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The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #91

In this podcast, my co-host James “Tapeleg” Gralian (from The Rink Report) and I talk about two new Avs in the Hall of Fame, NHL Awards, free agent signings and departures, the Ryan O’Reilly situation, Paul Stastny, Jarome Iginla, your Facebook Fan Page and #AskAHP questions, and much more.  All of those topics and almost everything else Avalanche coming at you in episode #91 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.  Thanks for joining us Avalanche fans and hope you’re enjoying your summer so far!

Jarome Iginla may have just turned 37 years old, but he can still score the hockey puck.  Here are all 30 of his goals from last season.

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Nathan MacKinnon won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year.  Here are all of his goals from last season.  You’re welcome.

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NHL.com’s Avalanche season highlights in 60-ish seconds.

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Gabriel Landeskog Upper Deck SPGU Tag Set: Mission Accomplished

Building entire numbered sets of a particular player can be tough.  It’s always difficult to predict whether each card will be listed on eBay at any time and whether all the cards will end at affordable prices.  It definitely takes some luck and sometimes it just kind of happens.  I had some great luck with my Milan Hejduk Panini Prime name plate set last August and I recently had a similar experience with a smaller set of Gabriel Landeskog cards.

Upper Deck’s 2013-2014 SP Game Used brand included a tag subset for some players.  This set featured the tags from game worn NHL jerseys.  Gabriel Landeskog’s set was numbered to three.  Here’s the first one I acquired.

2013-14 Landy SPGU Tag 1-3

Part of collecting jerseys the way I do helps me identify where pretty much any Avalanche patch or tag card comes from on an Avs jersey.  This card was no exception.  There’s a laundry tag on the inside left of the jerseys in the place where the player’s ribs are.  This card is cut from that tag.  Here’s a closer look at the inside of the Avs jerseys wear on the ice right now.  The tag is right here:

Laundry_Tag

And a more detailed look at the tag itself and where the card above was cut from.

Laundry_Tag_Landy_Cut

The next card in the set that I acquired was cut from the MeiGray tag that is sewn on the inside bottom left of every Avs game worn jersey since 2002-2003.  Here’s the tag:

MeiGray_Tag_Landy_Post

This Landeskog tag card cut from the left side of the tag of one of his 2012-2013 game worn Avs jerseys.

2013-14 Landy SPGU Tag 3-3

I wasn’t quite sure whether I’d be able to complete this set until this showed up on eBay a short time after I added the card above to my collection.

2013-14 Landy SPGU Tag 2-3

It’s from a little lower on the laundry tag:

Laundry_Tag_Landy_Cut_2

And there it is.  I accomplished a mission that I really didn’t set out to accomplish in the beginning.  Either way, all three of the cards in the set now live in my collection.  They definitely look good together.

2013-14 Landy SPGU Tag Set

So what’s my next mission?  I have no idea, but (as always) I’m keeping a close eye on eBay to see what pops up next.

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #90

In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I wrap up the 2013-14 season, we break down the series against the Wild, we discuss who’s up for postseason awards, we talk about who may be staying and who may be going, and we answer your #AskAHP questions.  Those topics and a whole lot more Avalanche stuff in episode #90 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.  Thanks for a great season Avalanche fans!

This is the Ryan O’Reilly edition of The AHP.  The Factor!

Photo courtesy of my friends at The MeiGray Group.

Photo courtesy of my friends at The MeiGray Group.

If you perhaps needed a reason to like Ryan O’Reilly more, here you go.  Loyal AHP fan Hersh O’Myster and his nephew go to many games together.  90 makes sure to make Chuddy part of his pre-game routine every time Chuddy is there.  Great stuff.

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Teemu Selanne’s “victory lap” after his last regular season home game in Anaheim featured someone the Duck fans will always love, the Avalanche’s own J.S. Giguere.  Two champions and two class guys.

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The Captain welcomes you to Denver.  Let’s Go Avs.

Game 1 vs. Wild: Paul Stastny for the tie.

Game 1 vs. Wild: Paul Stastny for the win!

Game 2 vs. Wild: Jared Spurgeon wasn’t quite prepared for the speed and the moves of Nathan MacKinnon.  Ouch.

Game 2 vs. Wild: One of the prettiest hockey goals you’ll ever see courtesy of 29, 26, and 92.

Game 3 vs. Wild: The talk of the game wasn’t the overtime thriller or Semyon Varlamov’s 45 saves, it was this “hit” by Matt Cooke on Tyson Barrie.

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Game 4 vs. Wild: P.A. Parenteau for the tie.  This is John Forslund’s call from NBC Sports Network.

And Marc Moser’s radio call call from Altitude Sports and Entertainment.

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And Nathan MacKinnon for the win!

Thanks again for a great season Avalanche fans.  Let’s do it again next season, shall we?

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #89

In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and Jay break down all of the Avalanche games since our last podcast, we talk about the Avalanche’s chances in this year’s playoffs, we answer your #AskAHP questions, and we discuss cupcakes because #CupcakeStrong.  Those topics and much more Avs and hockey stuff in episode #89 of The Avs Hockey Podcast, your home for almost everything Avalanche.

The Colorado Avalanche, your 2013-2014 Central Division Champions!  Another banner hanging in Pepsi Center? Yes please!

Useful links mentioned in the show that are worth checking out:

Brad Malone vs. Derek MacKenzie.  Advantage: Brad Malone

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Tyson Barrie and Nate Guenin try to follow the bouncing puck while covering Blue Jacket players. Outcome: Not favorable.

April 5: Jay wins #AvsHeader again after the Avalanche defeat the Blues 4-0 and become the only NHL team to defeat every other NHL team this season.

#AvsHeader_4-5-14

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun’s piece on Patrick Roy’s impact on this season’s team, complete with a horribly lettered Roy jersey.

NHL.com picks Patrick Roy for the Jack Adams Trophy.  Sounds good to us.

NHL.com picks Nathan MacKinnon for the Calder Trophy. This sounds good to us as well.

#WhyNotUs – With or Without Matt Duchene

If someone feels the need to make more than three consecutive tweets about a particular subject I’ve always believed that a blog post would be the better way to go.  I created about five tweets this morning regarding the Matt Duchene injury situation AND I’m making a blog post.  I hope you don’t mind too much.  There’s a lot on my mind right now.

Earlier today the Colorado Avalanche announced that Matt Duchene will be out roughly four weeks with a left knee injury suffered during his first shift of the game against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon.  Duchene was hurt when he ran into teammate Jamie McGinn.  Things like this happen in the game of hockey.

First, this could have been worse.  Way worse.  An ACL tear or a concussion are near the top of that “worse” list.  I’ll definitely take four weeks as compared to “out for the remainder of the season” or “out indefinitely.”

After years of playing and coaching I find myself thinking like a player and a coach in these situations.  I can assure you that the team and the coaches worried about Matt Duchene for a very small amount of time before they set their focus on tomorrow night’s game in Columbus and the rest of the season.  One thing winning teams do well is keeping their focus on what they can control.  Injuries are one of the things winning teams worry very little about.  Sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself because one of your best players is now injured is NOT happening right now.  This Avs team may even be MORE focused on the things they need to do to keep gathering two points at a time.

Overall, #WhyNotUs still very much applies.  It’s not going anywhere.  “Us” is of of those beautiful hockey pronouns.  This Avs team and its fans will continue to use #WhyNotUs because that “us” is what has made this season so special so far.

And hopefully things are just getting started.

Let’s Go Avs.

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #88

This is the Joe Sakic 88-89 Quebec Nordiques jersey:

Sakic_88

Photo courtesy of Classic Auctions, Inc.

As well as the Peter Mueller edition of The Avs Hockey Podcast.

Mueller 88

Photo courtesy of my friends at MeiGray.com

Informative Avalanche related links you’ll be sure to enjoy:

March 2, 2014: Jay was #winning on #AvsHeader following the 6-3 win against the Lightning.

AVS-SALUTE-LY_2_March_2_2014

March 6, 2014.  Nathan MacKinnon passes Wayne Gretzky’s point streak for an 18 year old with this assist.

Ryan Kennedy, from The Hockey News, says that Nathan is a lock to win the Calder Trophy.  You’ll get no argument from us.

The Denver Post’s Terry Frei describes Nathan MacKinnon’s journey to Denver.

Imagine Avs:

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James’ response to Imagine Avs on his blog.

Big Buff, I’d like you to meet karma.  Karma, this is Big Buff.  Matt Duchene, FTW.  (Literally.)

Adam Proteau, from The Hockey News, votes Patrick Roy for the Jack Adams Award.  We agree, again.

The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater’s piece on Patrick Roy and what Roy has brought to this Avs team.

Roy McGregor, from The Global Mail, writes about Nathan MacKinnon and what he has to prove.

Pierre LeBrun, via ESPN.com, discusses Patrick Roy’s success and how it hasn’t surprised Roy’s former coaches at all.

Puck Daddy’s post on Patrick Roy returning to Montreal.

Backhand Shelf’s Justin Bourne gives some much deserved love to Ryan O’Reilly.

John Mitchell slammed into the boards on March 19 against the Canadiens.  OUCH.

Photo Courtesy of John Mitchell's Twitter account.

Photo Courtesy of John Mitchell’s Twitter account.

Friends don’t let friends bang on the glass at hockey games.

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Jiggy and retirement.  The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater talks with 35.

Cards and Where They Come From, Part Two

It’s time for a second installment of new additions to my Avalanche card collection and where they come from on Avalanche jerseys.

I’ve found myself, as the card companies use pretty much every part of the jersey now in their cards, being drawn to the non-jersey and non-Avalanche emblem crest and shoulder patch fabric pieces.  Cuts from tags and branding from the jerseys have been getting way more of my attention lately.  This makes sense based on how I appreciate the smaller details about jerseys the way I do.  The first two cards in this post are the latest cards in my collection that are perfect examples of the details I love most about jerseys.

The first card is a Gabriel Landeskog tag card from 2013-2014 Panini Dominion.  It’s numbered 3/3.

2013-2014 Landy Dominion Tag 3-3

Most people would look at this card and simply see a plain, boring two-color patch.  I see the right side of the Reebok patch from the top of the back of the neck of a white Avalanche jersey.  I have a white Milan Hejduk game used jersey from the 2011-2012 season.  Here’s the entire back.  Look just above Hejduk’s name for the patch.

Hejduk 2011-2012 White Set III back

A closer look:

Landy_Reebok

Next, a P.A. Parenteau tag card from Upper Deck’s 2013-2014 SP Game Used product numbered 3/3.  This one caught my eye right away.

2013-2014 Parenteau SPGU Tag 3-3

This is from the size hang tag located on the inside of the back of the neck.  I see this tag on pretty much every jersey in my collection.

Hejduk 2011-2012 White Set III neck tagging

The third card is a Paul Stastny patch card from 2013-2014 Edition of Upper Deck’s SP Game Used set.  This comes from the far right side of the nameplate and is numbered 4/12.

2013-2014 Statsny SPGU Patch 4-12

If I have my facts right the card includes the bottom right side of the “N” and the middle bottom of the “Y” in Stastny from a burgundy Avalanche jersey.  For reference:

Stastny_Nameplate

Next, an Adam Foote Prime Colors Numbers card from Panini’s 2012-2013 Prime release numbered 4/6.

2012-2013 Foote Prime Number 4-6

This card is from one of the sleeve numbers on a white Avalanche jersey.  And based on how the numbers are cut this piece is from a jersey Adam Foote wore after he returned to the Avs in 2008.

Some of the patches companies place in cards are upside down so keeping this in mind helps as someone tries to figure out where cards came from on the jersey.  This card, however, is right side up.  The right side of the “5″ is on the left and the left side of the “2″ is on the right.

Foote_Nameplate_2

The last card in the post is a little older and doesn’t feature a piece of jersey, patch, or tag, but it is new to my collection and definitely work a look.  I just thought I would share because of his recent decision to retire from the National Hockey League.

2009-2010 Hejduk SPGU Base 1-1

This is a Milan Hejduk 1/1 base card from the 2009-2010 Upper Deck SP Game Used set.  Being a one of a kind of one of my favorite Avs players of all-time made it something that I wanted acquire and share.

So that’s it for the second of installment of many in this ongoing series.  Hope you enjoyed the cards and the information.  Now back to eBay to look for more treasures.

Let’s Go Avs.

#WhyNotUs

Just some random thoughts post-trade deadline.  A busy day on Twitter had me feeling feelings and thinking thoughts that I wanted to share.  Enjoy.

Paul Stastny, Still an Av

Yet another trade deadline comes and goes and 26 is still an Av.  Honestly, I’m not surprised.  He’s a fabulous hockey player with tremendous smarts and skills.  I know many Avalanche faithful would prefer to see a little more skill from him but that’s just not his specialty.  He excels at making the players around him better.  Speaking for myself (which is what one generally does on a personal blog), I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the burgundy and blue until he’s done playing hockey, but that’s just me.  As a good friend on Twitter also said:

@AvsPodcast I don’t think Stastny wants to go anywhere else. Hockey is less of a business for him than for others.

— Stephen DeGraff (@sfdegraff) March 5, 2014

Hockey is a business.  No one can argue with that.  When your father and uncles were world class/Hall of Fame players as well, hockey is a family business.  That’s a little different.

Stastny has also publicly stated that a “hometown discount” would be a possibility with the Avs.  That’s unheard of (and I’m not sure what his agent thought of Stastny’s public comments) but either way I really like it.  Stastny is happy here and that’s not a secret. He’s also world class hockey player.  I hope he’s here for a long, long time.

Trade Deadline Thoughts

The Avs made one move yesterday picking up goaltender Reto Berra from Calgary for a second round pick in the 2014 draft.  Joe Sakic made it clear that this was a precautionary move on the team’s part because Jiggy’s back has the tendency to act up from time to time.  I think it also showed a couple more things: Jiggy’s time in Denver could possibly be over beyond this season and the team’s confidence in Sami Aittokallio wasn’t as high as they wanted it to be.  We’ll see how the rest of this story pans out as the season rolls on.  Berra is currently on the Avalanche’s active roster.

The lack of Avalanche trades showed a lot from the organization as well.  The Avs are generally happy with where they are and it’s difficult to be unhappy with that as a fan.  Sure, we all can agree to a certain point that the defense could use a piece or two, but it also seems like defense by committee (when everyone is healthy and/or not suspended) has worked quite well so far this season.  Mark Rycroft, in Tuesday’s post game said that the way Erik Johnson has played this season was almost like a free trade in itself.  Great stuff.  And as I said on Twitter yesterday, sometimes the most effective defense is solid goaltending and a balanced offensive attack.

The Factor is a Factor

Ryan O’Reilly has quietly moved himself into the top 20 goal-scorers in the NHL this season.  His performance in the defensive zone should be noted as well.

Hey Avs (I know you’re going to read this and take what I say very seriously),

No rush.  No hurry.  Feel free to lock 90 up long-term whenever you see fit.

Thanks.

Icing on the Cake

Again, just speaking for myself here, but I’m getting to the point where the rest of this season is almost icing on the cake.  The Avs were picked to finish near the bottom of the conference by pretty much everyone at the start of the season.  I couldn’t argue with that.  I’m definitely a “glass half full” type guy, but didn’t expect near what I’ve seen so far this season.  I simply wanted the Avs to improve.  They’ve done that and so much more.  As they stand right now this is the best Avalanche team in the team’s history.  That’s crazy.  The next few weeks include some huge games against some of the best teams in the league.  We’ll see where our teams stands then, but what I do know is that this team has me excited for the next decade plus. I’ll take it for sure, no matter what the rest of this season brings.

The Future

I was sitting at the game last Friday night and reflecting on the future of this franchise:

Nathan MacKinnon is 18 years old.
Matt Duchene is 23 years old.
Ryan O’Reilly is 23 years old.
Gabriel Landeskog is 21 years old.
Semyon Varlamov is 25 years old.
Erik Johnson is 25 years old (for a few more weeks.)
Tyson Barrie is 22 years old.

This team’s best hockey is hopefully yet to come. How great is that for us as Avs fans and how scary is that for the rest of the league?  Pretty great and pretty scary.

Let’s Go Avs.

P.S.  Thanks to those of you that play #AvsTwitterPsychic game in and game out.

If you’re not playing, you totally should.  It’s fun, it’s super easy, and it involves no skill at all.  Sound interesting?  Check out the #AvsTwitterPsychic official home page here:

http://www.avshockeypodcast.com/avstwitterpsychic/

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #87

In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I cover all the games since our last podcast (including some Olympic hockey), we honor Milan Hejduk and his career with the Avalanche, we discuss the possibility of an outdoor game to be hosted in Denver next season, and we showcase Semyon Varlamov’s new skill of making glove saves with no stick, a screen from his own defenseman, and his mask half on.  These topics and much more Avalanche and hockey stuff in episode #87 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.

Thank you, as always, for joining us Avalanche fans.

This is the Pierre Turgeon edition of The AHP.

PierreTurgeon05-06burgundyback

Links referenced in the show:

Former teammates making sure that the memory of Elizabeth Turgeon lives on.

Patrick Bordeleau takes himself out of the play.  He’s been to the Jay Vean Hockey School for sure.

Matt Duchene takes a monkey off his back with this goal against the Nashville Predators.

The seemingly annual “Attendance Woes” column from the Denver Post, this year from Terry Frei.

James’ response on his blog to Frei’s column on attendance.

Another Ref Cam, this one from the Stadium Series game between the Rangers and Devils.

There is a possibility of a Stadium Series game here in Denver next season.

A New York Times article, by Pat Pickens, describing how Patrick Roy has changed this Avs team.

The slash which cost Erik Johnson two games.

Varly: Lack of a stick, a screen from Cory Sarich, and his mask being a mess was still not enough to keep him from making this glove save against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Where will Paul Stastny go, if anywhere?

The CBC helps us make some sense out of this season’s new playoff format.

Cards and Where They Come From, Part One

My jersey problem addiction passion has been well documented here throughout the years, but cards were my passion way before jerseys.  I have been collecting sports cards of all types for over 30 years.  My collection and its focus has definitely evolved over time, just like the hobby has, but my interest and “thrill for the hunt” has never wavered.  I thought now would be as good as time as ever to share some of my game used Avalanche cards and where they came from on the jerseys.  I find it interesting to perform the research and it’s fun for me to document and share.  Definitely a win-win.

To best bridge that gap between my jerseys and my cards, Panini America produces a set of Prime Authentics cards in their Prime release.  These cards feature tagging that’s placed within the NHL jerseys that are worn by the teams on the ice.  The Colorado Avalanche use MeiGray as their authenticator, so their Prime Authentics cards feature the MeiGray tag that’s sewn into every jersey every Avs player wears throughout the NHL season.

To begin, here is one of J.S. Giguere’s Prime Authentics cards from the 2012-2013 Panini Prime set.  It is numbered 2/2 (printed on the left side of the front of the card), meaning that there is another one of these full tag cards out there somewhere.

12-13 Jiggy MeiGray Tag Panini Prime

MeiGray releases a population report every season documenting when each jersey was worn so all the details that I need to figure out which jersey this tag was on is pretty simple.  It is from Jiggy’s set one alternate jersey worn during the 2011-2012 season.

Next, here is a Gabriel Landeskog card from the same set.  It’s numbered 3/3.  There is one more of the three on eBay right now, but the seller is asking way too much for it.  That happens.  That also makes me happy I have this one.

12-13 Landy MeiGray Tag Panini Prime

This is also from the Avalanche’s first set of alternate jerseys they wore during the 2011-2012 season.

The last from this set in my collection (until more come along, obviously) is a Matt Duchene numbered 2/2.  The original seller of this card started the price at a little higher than what the card was worth but they incrementally dropped the price until I couldn’t resist anymore.  Those are the eBay sellers that I prefer.  That’s how you move cards and make money.

12-13 Duchene MeiGray Tag Panini Prime

The number on this tag indicates that this jersey was the burgundy set three jersey Duchene wore during the 2011-2012 season.

Panini Prime Hockey includes many other awesome subsets as well.  Next up is the Prime Colors series.  This features patches cut from emblems and patches on the jerseys.  When I saw this unique patch I had to have this card.

11-12 Stastny Teammates for Kids Patch Panini Prime

This is a Paul Stastny patch numbered 12/17 from the 2011-2012 Panini Prime Prime Colors set.  The patch was worn in one game during Paul Statsny’s rookie season so I easily can track the history behind this jersey as well.  It was worn on January 5, 2007 at Pepsi Center.  This was a promotional set of jerseys each NHL team created in partnership with Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation.  The jerseys were then auctioned off and the proceeds benefited the cause.  I have a Ben Guite game issued jersey from that game in my collection so I can share with you exactly what an entire jersey made for or worn in that game looked like.

Ben Guite Teammates for Kids GI

It’s a little disappointing that a jersey that was worn in only one game has now become pieces of jersey in hockey cards, but when card companies acquire jerseys they obviously have that option.

Last, the Panini Prime set features a subset called Genuine Letters.  These cards are entire letters cut from the nameplates of game worn jerseys.  I featured my 2011-2012 Milan Hejduk complete Genuine Letters set in a blog post here.  And just for reference:

Milan Hejduk 2011-2012 Panini Prime Nameplate

I’m not planning on completing this set, but a Gabriel Landeskog Genuine Letters card from the 2012-2013 set made its way to my collection not too long ago.

12-13 Landy E Nameplate Panini Prime

This card, as you can see toward the bottom of the front, is numbered 5/9.  This doesn’t mean that there are nine of these “E” cards available, this means that “E” is the fifth letter in Landeskog’s last name.  Also, it’s easy to see that this comes from an alternate jersey that Landy wore on the ice.  Unlike the MeiGray tag cards though, it’s impossible to tell which alternate jersey this came from.

This will be the first of a series of posts that I’ll write about some of the cards in my collection.  I’m looking forward to sharing what I already have in my collection, as well as the cards that will join my collection in the future.  Thanks for taking the time to read it.

And, as always, whether it’s jerseys or cards, Let’s Go Avs.

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #86

In this show, James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I break down which Avs players made their Olympic teams and which players did not, we discuss Patrick Roy calling out Avs goaltender J.S. Giguere, and we evaluate why the recent injuries to the team have had minimal impact.  Those topics and much more Avalanche and hockey stuff in episode #86 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.

Happy New Year Avs fans!

Helpful links from the show:

The on-ice life of a professional hockey official captured in an awesome way.

Nathan Mackinnon – “OH! LOOK AT HIM GO!”

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Don’t forget to play #AvsTwitterPsychic on Twitter on game days.  It’s everyone’s favorite Avs gameday tradition.

The Avs Hockey Podcast, Episode #85

In this show, my podcast partner James “Tapeleg” Gralian and I update you on almost everything Avalanche since our last show, we discuss whether 23 should be eventually retired by the Avalanche organization, and we share a fantastic story about Joe Sakic and the respect that was shown to him throughout the NHL.  Those topics and much more Avalanche and hockey stuff coming at you in episode #85 of The Avs Hockey Podcast.  Thanks for joining us Avs fans!

Links from the show:

Are the Avs good or just on a hot streak?  Read this and decide for yourself.

Patrick Roy is a little upset after Antoine Vermette’s second goal of the game that put the Coyotes up 3-1 at the time (December 10, 2013.)

How much respect did Joe Sakic get from his competition?  This much.

Karl Kreefe is back!

Everyone’s favorite Avs themed game day tradition, #AvsTwitterPsychic on Twitter.  Get in on the fun!