The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - March 14th, 2014

Doug Pensinger

There is some slight improvement for Bozon.

A junior hockey player hospitalized in Saskatoon with meningitis remains in critical condition, but is stable and improving.

A statement by the Saskatoon Health Region says doctors are slowly trying to wake Tim Bozon from a medically induced coma.

His family has indicated he is responding to verbal stimuli.

Bozon plays for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League and is a prospect with the NHL Montreal Canadiens.

The 19-year-old was admitted March 1 to Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital where he was diagnosed.

Trotz talks about what makes him smile.

The 51-year-old Trotz has grown, too. He still is intense. He still wants to win just as much as the next guy. But what gets him through the difficult times, and has been the source of so many good times, is his 12-year-old son Nolan.

Nolan is the youngest of Trotz and his wife's four children. He has Down syndrome and he has given Trotz and his family perspective.

"We could lose real badly," said the old University of Manitoba defenceman. "I'd be real angry. But then I see him after a game, waiting there in the hallway and he comes over to give me a big old hug and that anger goes away in a hurry. He has put things in perspective for me.

Love seeing MacKinnon get some love.

The thing is, MacKinnon looks like he's getting better near the end of the season. MacKinnon, like Crosby, is a September birthday and will play his entire rookie year as an 18-year-old, but isn't wearing down from the rigors of a grueling NHL season.

He's getting more ice time (three of his five games with more than 20 minutes have come since March 6) and he's producing. MacKinnon recently broke Wayne Gretzky's record for the longest NHL point streak by an 18-year-old when he had at least one in 13 straight games.

If he keeps playing well, 30 goals and something close to 70 points aren't out of the question. The list of 30-goal scorers among rookies in the past 20 years is brief: Crosby, Skinner, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

Colorado is one of the best stories of the 2013-14 season. MacKinnon is, barring injury, a lock to win the Calder Trophy. With PA Parenteau and Alex Tanguay out for at least the remainder of the regular season with injuries, MacKinnon will need to continue his pace to keep the Avalanche in contention for a top-two finish in the Central Division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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