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The Colorado Avalanche: News from around the NHL - April 16th, 2014

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Doug Pensinger

National Post says that the Avalanche is winning because of Patrick Roy.

Patrick Roy’s fiery personality was on full display in the opening game when the Colorado coach got into a heated exchange with Anaheim, banging his hands again and again on the glass partition until it tilted.

That eruption set a tone for the season: The Avalanche weren’t going to be pushovers.

Not with the combustible Hall of Fame goaltender taking over behind the bench.

Roy guided this franchise — the one he led to two Stanley Cup titles as a player — back into the playoffs by tying a team record with 52 wins. They play Minnesota in a first-round series that begins Thursday.

“Patrick is the ultimate winner. He doesn’t accept anything less than winning,” backup goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère said. “He did that as a player and he’s doing that as a coach.

The NHL is getting hit with another lawsuit saying that it hid the risk of concussions.

Another group of former NHL players has joined the fight for compensation for head injuries they say they incurred while playing, while at the same time targeting the violence of the game that they believe brought about those injuries.

Retired players Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday alleging that the league has promoted fighting and downplayed the risk of head injuries that come from it.

“I think the glorified violence is really the Achilles heel for the NHL,” said Charles “Bucky” Zimmerman, an attorney at Zimmerman Reed that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the players. “If anything comes of this, the focus on the glorified violence and perhaps the change to that will be a good thing.”

Puck Daddy voted on three awards. Agree with their picks?

The regular season is done, the playoffs are nearing. While we’re in this brief respite before the Stanley Cup madness, let’s hand out some NHL Awards, shall we?

Here are our votes for the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year), Jack Adams Award (coach of the year) and Selke Trophy (best defensive forward).

Voting on these awards: Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski, Sean Leahy, Harrison Mooney, Jen Neale, Dmitry Chesnokov, Ryan Lambert and Daryl “Dobber” Dobbs; Yahoo Sports NHL writer Nick Cotsonika; and Yahoo Sports NHL editor Sam McCaig.

Thirty Thoughts is always worth a read.

4. Don't have a vote for the Jack Adams or the Vezina, but if I did, both would go to Denver -- Patrick Roy and Semyon Varlamov.

5. Pending free agent Paul Stastny says he wants to stay in Colorado, and the Avalanche keeping him past the trade deadline shows a sense it can be done. But he will be watched very closely in the playoffs, just in case. Scouts like his two-way game, his intelligence, his positioning and his ability to make others better. If there's one concern, and he's heard it plenty, it's his skating. If you get him on the market, you're going to have to give up term. Will there be a point where he slows enough that it changes his game? Teams will risk it if they think he can help them win soon.