A four-game losing streak wasn’t the way the Avalanche wanted to kick off December - but after dealing with a Gabriel Landeskog suspension and a miserable homestand, it looks like the Colorado team is finally turning things around.
Nathan MacKinnon and the rest of the Central Division club took home their second straight victory on Monday night, pulling off a tight 2-1 win over the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champs at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
Although the Penguins would clearly have the offensive advantage in shot volume, the Avalanche were the lucky recipients of one of Jonathan Bernier’s strongest games all season - and with two late-game goals from Colorado to Pittsburgh’s one, Jared Bednar’s group skated away with another two points. [Mile High Hockey]
While that’s great news, though, the team got some slightly disappointing news as well; with the World Junior Championships fast approaching, it looks like the team’s brightest stars aren’t likely to get the nod to represent Team Canada. [MHH]
Another NHL player did get permission to go, though:
The modern-day NHL is a league all about depth. With that in mind, where does Colorado’s middle-six stack up compared to the rest of the teams? [MHH]
Looking around the Central Division, the Chicago Blackhawks are far from the team that won the 2010, 2013, and 2015 Stanley Cups. With that in mind, is it really time for a rebuild? [Second City Hockey]
Looking back at the Penguins - and talking about league depth - that’s a team that sorely needs some help down the middle. Who are they potentially looking at adding? [PensBurgh]
Out on Long Island, the forgotten New York franchise badly needs a new home so they can leave Barclay’s Center (which isn’t built for hockey). Some new plans have come out for a home that could get built soon - so here are the details. [Lighthouse Hockey]
Top scoring forward Cam Atkinson has been in a slump - and it earned him a healthy scratch recently. Here’s what he had to say about the humbling experience:
Atkinson wants to “get back to having fun on the ice and realizing ‘you’re a damn good player.’”— Alison (@AlisonL) December 11, 2017
Asked if it hadn’t been fun of late - an honest and reflective answer from the winger: #CBJ pic.twitter.com/1gONDrcNYY
Finally, let’s all enjoy this delightful security puppy: