DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 04: David Jones #54 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates his first period goal against the Vancouver Canucks with his teammates at the Pepsi Center on February 4, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Jones believes this squad could be a force down the road should the team remain largely intact.
"We've shown we can beat anyone," Jones said. "We went into New York and beat the Rangers. We beat Boston. Those are all teams that are going to be there at the end. I think there's definitely work to be done, but we've got a good young group and a lot of great teammates."
Does Jones want to return to the Mile High City?
"Of course," he said. "I've been here my whole career. I love Denver and enjoy being here."
Jason Bouwmeester is heading to the Championships.
"I’ve gone in the past and it’s a lot of fun when you get over there," Bouwmeester said Monday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"Obviously, everyone would rather be in the playoffs, but it’s some competitive hockey. It’s something you can salvage at the end of the year.
"By no means do you ever start a season, thinking, ‘Oh man, I hope I can go to the world championships.’ That doesn’t go through anyone’s mind. But, starting a few days ago, the reality is, you’re not in the playoffs. This is something you can go do, have some fun with it, and, hopefully, have some success."
USA Hockey announced today the first 17 players that will compete for the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship, May 4-20, in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
The group includes one goaltender, five defensemen and 11 forwards.
Highlighting the roster are six players with U.S. Olympic or U.S. Men's National Team credentials. Forwards Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Denver) and Bobby Ryan (Cherry Hill, N.J./Anaheim Ducks) and defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Columbus Blue Jackets/Univ. of Michigan) each collected silver medals at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. Stastny also played on the 2007 U.S. Men's National Team.
I know you love your graphs: The Globe and Mail has got your back.
Who doesn't love a chart or two?
Well, here at The Globe, we have a new toy that allows us to embed plenty of charts in our articles, and I'm going to put it to good use here this afternoon in breaking down all 16 playoff teams by various statistical measures.
Here's an example of the East and West series by goal differential per game, which is often an excellent predictor of team success: