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Ryan O’Reilly Named a Finalist for Lady Byng Memorial Trophy

April 22nd, 2014 at 4:08 PM
By Corey Dunkin

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Earlier today the NHL began its series of announcements of the finalists for the NHL awards, starting with the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy awarded to "the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." Among the finalists for the Lady Byng is the Colorado Avalanche's own Ryan O'Reilly. He led the Avalanche in goals this season with 28, led the NHL in takeaways with 83, and was assessed only one minor penalty all season long. His lone penalty was for playing with a broken stick, a technicality which he likely had simply forgotten when his stick broke after a faceoff. He was that close to being the only player in NHL history to play in almost all of his teams games without ever taking a penalty.

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Colorado Avalanche Fall 1-0 in Overtime in Game 3, Tyson Barrie Injured

April 21st, 2014 at 9:12 PM
By Corey Dunkin

Despite a heroic performance from Vezina Trophy candidate Semyon Varlamov, the Colorado Avalanche dropped Game 3 to the Minnesota Wild 1-0 tonight at Xcel Energy Center. Varlamov made 45 saves in what was arguably his best game of the entire season, but shot number 46 was the one that found its way into the net during overtime. The Avalanche could only muster 22 shots, all of which were stopped by Minnesota's young goaltender Darcy Kuemper. 

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Minnesota dominated the entire game from the first puck drop to the lone goal scored in overtime. They had their backs against the wall, they were back at home, and they came out in this game with a fire and desperation that the Avalanche had no answer for. If not for the mind boggling and spectacular showing from Varlamov, Colorado would have likely lost 5-0 or 6-0. Normally when a game has a final score of 1-0, people who didn't see it assume it was a tightly contested and fairly even game. This one was anything but even, but might look that way on the score sheet because the man they call Varly. 

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Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny Take Control in Game 2

April 20th, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Corey Dunkin

When the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild got underway in Game 2 of their first round series, the Wild were on a mission to assert themselves and put the Avalanche on their heels. Colorado's second line would have none of that. Team captain Gabriel Landeskog, rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon and veteran Paul Stastny did what great players do and completely took over the game as the Avalanche won 4-2.  Landeskog scored twice while MacKinnon and Stastny each had a goal and three assists. The Landeskog-Stastny-MacKinnon line collectively had 10 individual points as they produced all four of Colorado's goals. 

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Colorado's third goal of the game was nothing short of athletic art. MacKinnon took a cross-ice pass that was behind him and put the puck between his legs to gain control of it. He flew into the offensive zone and dropped the puck behind him for Stastny who spun a backhand pass to Landeskog who was all alone in front of the net where he buried the puck for a gorgeous tick-tack-toe goal that put the Avalanche up 3-1 in the middle of the second period. 

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Colorado Avalanche Prepare for a Determined Pushback from Minnesota Wild in Game 2

April 18th, 2014 at 9:06 PM
By Corey Dunkin

If the first game of this opening round series between the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild was an accurate representation of what we can expect going forward, we're in for a fantastic series. After such a dramatic comeback victory for the Avalanche, and therefore such a devastating loss for the Wild, it is reasonable to expect a backlash from Minnesota as they will be even further motivated to take everything and give nothing in Game 2. If Colorado is to take a 2-0 lead in the series, they will have to match that intensity and play with the same desire that enabled them to rob Minnesota blind in the first contest. 

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Team captain Gabriel Landeskog said in a locker room press conference earlier today that the team had some jitters going into Game 1, which is to be expected considering that it was the first ever playoff game for many Avalanche players. With that out of the way, things should get back to being fairly routine at practices and in games as far as the team's focus is concerned. 

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Colorado Avalanche Put Their Unmatched Resiliency on Display in Game 1

April 18th, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Corey Dunkin

Sometimes it really does feel like hockey games are scripted. If one could write a script for how Game 1 of the opening round series between the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild would go, that script wouldn't be nearly as good as what actually happened. As they have done so many times this season, the Avalanche practically stole a victory last night. Colorado trailed Minnesota 2-4 entering the third period, but ultimately won 5-4 in overtime with the help of a few plays that can only be made by competitors with relentless determination and character. 

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Colorado made the score 3-4 following a careless turnover by Minnesota in their own end, and from there the Avalanche shifted into overdrive and threw all the pressure they could muster toward the Wild net. Head Coach Patrick Roy pulled his goaltender with three minutes left in regulation, earlier than most coaches would. But Roy didn't get to be the favorite to win the Jack Adams award for coach of the year by doing what most coaches would. Then, with the Colorado net empty, the Avalanche trailing by a goal with time running out, a Minnesota player scooped the puck down the ice right toward the unoccupied cage, but defenseman Erik Johnson turned on the afterburners and got back in time to sweep the puck away with only a few inches to spare. 

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