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Morning Flurries: Avalanche look dominant in opener and Devante Smith-Pelly looks to make a change

Colorado Avalanche get a dominant win on home ice

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Well that was fun.

Last night the Colorado Avalanche started the 2018-19 season in the perfect way - a dominant performance against the rival Minnesota Wild.

The Avs started off slowly in front of the rowdy Pepsi Center crowd, but quickly turned the tide. After falling behind 1-0 early in the first, the Avalanche took over the game. They scored four unanswered goals while more than doubling the shot total of the Wild.

Last season, we got used to seeing a 41-20 shot clock in favor of the opposition. The fact that the roles were reversed last night was a great sign.

The lopsided stat line shows just how dominant the Avs were from a possession standpoint. When you have the puck you can create scoring chances, but more importantly, you don’t give them up against. It’s only one game, but holding the Wild to only 20 shots should leave fans optimistic.

The Alex Kerfoot/Tyson Jost duo was absolutely flying last night and now look like a legitimate secondary threat behind the Big-3 - who looked great as always.

If you missed the game, check out the complete recap here.

Now focus shifts to the Eagles who will play their inaugural AHL game tonight at the Budweiser Even Center. Our own Doug Mellon will be in the building covering everything - including a behind the scenes look at the BEC.

If you’re unable to make it out to the game, you’re in luck. Yesterday it was announced that AHLtv is going to be free for everyone on opening weekend. So whether you couldn’t get tickets or just live too far away from Loveland, you can watch the new Colorado Eagles squad as they embark on a new era.

Last night was fun, and should have Avalanche fans everywhere optimistic about the upcoming season. We took a look at the Top-5 reasons to be excited about the 2018-19 season. [MHH]

One more bit of important Avalanche news - meet the Avs Teddy Bear. This little guy is bar none the best thing on Avalanche Twitter. Check out his adventures as he made his way to last night’s home opener.


Around the NHL

We all know that there is an issue when it comes to diversity in hockey. This was highlighted once again by an ugly incident between Devante Smith-Pelly and a Chicago Blackhawks fan last February.

Having been the victim of racial taunts in the past Smith-Pelly spoke out this time to lend a voice to an issue in the game.

“It’s disgusting. It’s sad that in 2018 we’re still talking about the same thing, over and over,” he said. “It’s sad that athletes like myself were saying the same thing 30, 40 years ago. You’d think there’d be some sort of change or progression, but we’re still working toward it, I guess. And we’re going to keep working toward it.”

Now, Smith-Pelly is ready to speak out once again.

Please give some time and thought to this great piece by Emily Kaplan. She interviewed Smith-Pelly as well as former Avalanche forward Chris Stewart - a close friend of DSP’s - about his desire to make a change in the game of hockey. [ESPN]

Down in Dallas, all star defender John Klingberg is looking to make a difference of his own. Klingberg announced this week that he will be inviting children in the Dallas area who are suffering from life-threatening illness to attend Stars games throughout the season.

Staying in Dallas, you never want to see a division rival get a win, but last night it was good to see Jim Montgomery get his first NHL victory. Montgomery had a huge impact on the University of Denver and brought a lot of joy to Pioneer fans over his five years as the team’s head coach.

The Colorado Avalanche are lucky. In Gabriel Landeskog, the Avs have a young leader that wears the ‘C’ on his jersey to proudly represent the team and fan base. Landy is heading into his 7th season as the captain of the Avalanche, but now more than ever teams are choosing to start the season without a captain. [Pro Hockey Talk]

If you haven’t seen last night’s highlights from around the NHL yet, I suggest you start with the Penguins and Capitals. Any game that finishes 7-6 in overtime is a lot of fun, but this one was a little extra exiting. Those two teams never disappoint.