Happy New Year to all you MHH'ers. I hope it was a good one for all of you, the Colorado Avalanche certainly did their part to try and help you ring in the new year properly.
I can't begin the new year without mentioning the losses that the NHL family, and they really are a tight-knit community, lost this year. NHL.com has a tribute video as well as a small blurb about each death in 2011.
McCrimmon, a longtime NHL player and highly regarded assistant who had never gotten a chance to coach in the NHL, was on the way to his debut as a head coach after signing with the team in the summer. Korolev and Karpovtsev, both of whom had lengthy NHL careers, were his assistants. Skrastins, Demitra, Salei, Rachunek and Vasicek were former NHL players.
A memorial service for the team drew more than 100,000 people, including Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.
Colorado is one of the league's hottest teams, closing out 2011 by winning seven of eight. The Avalanche opened a four-game trip with a 4-2 victory at Anaheim on Saturday.
Milan Hejduk ended his 13-game goal drought, scoring twice off assists by Ryan O'Reilly.
"Right now we have a pretty good feeling in the locker room," Hejduk said. "We're playing well, winning hockey games, we're a confident group right now."
NHL.com also had an interesting article about the "numbers" in the NHL.
9 -- Consecutive shootout wins by the Colorado Avalanche, who won their past nine tiebreakers in 2011 after losing the first one. That includes a 6-0 record this season.
The Toronto Star has an article about the highest revenue teams in the NHL.
A secret National Hockey League report detailing the ticket revenues of its 30 teams provides additional ammunition for those suggesting more struggling U.S.-based teams should relocated to Canada.
The confidential document shows that the six Canadian NHL clubs last season accounted for about 33 per cent of the $1.2 billion (U.S.) in league ticket revenue. In 2007-08, Canada's six teams represented 31 per cent.
It was just a year ago that the five-foot-10, 190pounder was a member of Canada's national team at the World Junior and he'll keep an eye on the 2012 tournament that begins Boxing Day.
"For sure, I will be watching," he said reflecting on last season's gold medal loss to Russia. "It still hurts a little bit.
"I've been keeping track of the team and I'll definitely be following their progress."