SB Nation - Colorado Avalanche Stories From Around SB Nation About Colorado Avalanche Wild Must Improve Special Teams vs Avs Joe Bouley Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:00:10 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>The Wild's weaknesses this year has been on Special Teams and it will have to improve to survive the first round.</p> <p><iframe src="//" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>The <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Stanley Cup Playoffs</a> will start for your <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Minnesota Wild</a> Thursday evening in Denver at the Pepsi Center, and its glorious scoreboard (about the only good thing in the Pepsi Center), at 8:30 PM CDT. It will be no easy test as the Central Division champions may not have the greatest underlying possession numbers, but they do have a solid power play.</p> <p>Colorado finished the 2013 regular season with a terrible 15 percent success rate with the man advantage. This season, the &lsquo;Lanche are bringing the 5<sup>th</sup>-best power play in the league at 19.8 percent into the post-season. It may be why the team made such an impressive jump up into the standings. <a target="_blank" href="">Avs fans will tell you otherwise.</a></p> <p>The Avs in 2013 drew an average of 2.9 power plays per game, and extrapolating that rate over an 82-game season, the number would have ended at 238 total power play opportunities. The <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Avalanche</a> of last year were on pace to score roughly 36 goals with the extra man. This season, Colorado drew more power plays with 3.07 power plays per game, and capitalized 50 times, which is a 14 goal improvement year-over-year.</p> <p>It's easy to see how important a solid power play can be for any team thinking about a championship. However, defense wins championships. The young core of forwards for the Avalanche may be more interested in scoring, rather than defending, especially when down a man. Colorado has the 24<sup>th</sup> ranked penalty kill with 80.7 percent. They've surrendered 48 goals while attempting to kill off penalties.</p> <p>Now, I'm not saying that the special teams are anything to gloat about for Minnesota. In fact, they're anything but spectacular. The Wild can be encouraged as it has yet to surrender a power play goal to the Avalanche in 11 shorthanded chances even with the 3rd worst penalty kill with 78.8 percent.</p> <p>The power play hasn't been any better for the Wild this year either. Minnesota's power play finished in the middle of the pack for the second straight year. The Wild have had absolutely no improvement year-over-year again finishing with an identical 17.9 percent success rate last season to this season. It's like they picked up right where they left off.</p> <p><iframe src="//" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>What does all this mean? It means that special teams will be paramount in this first round match-up. If the Wild can improve upon their 0-for-11 performance from last year's playoff match-up against the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Blackhawks</a>, then you could see the Wild very much in this series. The penalty kill is by far the biggest aspect of the Wild's game that needs to improve. Like I said earlier, defense wins championships and they will need to lean on players like <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Ilya Bryzgalov</a>, the D-corp, <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Kyle Brodziak</a>, and <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Matt Cooke</a> to contain and stop the speedy forwards of the Avs.</p> <p></p> Guest Post: Why you should hate the Avs Emilie Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:00:03 -0400 <p>JJ from Winging it in Motown stops by to help fuel the fires of hatred for this series </p> <p>Hey there, <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Wild</a>nerness...ers? Wildies? Wildophiles? The fuck you guys call yourselves anyway? Don't answer that; it's not important. What is important is that your fearless leader Emilie asked me to lend a hand in preparation for your first round playoff series against the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Colorado Avalanche</a>, specifically, a bit about why you should hate Colorado. Being the nice guy I am, I decided to lend a hand. You see, I'm a <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Red Wings</a> fan.</p> <p>I know I can stop with the intros there, because I'm confident that the majority of Wild fans actually know why Red Wings fans and Avalanche fans don't get along. That's something you've got over a large swath of the unwashed masses making up the blistering 90.5% fan attendance in the Pepsi Center (BTW that's 23rd in the NHL - several percentage points lower than hockey hotbeds like Anaheim or Tampa Bay and even a step below the New York "We've been sellers since before the Olympics" <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Islanders</a>). You guys actually know hockey.</p> <p>But this post isn't about why I don't like the Avs. It's about why you shouldn't. Merely meeting in the first round isn't enough and building division rivalry takes a bit of time. You could throw all your hate-stock into the fact that this is essentially the postseason rubber-match between your two teams if you want, but I'll warn you that if you find an Avalanche fan that even remembers the 2008 playoffs (let alone the 2003 postseason), you're dealing with a hockey fan who can take way more hate than you can throw at him or her, since that person has taken all the hate that Avs owner Stan Kroenke could throw at the concept of putting together a winning hockey team and still somehow chooses to support that franchise.</p> <p>Say what you will about Craig Leipold, but people don't really doubt that he actually likes hockey. Meanwhile, the real-life version of <a target="_blank" href="">Doug Dimmadome</a> cares just enough to trick his team's fans into watching, but not enough to demand excellence in any facet of the team's operation other than the balance sheet. Don't believe me? Ask fans of the Rams, Nuggets, or Arsenal. He owns all of them too, along with the Pepsi Center, the television station that broadcasts all the Avalanche games, and even the Ticketmaster clone that sells service fees for the right to see them in person.</p> <p>None of this is really bad per se. I'm just saying that you're not going to find a lot of purchase doing anything other than pitying the kind of fan who willingly gave support to the businessman who had a gift-wrapped cup team stripped of its soul and rebuilt on a facade thinner than when McDonald's starting redesigning their fast food joints to look more like European coffeehouses. Those people aren't fans, they're acolytes, and there's no reasoning with them.</p> <p>The other half of the still laughably-small fanbase? Those are your standard-fare dipshit frontrunners and you all already know what they're like. The only difference is that these dipshit frontrunners drive Subarus.</p> <p>I'll tell you honestly that if you're not ashamed of how dumb hockey fandom can be after looking at the Avalanche then you should probably get the fuck out of my face because you're part of the problem. Minny lost a franchise to awful ownership and had to rebuild one from scratch. Meanwhile, Colorado up and stole a team to get handed a nascent would-be dynasty (if not for the heroic Red Wings). When Kroenke bought the team, he was so desperate to put a historical mark on the franchise that they retired <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Bruins</a>' legend Ray Bourque's number. Ray Bourque, the guy who played less than a season and a half with their team.</p> <p>Here's a list of other candidates for Jersey retirement in Colorado, having met the mere 128 Avalanche games played + <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Stanley Cup</a> requirement that the franchise stamped on Bourque the day they insulted the concept of giving a player the highest possible honor that can be bestowed upon him by a single franchise:</p> <p> </p> <ul> <li><span><a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">David Aebischer</a></span></li> <li><span>Greg de Vries</span></li> <li><span>Darius Pratek</span></li> <li><span>Alexei Gusarov</span></li> <li><span>Jon Klemm</span></li> <li><span>Shjon Podein</span></li> </ul> <p>I made up one of those names, BTW. If you're not sure which one, that's the point.</p> <p>But hey, hatred isn't all about the past, nor is is all about how a despicable group of sports-hating shitbags have always run the team they didn't deserve to get results their idiot fanbase didn't deserve. There's plenty to hate about the current incarnation of the Avalanche too.</p> <p>You're all probably aware of the cute angry-uncle antics of crazy asshole Patrick Roy, but it's really only cute from a distance. If you were the <a target="_blank" href="">owner of a junior hockey team</a>, an <a target="_blank" href="">opposing coach</a> or perhaps <a target="_blank" href="">even his wife</a>, you'd see an easily-recognizable pattern of an entitled brat who throws temper tantrums at the slightest provocation. Sure it's funny the same way that Joe Pesci's anger in Goodfellas was funny. the only difference is that Pesci got a satisfying ending. Roy keeps getting praise.</p> <p>Yeah, it's all fun and games until he sends some dirtbag onto the ice to finish somebody's night, or even their playoff series. Just because he hasn't done it yet doesn't mean he won't. <a href="" target="_blank">The guy sent his own son to do it</a>. You think he has any more fatherly love for a meatbag like <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Patrick Bordeleau</a> or <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Cody McLeod</a>? Don't worry though, I'm sure he'll be the first to cry about gutlessness the first time somebody goes near his golden boy, <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Nathan MacKinnon</a>... <a href="" target="_blank">even when he starts it</a>.</p> <p>It's not even Bordeleau and McLeod though. The Avs have no likable players on their roster. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Matt Duchene</a> is the closest thing they have to it, but can you really like a guy who looks like he's <a href="" target="_blank">Le Chiffre</a>'s little brother? How about the pride of Bloomington Minnesota: Golf-cart NASCAR champion and first-draft-pick-bust <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Erik Johnson</a>? Pass.</p> <p>Honestly, I'm also mad at Max Talbot. I had him first in my "Former <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Penguins</a> who are definitely going to get caught with cocaine" pool and that worthless dickstain let me down (BTW, I also had <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Tyler Kennedy</a> on that list, but that's a story for a different day).</p> <p>Finally, listen, I know you folks have had run-ins with people who like to look at how a team performs in possession metrics and predict a fall, but let me tell you that the Avs are absolutely RIPE for rooting against based on those numbers. Maybe working under a coach with as much respect for women as he has really did make <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Semyon Varlamov</a> 10% better as a goalie, but the Avs were positively awful at winning the possession battle with the score close and, unless Varlamov continues to avoid the failure coming his way, they're going down. There's a certain beauty at the thought of the Wild being the team that brings that crash; similarly, there must be a certain fear associated with losing to a paper tiger in the playoffs.</p> <p>So go on, Wild fans. Hate the Avs like you should. It's the right thing to do.</p> <p><i>JJ is the managing editor of SBN's Red Wings blog WingingitinMotown and is well known for his witty and trolling pieces. It's a win-win to have him rip the Avs :)</i></p> Better Know a Dumb Jerk: Daniel Alfredsson Cornelius Hardenbergh Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:00:03 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p><i>Due to certain criticisms about our trolling job here, and the fact that the Sens (we're canadian!) and the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Red Wings</a> (we're old!) are basically the two most boring teams in the league, we decided to bring in an expert to discuss <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Daniel Alfredsson</a>. What follows was written by </i><a href="" target="_blank">Ryan Classic</a><i>, <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Avalanche</a>/<a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Senators</a> fan and <a href="" target="_blank">Silver Seven Sens</a> emeritus.</i></p> <p>Daniel Alfredsson is a big dumb jerk, and I can prove it: he plays for Detroit. He&rsquo;s also probably friends with <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Todd Bertuzzi</a>.</p> <p>Do you know why <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Daniel Cleary</a> wears 71 now? Because Daniel Alfredsson, BDJ, took his number. Cleary takes some time to negotiate a contract, and mister big shot Old Redder comes in and says, "Hey, is the Cleary&rsquo;s stall still warm? No, don&rsquo;t bother changing the number on the locker. Dibs." Typical.</p> <p>Did you know he had more points than the Most Valuable Gustav? Sure, Alfredsson played more games than MVG Nyquist, but he&rsquo;s also approximately 80 times older. Wouldn&rsquo;t a real Hart candidate be able to outduel an old man like&hellip; wait, you already did the Nyquist article. Whoops.</p> <p>Back to Alfredsson. Let&rsquo;s talk +/-. His +/- was lower than <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Riley Sheahan</a>&rsquo;s, and nobody even knows what the heck a Riley Sheahan is.</p> <p>Do you know why Sweden didn&rsquo;t win a gold medal at the Olympics? [<i>Ed note: Because Per-Johan Axelsson wasn't playing.</i>] Everyone but <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Nicklas Backstrom</a> wasn&rsquo;t trying hard enough to cheat. Where was Alfredsson, a so-called leader, when only Backstrom was taking allergy meds? Why wasn&rsquo;t he hopping down to the local Ригла to get his teammates in on that action?</p> <p>You can bet that <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Zdeno Chara</a> would&rsquo;ve had the whole Slovakian team doped up on allergy meds for the entire tournament.</p> <p>This is for a <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Bruins</a> blog, though. So let&rsquo;s try some Bruins stuff. Alfredsson led the Red Wings in scoring. His 49 points were one more than the Bruins&rsquo; <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Carl Soderberg</a> - who finished SEVENTH in scoring on Boston. He also could&rsquo;ve signed with Boston this summer. Instead he decided screw that, I hate Chris Kelly. That forced the Bruins to sign <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Jarome Iginla</a> instead. What a bust, right?</p> <p>Oh, and he also abandoned his former team, adopted home city, and a legion of fans to go play in a city that even Americans like to pretend doesn&rsquo;t exist. Seriously, Detroit, that city boy is on a midnight train <b>going literally anywhere other than Detroit</b>. Er, I mean, Daniel Alfredsson is a dumb jerk.</p> <p><i>Thanks again for the input, Ryan!</i></p> Wilderness Walk: #RoyIsNotWah Tony Wiseau Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:04 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>When you live in America, you forfeit your right to pronounce your name in a French-Canadian way.</p> <p>There's a ton of stuff to read today!</p> <p>Not only will there be tons of stuff to read in The Walk today, but there's also tons of stuff going on at Hockey Wilderness.</p> <p>If you haven't checked out our podcast yet, you'll be able to listen to <a href="" target="_blank">Episode 2 here</a>, and Ger, Joe, Aaron, and I break down the playoff match-up with the Avs and Wild. It's a lot of fun, and I hope you all give it a chance. While you're listening to that, you can look at Ger's <a href="" target="_blank">look at Kyle Brodziak</a>, or fill out Aaron's <a href="" target="_blank">Hockey Wilderness Bracket Challenge</a>. Or both. Both would be great. And then you can check back later for plenty of stories from your favorite Hockey Wilderness writers throughout the day.</p> <p>Avs fans- rejoice. Despite our editorial mandate to troll, I've no intention to troll you. I've no interest in mentioning <a href="" target="_blank">things that happened 11 years ago</a>, or <a href="" target="_blank">bicker and argue over who beat who</a>.</p> <p>But I <i>would</i> like to mention a couple of <i>tiny</i>, indisputable facts. Enjoy.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Fun <a href="">#Avs</a> <a href="">#Regression</a> fact of the day: The <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Avalanche</a> were actually a better possession team LAST YEAR (46.9 FF close %) than this (46.8%).</p> &mdash; Tony Abbott (@TonyWiseau) <a href="">April 16, 2014</a> </blockquote> <blockquote lang="en" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Main difference between last year's <a href="">#avs</a> and this year's? Last season they had the 3rd lowest PDO (97.6), have 3rd highest this year (102.2)</p> &mdash; Tony Abbott (@TonyWiseau) <a href="">April 16, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//"></script></p> <p>Roy (pronounced phonetically) sure did a good job reversing the Avs' PDO!</p> <p>Also, follow me. My Twitter link is right there, and I know you're reading this. So just follow me.</p> <p>On to the Walk.</p> <h3>Wild News</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Colorado-Wild playoffs matchup offers contrast in styles | Star Tribune</a>- Russo notes some parallels to the Wild-Avs series from 11 years ago.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Wild notes: Veilleux, McLeod will renew their comical 2008 rivalry | Star Tribune</a>- So, something funny happened once.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Granlund, Brodziak expected to play in Game 1 of Wild-Avs series Thursday | Russo's Rants |</a>- Granlund will return, in all likelihood, taking his place as second-line center.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Wild's Matt Moulson has two wishes: a Stanley Cup, and his own bed -</a>- <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Matt Moulson</a> and I are not too dissimilar...</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper practices, but coaches aren't convinced he's ready -</a>- It would be nice if Darcy could be at the ready in case Bryz falters.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Wild: Haula's been good, but healthy Granlund would get old job back -</a>- <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Erik Haula</a> will be rewarded for his efforts in centering the second-line capably by being placed on the fourth-line, and separated from a stone-handed goon in <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Justin Fontaine</a> in favor of the skilled <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Stephane Veilleux</a> and Cody McCormick. Thanks, Erik! #toughness</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Series Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche | State of Hockey News</a>- State of Hockey News also has visions of 2003 in his series preview.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">The Team of 18,001: Regular Season Wrap-Up</a>- Giles wraps up a sometimes frustrating, sometimes exciting, and often interesting regular season.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">The Team of 18,001: Minnesota Wild 2014 Regular Season Awards</a>- I disagree strongly with his MVP pick. If any positional player is an MVP on the team, give me a guy who played all 82 games, elevated his teammates play, and produced the most. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Jason Pominville</a> is my Team MVP.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">First Round Stanley Cup Playoff Series Preview - Colorado Avalanche vs Minnesota Wild</a>- More Series Previewing! This one courtesy of The Hockey Writers.</p> <h3>Regressing Wife-Beater* News</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Avalanche notes: Injury situation gets better | Star Tribune</a>- Good. Ours has, too. Let's beat the Avs at full strength.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Get to Know the Colorado Avalanche--GPW Chats with Mile High Sticking</a>- GPW has managed to not completely burn bridges with the Avalanche blogs.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">5 Ingredients For the Avalanche to Bury the Wild in Round One</a>- 1) Have a high PDO. 2) Power play stuff. 3) Get better defensemen. 4) Get better. 5) Don't unleash #AngryMikko.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Report: Duchene to miss at least first two games of Avalanche-Wild series | ProHockeyTalk</a>- And probably more, his injury was supposed to last 4 weeks, and he was injured March 31st. The time-table may be accelerated due to the playoffs, but a Game 5 or 6 return is most likely.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Pressing question: Are the Avs for real? | ProHockeyTalk</a>- I don't know. I'd guess not.</p> <p><i>*In order to get the facts straight, I feel the need to note that for <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Semyon Varlamov</a>, it was actually his girlfriend, and not his wife. We apologize for the factual error.</i></p> <h3>Off the Trail</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Florida Panthers win 2014 NHL Draft lottery, leaping over Buffalo | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports</a>- The <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Panthers</a> won the lottery, leaving the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Oilers</a> to pick third.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Good-bye, NHL Regular Season!- Granltand</a>- And hellooooooo, playoffs!</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Predicting the outcomes of the Western Conference quarterfinals | Backhand Shelf | Blogs |</a>- And predict things, they did!</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">2014 Jersey Aesthetics: Ranking the 8 first-round playoff series on visual pleasure | Backhand Shelf | Blogs |</a>- The <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Wild's</a> awesome jerseys save this series from being last. Thanks for having super ugly uniforms, Regressing Wife-Beaters!</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">NHL 14 predicts Boston Bruins as Stanley Cup champs, which means it won't happen | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports</a>- Good news for the Wild.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">NHL&rsquo;s new playoff format is all about gambling, isn&rsquo;t it? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports</a>- The bracket format was actually really fun to fill out. You can, again, <a target="_blank" href="">fill out our Hockey Wilderness SCP Bracket Challenge</a>. Winner gets a free T-shirt. You guys wear clothes, right?</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Rookie Freddie Andersen to get Game 1 start for Anaheim Ducks? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports</a>- I was really surprised to see the incredible slump that <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Jonas Hiller</a> has gone through.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">2014 Stanley Cup playoffs -- Burnside: 4 deadline deals with playoff payoff - ESPN</a>- Matt Moulson is among those.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Boston Bruins top 2014 NHL playoff team power rankings - NHL -</a>- The Wild are 7th in their conference.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Hertl: Rematch vs. Kings &lsquo;personal&rsquo; after Brown hit, injury | ProHockeyTal</a><a style="background-color: #ffffff;" target="_blank" href="">k</a>- Another day, another person who thinks <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Dustin Brown</a> is a piece of shit.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Flyers give Andrew MacDonald 6-year, $30 million deal | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports</a>- Ger is super depressed the Wild didn't get to hand this contract out.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Puck Daddy&rsquo;s NHL 2013-14 NHL Award Picks: Calder, Adams, Selke | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports</a>- It's gotta be Justin Fontaine, Mike Yeo, and <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Mikko Koivu</a>, right? #WhyNotThem?</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">NHL hit with third concussion lawsuit | ProHockeyTalk</a></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Oates: Mike Green&rsquo;s &lsquo;an enigma&rsquo; | ProHockeyTalk</a>- Oates is also about to be 'fired'.</p> <h3>Sorry, I Just Can't Help Myself</h3> <blockquote lang="en" class="twitter-tweet"> <p>"I can't really hear what <a href="">#fancystats</a> say, because I got my husband's fists plugging my ears."- Patrick Roy's wife on Avs regression.</p> &mdash; Tony Abbott (@TonyWiseau) <a href="">April 15, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p> <script charset="utf-8" src="//"></script></p> <p><iframe width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" src="//"></iframe></p> Things are gonna change, I can feel it! Mike @ MHH Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:20:16 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>We've all had a fall-back team the last few years that we rooted for when it became painfully obvious the Avs were burning down the trailer park.</p> <p>But now we have a Colorado club that's got butane in their veins carrying some serious momentum into the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Stanley Cup Playoffs</a>.&nbsp; <b>So which chimpanzee team did you kick to the curb this season now that the Avs have emerged as monkeys?</b> For me, it's the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Boston Bruins</a>.&nbsp; I know they been "Douche Dispensary: East" for the last few years, and their fanbase smells like dog food stalls but I love me some <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Tuukka Rask</a>.&nbsp; Failing them, I'd just root for the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Rangers</a>, specifically <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Henrik Lundqvist</a> to dispense the forces of evil in bozo nightmares.&nbsp; I've never been able to reconcile the folksinger slop of other Western conference teams in order to have a shotgun wedding with them come post-season.&nbsp; Unless we're talking about the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Predators</a> and their double-barrel buckshot in net, <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Pekka Rinne</a>.</p> <p>But you know what? FUCK THEM.&nbsp; Slap those turkey necks.&nbsp; Time to trade our apathy for some hate.&nbsp; The <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Avalanche</a> are on the pole and this fan hopes all the termites choke on some splinters. Know what I'm saying?</p> The Oilers Are Going To Win The Lottery Tonight...Probably Alan Hull Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:39:16 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>In a sad tradition, we once again examine the odds of the Oilers winning the NHL Draft Lottery.</p> <p>For the last few years, I've been carrying on a rather pathetic annual tradition of forecasting the draft lottery by looking at the historical data to see which team may be a surprise winner of the top pick.</p> <p>Of course, this is all just for fun as the odds for each and every lottery are independent from the results of previous years, (I repeat...THIS IS A JOKE) but the first year I did it, <a href="" target="new">I managed to call the Oilers' victory</a>. Last year, the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Avalanche</a> <a href="" target="new">beat the odds</a> by coming out on top.</p> <p>Well, this year, by finishing 28th overall and slotting in the #3 spot, the Oilers find themselves in a rather prime position once again...let's take a look:</p> <p>To recap:</p> <p>x = % chance of winning the lottery</p> <p>y = 1-x</p> <p>z = Number of years since last lottery win (including this year)</p> <p>probability of the event NOT happening = y^z (^ = to the power of)</p> <p>So, for all of the draft positions tonight, here are the odds of their number NOT being called again this year:</p> <img alt="Lottery" class="photo" src=""><p>There you have it folks, the Oilers victory over the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Canucks</a> on Ryan Smyth Night pushed them up to 28th place and put them in the drivers' seat in terms of the lottery tonight. So, go out and put lots of money down on the Oilers coming out on top again tonight**.</p> <p>Sadly, this "logic" also points to decent odds that the Canucks and Flames could come out on top...which is decidedly less fun to think about.</p> <p>We're just hours away from knowing if the Oilers will have the #1, #3 or #4 pick in the draft this June, though we'll need to get a little closer to the actual date before we find out if they intend to use it themselves if they finally decide to put the present before the future and use it in a trade to improve the current roster.</p> <p>Get excited Oiler fans...this is our Game 7 of the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Stanley Cup Final</a>. (That sentence makes me sad).</p> <em><p>** - Please don't actually do that...if you do, you've likely got a problem and should seek professional help.</p></em> <link rel="stylesheet" href=""> <div class="next-clicks-main-container"> <div><img class="next-clicks-logo" src=""></div> <div class="next-clicks-header" style="background-color:#0b2343;color:#e7791e"> <div class="next-clicks-header-container"> <b>More from The Copper & Blue</b> <div data-share="false" data-show-faces="false" data-action="like" data-layout="button_count" data-href="" class="fb-like"></div> </div> </div> <div class="next-clicks-twitter"> <a href="" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false" data-size="small">Follow @CopperandBlue</a> <a href="" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false" data-size="small">Follow @SBNationNHL</a> </div> <ul class="next-clicks-ulist" style="color:#0b2343"> <li><a href="">The Oilers Offseason: Will There Be A Bold Move This Time?</a></li> <li><a href="">Smyth Ends it with a Win</a></li> <li><a href="">My Name Is Ryan, And I'm Part Of The Problem</a></li> <li><a href="">Steve Tambellini Wins in All the Wrong Ways</a></li> <li><a href="">#2 - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins</a></li> </ul> </div> Just Happy to Be Here, or, Playoffs Goals and Expectations SteveHouse Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:00:02 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>Let's take the temperature of the room.</p> <p>The playoffs start tomorrow, not for the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Avalanche</a>, but for six teams they do. But let's get this done before anybody starts anyway because I am impatient and want to know what you guys think.</p> <p>Colorado's goal is now to bring home a <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Stanley Cup</a>. Cool. You and everybody else. So when I say, what is your goal for this team in the postseason, that's not a valid answer. What I mean is more like, what benchmarks do they need to clear for the playoffs to be deemed successful?</p> <p><b>What is the absolute minimum requirement for you to look back at the playoffs, and say, the Avs did all right for themselves? Success, well played, and all that? What do they need to do to make the playoffs a success?</b></p> <p>With that bare minimum out of the way, what then are your realistic expectations? Where "should" they end up? This isn't the same as a prediction, don't get ahead of yourselves. Look at the team as objectively as a #sprots fan can, and the bracket in front of them: Where <i>should</i> they end up?</p> <p>This is different from "bare minimum" and the best way to show it is an example: You can expect Colorado based on this season's regular season record to have Chicago's number, so, it would make logical sense that they reach the WCF (assuming the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Blackhawks</a> beat that team they're playing). But you could still say, as long as they make it to the divisional finals at all, that's successful. Chicago is still a really good team after all.</p> <p><b>What do you expect from the Avalanche this postseason?</b></p> <p>Finally, put on your robe and wizard hat and peer into the future. What do you <i>predict</i> is going to happen? How far will they go? Who will they lose to, if anyone? Get silly with it if you want, who will score the most goals? Whose beard will beat Max Talbot's?</p> <p>I've already snuck my answers in there. I call this playoffs a success if they can handle Minnesota (blizzards and wind be upon them) and make it to the second round. It would be the final birth of the inevitable, most boring rivalry in sports. (That's not even a shot across the bow of <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Wild</a> fans. These teams have historically played low-event hockey against each other. Of course if you are already upset about this then just feel trolled, I don't give a shit.)</p> <p>There's still this blind fan in me that says "they always play their best against Chicago" and "Varly > Crow" and just expects them to make it to the Conference Final (assuming Chicago beats St. Louis, which I think they will). I would not predict that though. It would be a really fun series that I think the Blackhawks would take at home, in 6. Also the surprise beard of the playoffs will be Brad Malone's ginger nightmare. Oh yes, be afraid.</p> <p>So what are your answers? Don't forget you have until games start or so to sign up for the <a target="_blank" href="" style="background-color: #ffffff;">Mile High Hockey Playoffs Bracket Challenge League</a>, and here finally are all the questions easily copy and paste able.</p> <p><b>What is the absolute minimum requirement for you to look back at the playoffs, and say, the Avs did all right for themselves? Success, well played, and all that? What do they need to do to make the playoffs a success?</b></p> <p><b>What do you expect from the Avalanche this postseason?</b></p> <p><b>What are your playoff predictions for the Avalanche?</b></p> Morning Bag Skate 4/15 Greg Boysen Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:45:32 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the world of hockey. </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Mark Potash of the Sun Times</a> tells us <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Jonathan Toews</a> is rested and ready for the playoffs.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href=",0,2334749.story">Chris Kuc of the Tribune</a> says <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Patrick Kane</a> and Jonathan Toews could be targeted by the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Blues</a>. &nbsp;Well, duh!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Scott Powers of ESPN</a> tells us that the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Blackhawks</a> don't feel lucky to play the Blues.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Tracy Myers of CSN Chicago</a> says the the Blackhawks are getting prepared to be physical. <i>*autoplay</i></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Mike Spellman of the Daily Herald</a> writes on how Jonathan Toews is content on the Blackhawks' response to Brook Orpik's hit. &nbsp;Good, let's put this to bed already!</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch</a> says the Blues are hoping the return of injured forwards can be the difference versus the Hawks.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Ryan Lambert of Yahoo</a> says the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Colorado Avalanche's</a> success is unsustainable.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Jeremy Sargent of On The Forecheck</a> gives us three candidates for the new head coach in Nashville.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">CBS Sports</a> has video of an adorable dog who can't get enough of the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Minnesota Wild</a>. Hopefully this cute guy wises up and picks a new team.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><a target="_blank" href="">Joe Yerdon of Pro Hockey Talk</a> tells us about Jon Cooper's idea of home ice advantage.</p> Stanley Cup Playoffs 2014: Everything you need to know about Wild vs. Avalanche Travis Hughes Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:17:11 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p><a target="_blank" href=""><img src="" alt="Coloradowild_medium"></a> <br id="1397509317966"></p> <p> <style> .m-sbnation-2014-nhl-playoff-coverage { display: block; width: 100%; } .m-sbnation-2014-nhl-playoff-coverage img { max-width: 100%; } </style><a href="" class="m-sbnation-2014-nhl-playoff-coverage"> <img alt="SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket" src=""></a></p> Hockey Wilderness Podcast, Episode 2: Previewing The Playoffs GerDevine Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:05:02 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>Listen to the 2nd episode of our podcast, now on BlogTalk Radio!</p> <p>In the second episode of the 2014 Hockey <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Wild</a>erness Podcast, Tony Abbott, Aaron Holm, Joe Bouley and Ger Devine discuss various topics relating to the Minnesota Wild such as; previewing the 1st round of the playoffs, how the Wild match-up with the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Colorado Avalanche</a>, Dany Heatley's poor play, Mike Rupp's suspension, the collapse of the St.Louis <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Blues</a> and more. They also answer your questions from Twitter at the end in the Mailbag segment.</p> <h4><br></h4> <p>Listen and make sure to share on Facebook and Twitter and t<a target="_blank" href="">o follow our Twitter account</a>.</p> <h4><br></h4> <p> </p> <p><iframe width="400" height="370" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div style="font-size: 10px;text-align: center; width:400px;">New Hockey Podcasts with <a href="" rel="nofollow">Hockey Wilderness Podcast</a> on BlogTalkRadio</div> Stanley Cup Playoffs: #AnyoneButThem Emilie Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:00:04 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>Here's a fun list of why you should cheer for the Wild over the Avs in round one</p> <p>The second season is upon hockey fans, and after a five year drought the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Minnesota Wild</a> will make an appearance in the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Stanley Cup Playoffs</a> for the second year in a row. Not everyone is as lucky as Wild fans, so to kickoff our playoff coverage we're reaching out to fans of teams who didn't make the playoffs. Come join our bandwagon, there's room for everyone!</p> <h4><br></h4> <p>Reasons to cheer for the Minnesota Wild over the <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Colorado Avalanche</a>:</p> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Because Fuck Varlamov. Seriously. (Big love to @theactivestick for that suggestion)</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Also, Patrick Roy. The guy is a great goaltender, but he's also a well-documented jerk. Who also hit his wife.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Fun fact: The Wild sent Patrick Roy into retirement. <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Andrew Brunette</a>, the only guy who could probably give <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Dany Heatley</a> a run for his money in slowest guy in a Wild jersey, actually</li> <iframe frameborder="0" src="//" height="315" width="420"></iframe> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <span><br></span> <li> Adrian Dater. Is there anyone outside of Avs fans who actually enjoy his writing/tweets? Talk about a homer, and not even a good one at that.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Cody McLeod- Good for absolutely nothing other than being a bully and jerk on the ice. Worried about a player giving a dirty hit in a game? Watch out for this guy.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Minnesota is THE State of Hockey- How can you cheer against a team from a state that regularly has over 19,000 people fill up an NHL arena for a HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY TOURNAMENT.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Mike Yeo reminds everyone of their favorite high school teacher.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Minnesota is practically Canada, except the pro hockey team here actually made the playoffs (Habs the lone exception).</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> #whynotus has to be the dumbest hashtag ever invented</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Avs fans are so annoying. Most of the fanbase is acting as though they've won the Cup already.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Seriously, who isn't over Patrick Roy's Stanley Cup rings in his ears already.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Mikael Granlund</a> is practically Teemu Selanne's younger brother. Cheering against Granlund is like cheering against Teemu.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> Speaking of Teemu, Avs fans actually hate him. Seriously.</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li> <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Josh Harding</a> deserves a chance at the Stanley Cup more than anyone else. How can you cheer against him?</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li>Who doesn't want to see <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Ilya Bryzgalov</a> win a series as a starting goalie&nbsp;<a href="">just to make the Philly media sad</a>?</li> </ul> <ul class="unIndentedList"> <li>Emerging as a top pairing defenceman this year while standing at just t 5 ft 9, <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="">Jared Spurgeon</a> is truly the little engine that could.&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="">How can you not root for him?</a> </li> </ul> <h4><font size="2"><span><br></span></font></h4> <p><b> </b></p> <p> </p> <p>This is somewhat light-hearted list, but feel free to make your own suggestions! We'll be adding more reasons to hate the Avs as the week goes on. Get your troll on Wild fans, #BecauseItsTheCup!</p> Avalanche vs. Wild schedule: Patrick Roy leads Colorado into Stanley Cup Playoffs yet again Travis Hughes Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:47:43 -0400 <img alt="" src="" /> <p>The Avalanche make their return to the NHL playoffs as a top seed. <br><br><br><style> <br />.m-sbnation-2014-nhl-playoff-coverage { <br /> display: block; <br /> width: 100%; <br />}</p> <p>.m-sbnation-2014-nhl-playoff-coverage img { <br /> max-width: 100%; <br />} <br /></style></p> <p><a class="m-sbnation-2014-nhl-playoff-coverage" href=""> <br><img src="" alt="SB Nation 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket"><br></a></p> <p>Patrick Roy leads the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Colorado Avalanche</a> into the <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Stanley Cup Playoffs</a> yet again, this time it's as the head coach of a franchise that's seen a remarkable turnaround in the last calendar year.</p> <p>Colorado will face a <a href="" class="sbn-auto-link">Minnesota Wild</a> team in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs that's hovered around as a No. 7 and No. 8 seed for several seasons, but will be looking for the upset against the top-seeded Avs.</p> <p>Here's the full schedule for Wild vs. Avalanche:</p> <table frame="VOID" cellspacing="0" cols="5" rules="NONE" border="0"> <colgroup> <col width="114"> <col width="114"> <col width="114"> <col width="287"> <col width="202"> </colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td width="114" height="23" align="LEFT"><b>Game</b></td> <td width="114" align="LEFT" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D"><b>Date</b></td> <td width="114" align="LEFT"><b>Time (ET)</b></td> <td width="287" align="LEFT"><b>Western Conference First Round</b></td> <td width="202" align="LEFT"><b>National TV</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT" sdval="1" sdnum="1033;">1</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41746" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Thu, Apr 17</td> <td align="LEFT">9:30 p.m.</td> <td align="LEFT">Minnesota at Colorado</td> <td align="LEFT">CNBC, TSN</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT" sdval="2" sdnum="1033;">2</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41748" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Sat, Apr 19</td> <td align="LEFT">9:30 p.m.</td> <td align="LEFT">Minnesota at Colorado</td> <td align="LEFT">NBCSN, TSN</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT" sdval="3" sdnum="1033;">3</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41750" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Mon, Apr 21</td> <td align="LEFT">7 p.m.</td> <td align="LEFT">Colorado at Minnesota</td> <td align="LEFT">NHLN U.S., TSN</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT" sdval="4" sdnum="1033;">4</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41753" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Thu, Apr 24</td> <td align="LEFT">9:30 p.m.</td> <td align="LEFT">Colorado at Minnesota</td> <td align="LEFT">CNBC, TSN2</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT">5*</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41755" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Sat, Apr 26</td> <td align="LEFT">TBD</td> <td align="LEFT">Minnesota at Colorado</td> <td align="LEFT">TSN</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT">6*</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41757" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Mon, Apr 28</td> <td align="LEFT">TBD</td> <td align="LEFT">Colorado at Minnesota</td> <td align="LEFT">TSN</td> </tr> <tr> <td height="23" align="LEFT">7*</td> <td align="LEFT" sdval="41759" sdnum="1033;0;NN, MMM D">Wed, Apr 30</td> <td align="LEFT">TBD</td> <td align="LEFT">Minnesota at Colorado</td> <td align="LEFT">TSN</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>For full Avalanche coverage, stick with&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="">Mile High Hockey</a>. For coverage from the Minnesota perspective, check out&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="">Wild blog Hockey Wilderness</a>.</p>