Daily Cupcakes - March 8th, 2012

DENVER, CO - MARCH 01: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche and Jack Johnson #7 of the Columbus Blue Jackets square off for a fight in the second period at the Pepsi Center on March 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

A recap of the beat down the Avs gave the Wild. Since when is Gabe "mild-mannered"?

Even the usually mild-mannered Landeskog got into the act. Riled up over being tripped, Landeskog dropped the gloves and attempted to take on Jed Ortmeyer, but the fight was hastily halted and both were sent to the box for roughing.

This has been a solid season for Landeskog, who's making a strong case for rookie of the year as he leads all first-year players in shots and is tied for the top spot in goals (18).

NOTES: Avs D Ryan O`Byrne missed his seventh game with a knee injury. The team is hopeful he might be available Thursday in Nashville. ... Varlamov played in his 100th career game. ... The Wild are 0-4-1 in their last five games.

NHL.com 's version of what happened, I rather enjoyed Mark Olver 's quote.

"He plays the game in those areas all the time," Sacco said. "He's not a big man in stature, but he plays big. He's one of those players, when he gets on the ice, the opposition takes notice because it seems like he's always a pain in the rear end. Those are some of the type of players that we need. He's been making some plays, playing with some physicality in his game. He's been real good. I've been real happy with his play so far."

Olver missed 35 games to recover from a concussion he sustained in training camp. He had 2 goals and 7 assists in 15 games with Lake Erie in the American Hockey League and has 3 goals and 2 assists in 10 games with the Avalanche since his Feb. 16 recall.

"Being my size, either you have to be skilled or you have to be gritty," Olver, 24, said. "I don't have that much skill, so hopefully I can get a little grit and help the team out as much as I can. If I have to go to those dirty areas to help the team win, I will."

A preview of the Colorado Avalanche - Nashville Predators game.


The Colorado Avalanche have won six of eight to climb into the playoff picture, but they know there's still a lot of work to do.

Beating the Nashville Predators for the first time in two years would certainly help their playoff aspirations.

The surging Avalanche look to avoid losing an eighth straight game to the Predators when they meet Thursday night in Nashville.

Colorado (35-29-4) is tied with San Jose and Los Angeles for the Western Conference's final playoff spot with 74 points, but both teams have games in hand. The remaining schedule also doesn't seem too favorable for the Avalanche - eight of their final 14 games are on the road.

"We have to win every game because we want to play in the playoffs," Semyon Varlamov said after stopping 21 shots in Tuesday's 7-1 win over Minnesota.

Hockey parents can be a scary bunch.

Joe Cordes, 42, admitted he shined a laser pointer onto the ice during last week's high school girls hockey game between Winthrop (Mass.) and Medway-Ashland (Mass.). The parents of the freshman goalie for Medway-Ashland had said their daughter complained of headaches afterward.

The Sudbury Wolves, thanks in large part to Michael Sgarbossa, have earned a playoff spot.

Sudbury Wolves forward Michael Sgarbossa’s eight-point performance over two games earned him the latest Canadian Hockey League player of the week award.

Sgarbossa, who finished plus-6, scored two goals and added three assists for his first career five-point night in Friday’s 8-5 victory over the Kitchener Rangers. The following night, he had a goal and two assists in a 4-1 win over the Peterborough Petes.

More news about Michael, this is a game recap if you are interested.

WOLVES NOTES

With two assists, Sgarbossa moved into a two-point lead over Ottawa's Tyler Toffoli in the OHL scoring race. The native of Campbellville, Ont., the reigning OHL and CHL player of the week, has 44 goals and 50 assists in 60 games. He's riding a 19-game point streak ... Leivo is now just one goal shy of becoming the second player, after Sgarbossa, to score 30 this season. Last year, the native of Innisfil, Ont., had only 13 goals in 64 games ...

Is this the end of Sean Avery?

Sean Avery couldn’t cut it with the New York Rangers and now it appears that the team’s farm team is done with him too.

According to a report on ESPNNewYork.com, the 31-year-old agitator has been told that he won’t be on the roster for the American Hockey League’s Connecticut Whale for the playoffs.

Lastly, Cush52 asked me to share this story in the Cupcakes.

Up in Kingsville, Ontario, they skate hard, and they drink hard. Too damn hard for the folks at Kingsville, who evicted two men's leagues from their arena after months of shenanigans. Yes, it's beer league hockey. But it's not cigarette league, or drunken brawl league, or beer bottle up the anus league hockey.

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