but does that really explain the discrepancy between his goals and assists? There's no question he can finish. He's 4th on the team with a +7, but there just seems to be something missing with him.

Also Skratins has been playing great lately. Earlier this year I thought he was done...but he's been playing smart, and with some jump.

And I stop by from time to time when I'm drunk, but I think that most of the posters on the orangemane nowadays are self righteous bedwetters...so I abstain.

Here's to a strong second half from the Avs.

Also...I don't know if she posts here anymore, but Jori has a kick ass blog re: the avs prospects. She really keeps you up to date. I've been monitoring Nigel Williams' progress.

avsprospects.blogspot.com
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:59 AM   #163
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I'm still around, just don't post as much.

I'm not on the Theo bandwagon because this is a contract year. Whoever signs him in the summer, don't give him a multi-year contract!
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:55 PM   #164
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I'm still around, just don't post as much.

I'm not on the Theo bandwagon because this is a contract year. Whoever signs him in the summer, don't give him a multi-year contract!
Me too.

I lurk on the Avs page that you moderate at hfboards.

I agree about the big contract thing with tay-o-door, but he's playing very well right now.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:19 PM   #165
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Me too.

I lurk on the Avs page that you moderate at hfboards.

I agree about the big contract thing with tay-o-door, but he's playing very well right now.

I still don't trust him...
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:18 PM   #166
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I still don't trust him...
You don't have to trust him...just enjoy watching him regain his form. If tay-o-door can keep up this level of play...the Avs will remain in the thick of the Northwest Division race. A hot hand in nets can carry the team.

If the boys keep working hard in front of their own goal...they'll be all right. They've still got some scoring punch in their lineup.

Anyone know who's in goal tonight?

Edit: According to someone at hfboards...Theo is in net again.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:26 PM   #167
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Edit: According to someone at hfboards...Theo is in net again.
What's your handle at the HFboards?
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:33 PM   #168
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What's your handle at the HFboards?
I don't have one.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:36 PM   #169
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That's too bad Pendejo...

Madres still suck.
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Old 01-20-2008, 07:44 PM   #170
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That's too bad Pendejo...

Madres still suck.
Yeah, but the Dahyers felch.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:53 PM   #171
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Tay-o-door gets it done again. The Avs get goals from guys they need to have produce...as well as two important points.(They all are.)
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:11 PM   #172
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Yeah, but the Dahyers felch.
Still feeling the sting from losing to the Rockies on a bad call?

Nice win by the Avs by the way...
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:32 PM   #173
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Still feeling the sting from losing to the Rockies on a bad call?

Nice win by the Avs by the way...
No. I don't think it was a bad call. The Rockies earned it with the way they played down the stretch. The Madres had several chances to lock up both the division, and the wild card...they simply didn't get it done. Weren't the Dahyers out of the race in July? Man, that team has tens of millions of dollars wrapped up in suck. (Enough hijacking the Avs thread though...you can talk all the Dahyers/Madres smack you want to me through PM's.)

I really like the make up of the Avs right now...assuming Stastny is back after the break. The kids from Erie have brought some grit, and Tay-o-door is looking really strong. He's small but athletic, and when he's confident he doesn't flop around...he simply plays the puck.

I really feel bad for Ryan Smyth...he was on the verge of being a point per game player with the Avs. The Dude plays with reckless abandon. He's a crash test dummy. What a great signing, and kudos to Super Joe for helping to facilitate things.

I'm hoping they re-up J.M. Liles...and don't let him walk.
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:33 PM   #174
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With some of their top players sidelined by injury, the Colorado Avalanche have been getting help from some unlikely sources.

The Avalanche hope to get another big lift from their rookies on Tuesday when they host the Nashville Predators.

Despite an injured list including offensive stalwarts Paul Stastny, Ryan Smyth and Joe Sakic, the Avalanche (26-18-4) have managed to win four of five. Colorado was five points out of first place in the tightly-contested Northwest Division on Jan. 9, but is now just one point back of leader Minnesota.

Colorado defeated Columbus 3-1 on Sunday, as rookies Jeff Finger and Ben Guite each scored their fourth goal of the season.

"We're not going to sit back and wait for our big dogs to get back," said Finger, who has two goals in his last three games. "We know we're missing some offense, but we're still going forward and we're going to try to get as many points as we can with those guys out."

The Avalanche have also been aided by stellar goaltending from Jose Theodore.

The 10-year veteran stopped 26 shots on Sunday, improving to 4-0-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average and a shutout since Jan. 12.

"Things are going well," Theodore said. "The players are playing so well in front of me. They're letting me see the puck and taking care of the rebounds."

The Avalanche have won two straight over Nashville since losing their first meeting of the season 4-0 on Oct. 4. Colorado has never defeated the Predators three consecutive times in a single season.

Colorado's Peter Budaj, who has posted a 2.97 GAA in losing his last three starts, has been in goal for all three games against Nashville this season, recording a 2.20 GAA in those contests. Budaj is 4-2-0 with a 2.62 GAA lifetime against the Predators.

Nashville (24-20-4) defeated St. Louis 6-3 on Monday to complete a home-and-home sweep of the Blues. Alexander Radulov and Martin Gelinas each had two goals and an assist to help the Predators improve to 7-2-2 since Dec. 31.

"Everyone is doing the little things that make a difference," Gelinas said. "It truly was a total team effort."

J.P Dumont assisted on Radulov's 15th goal of the season, extending his career-best point streak to 12 games. Dumont, who has a goal and an assist against the Avalanche this season, has eight goals and nine assists during his run.

Chris Mason finished with 31 saves on Monday, improving to 3-1-1 with two shutouts and a 0.99 GAA in his last five starts.

Mason has also been in net for each game against Colorado this season, recording a 1.70 GAA and one shutout. He is 4-3-0 with a 1.87 GAA and two shutouts in his career versus the Avalanche.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #175
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Default Hurricanes scout struggling Liles

The Avalanche's press box was heavily populated again Thursday night with scouts, all from Eastern Conference teams Colorado won't play the rest of this season.

A new addition to the mix was former University of Denver and Colorado Rockies coach Marshall Johnston, scouting for the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes continue to be looking over Avs defender John-Michael Liles, an unrestricted free agent after this season. Carolina has made no secret of its desire for a puck-carrying, offensive defenseman. Liles, however, is suffering through the worst season of his young career, with two goals and 18 points in 48 games coming in.

Scouts from the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals also were in attendance.

Sauer recovers

Avalanche defenseman Kurt Sauer (whiplash) has felt better in recent days after experiencing some dizziness early in the week from skating.

Sauer practiced with the team Wednesday and said his condition had improved. He also skated Thursday morning. A timetable for his return, however, remains uncertain.

Baizley in house

Don Baizley, the agent for Avalanche captain Joe Sakic as well as former Avs star Peter Forsberg, attended the game. Baizley often travels to various rinks to check on clients, so his presence doesn't necessarily mean the rumor mill should start in earnest about a possible Forsberg return.

Footnotes

Johnny Boychuk and Kyle Cumiskey were scratched by the Avalanche. . . . Andrew Brunette played his 421st consecutive NHL game, second on the active player list.
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