MONTREAL, CANADA - OCTOBER 15: Members of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate their 6-5 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 16, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Avalanche defeated the Canadiens 6-5 in a shootout. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
"Playoffs aren't won in the beginning of the season, but they're lost. A lot of points are given away early on. We want to pick up as much as we can, continue to play the way we can play. If we do that, we should be very successful."
While understandably upbeat about the team's 5-1-0 start -- Colorado dropped a 3-0 home decision to Detroit in the season opener -- coach Joe Sacco and his players aren't about to start celebrating, not with 76 games remaining and the memory of last season's second-half meltdown still all too real.
The Avalanche will next try to match their best win streak from last season, which occurred Dec. 10-19 and, coincidentally, included a home-and-home sweep of the Blackhawks (3-1-1).
Colorado has won four of five matchups against Chicago in Denver and prevailed 3-1-0 in last season's series. The Blackhawks' lone victory came Jan. 12 at the United Center as Corey Crawford made 24 saves in a 4-0 victory.
The NHL site has an interview with Joe Sacco.
You hear it said from people like myself, but is it true that when a team has confidence in its goaltending, that confidence then spreads? It's a question that fits your team because clearly it is confident in Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Sacco: There is certainly confidence in the goaltending, and yes I would agree, it does filter through the rest of your team. There is no question. Our guys know we have good goaltending. They are there to make the initial save. If they see the shot they will make the save
The Globe and Mail has an article about the impact that Don Cherry has had on hockey. One of these things is fighting in hockey.
Consider: in the mid 1970s, the members of the NHL Players Association pondered the role of fighting in their sport. After much debate, a majority of the players in the Broad Street Bullies’ era decided that fighting was extraneous to the sport. Frankly, many were scared of being injured in the Slap Shot atmosphere ruling the sport. They wanted it gone.
NHLPA president Bobby Clarke, that noted pacifist, took the players’ decision to the NHL owners of the time, august men such as Harold Ballard (cough) and Bill Wirtz (cough, cough). With a war going on versus the rival World Hockey Association, the owners were in no mood to question their brand and so rejected the players request to modify or eliminate fighting.
The play of Landeskog has helped in the absence of Peter Mueller, who's been sidelined recently with a head injury. That's a red flag with Mueller missing all of last season with a concussion.
"Feeling great," said Mueller, who will sit out the game Thursday. "Just getting everything back in the loop; waiting for my time.
"The boys have really been going hard. It's not easy to come out of that road trip 5-0. But we managed to do that."