News of the Colorado Avalanche - Links around the NHL - May 9th, 2013

Martin Rose

There's just something special about the hockey community. USHL's Chicago Steel drafted this young man.

Then a sophomore for Benilde-St. Margaret's (Minn.) High, Jablonski was paralyzed when he was accidentally checked from behind into the end boards at a holiday tournament.

His story captured the sympathy and attention of the hockey world, as donations poured in to help his medical expenses and support arrived from visiting NHL players.

The Calgary Sun has a scathing report on the Vancouver Canucks and their loss to San Jose.

Their loss to the Sharks exposed too many holes.

The Canucks were too slow, too small and too soft to beat a Sharks team not known for being a club that grinds you into the ground.

Moreover, they didn't have the depth to compete with a team that not only had its veteran big guns firing, in Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle, but were led by young guns Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture.

In short, if Henrik and Daniel Sedin aren't scoring, the Canucks can't compete, because nobody else will or can step up and take their place. And lord knows, there aren't young rising stars to play the part of Couture and Pavelski.

There's more drama in Edmonton over the new rink.

A spokesman for Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz would not say Wednesday if the pharmacy magnate will put up more money to rescue a new arena project for his NHL team.

John Karvellas also poured cold water on a suggestion for a higher ticket tax on games and other events to close a $55-million gap in funding for the rink.

“That’s tantamount to us putting up more money,” Karvellas told reporters after city councillors voted to again delay a final decision on the funding. “Whatever the ticket tax is, the more it goes up, it will impact the underlying ticket price for the event.

Gionta is going to be out for a bit.

Brian Gionta’s playoffs are over.

The Montreal Canadiens announced Wednesday that their captain has a torn left bicep muscle. He will undergo surgery on Friday.

Gionta sat out Games 2 and 4 of a first round playoff series against the Ottawa Senators with what the team called an upper body injury.

The right-winger was limited to 31 games last season due to a torn bicep.

Paul Sastny is having a great tournament. He is winning more than 70% of his faceoffs.

After trailing 1-0 against Finland, the Americans produced four unanswered goals, three of them from Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith, who plays on the USA's top line with the Colorado Avalanche's Paul Stastny and Phoenix Coyotes' David Moss. That unit has contributed significantly to the team's 3-1 start.

"Stastny is a good distributor and he's a good two-way centerman and Moss is a big-bodied winger who can win the puck battles," Sacco said. "Smitty has been snake-bitten before tonight, but he can put the puck in the net."

That trio has recorded seven goals and nine assists over four games. With the selection for 2014 U.S. Olympic spots a month away, this is a good time for those three to be producing on the wider international ice.

Not to be outdone by Stastny, Ladeskog also scored two goals.

The Swedes (3-1) are right back at it tomorrow night in a highly-anticipated game against Canada while the Norwegians (2-2) don’t play again until May 11 when they face Belarus.

Much of the first period was played between the blue lines as the checking in centre ice was close both ways. But Sweden opened the scoring at 9:26 just after a Norway penalty expired. Dick Axelsson found Gabriel Landeskog in the slot, and his snap shot beat Lars Haugen to the far side after the goalie over-committed to Axelsson.

Matt Duchene also had a goal in the tournament.

Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers collected his first two goals of the tournament. Winnipeg Jets forward Andrew Ladd, Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner and Philadelphia Flyers winger Claude Giroux also scored for Canada. Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 13 saves for his second win of the tournament.

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