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Morning Flurries: And the tough part of the schedule begins

December kicks off for the Avalanche with a busy schedule

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Happy December, Avalanche fans!

I hope you’ve gotten the chance to put out your holiday lights, if that’s what you do, and you’ve gotten a chance to take in the gorgeous winter air if you don’t.

With the chilly winds and chesnuts roasting over open fires, though, comes a tough part of the schedule for the Avalanche.

They’ll play nine games in the next 16 days, facing down a grueling workload heading towards the new year. In a season full of renewed optimism, this could be the biggest test of all. [Mile High Hockey]

Oh - and while you’re preparing for all the wonderful food that comes with this time of year, don’t forget to get in your exercise!

In the meantime, Gabriel Landeskog is still out, serving his four-game suspension for cross-checking Matthew Tkachuk. He’s not the only player sitting out now, though, as Cedric Paquette joins him on the league’s Naughty List. [Raw Charge]

The Arizona Coyotes will have to pay Oliver Ekman-Larsson more money soon. Is that something that they can easily do? [Five For Howling]

Speaking of elite defensemen, take a look at team prospect Conor Timmins:

Oh... and take a look at goal #2:

Finally, some good news for the Vancouver Canucks and some bad:

The good news is that Daniel Sedin just hit 1,000 career points. The Swedish wundertwin has been eyeing the milestone for a while now, and here it is. [Sportsnet]

The bad news, though, is that Derek Dorsett is finished with hockey. His doctor recommended he walk away for good, and he’s taking the advice; while his play was questionable at times, it’s hard not to feel for the guy. [Canucks Army]