While the NHL certainly saw its fair share of ups and downs in the first two days of games, the Avalanche were one of the fortunate teams that didn’t find themselves in a tailspin on their opening night.
The team soundly defeated their long-time divisional rivals, the Minnesota Wild, in a pleasantly surprising 4-1 victory that laughed in the face of their earlier preseason struggles against the same opponents.
Now, though, they’ll have their next big test on Saturday evening, hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at The Can — and it’s not going to be an easy game.
Just letting you know now, @Avalanche— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) October 5, 2018
There is no “Mute Gritty” button on Twitter
Just gonna leave that right there.
The Avalanche’s AHL lineup received some big news on Friday, with the announcement that Mark Alt will serve as captain for the upcoming 2018-19 AHL season.
That can seem like the kiss of death for a player’s hopes of a call-up, but having his leadership around the Eagles should be valuable for the team looking so desperately to start winning. [Mile High Hockey]
In other league news, here’s a fun look at how the Pittsburgh Penguins have something on their third line that most teams don’t - and that’s additional weapons. [Pensburgh]
In more important news, though, it’s World Girl’s Hockey Weekend!
This #Thanksgiving, please join us in celebrating female hockey with World Girls Hockey Weekend! #WGIHW @IIHFHockey— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) October 4, 2018
To register or to learn more, visit https://t.co/uKSQaN2Whs pic.twitter.com/1Zh5S4Pyaz
It would feel wrong not to honor a pioneer for World Girl’s Hockey Weekend, as Caroline Ouellette retired from hockey just a few weeks ago. The four-time gold medal Olympian, who spent 14 seasons tearing it up at the NCAA, pro, and international levels for Canada, won a Clarkson Cup for Les Canadiennes two springs ago just a handful of months prior to her announcement of the birth of her daughter.
Oh - and did we mention that she’s married to American Olympic hockey star Julie Chu? They’re absolutely a power couple and a family of hockey royalty. [The Star]
The NWHL season is also upon us - so if you don’t know who to cheer for, it’s time to read up!
If you’re a goalie geek, the Buffalo Beauts have both Shannon Szabados AND Nicole Hensley, bringing a pair of Olympic gold medalists on board as starter and backup.
Are you a massive Kendall Coyne fan (we see you, Chicago natives!)? The Minnesota Whitecaps brought her on with their expansion/league absorption franchise this summer.
There’s a team for everyone. Read the season preview here. [Sporting News]
Oh, and Coyne just earned some pretty high honors:
It was beyond special to be the first woman honored with the Stan Mikita Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame with some incredible company last night. There is no place like home and I'm beyond proud to represent Chicago! #SouthSider pic.twitter.com/DVK3ajmBQm— Kendall Coyne Schofield (@KendallCoyne) October 4, 2018
Oh... and there’s also Amanda Kessel. She’s been tabbed as one of five players to keep an eye on as the NWHL season kicks off - because yes, she’s just as talented as her brother in Pittsburgh. [The Ice Garden]
And speaking of Olympians: Maddie Rooney took home a gold medal after defeating THE Shannon Szabados in a shootout in Pyeongchang this past winter. It was a massive upset over the goaltender who blazed a trail in men’s pro hockey prior to signing with Buffalo this year - but even more so because Rooney didn’t sign with a pro team this year. She’s still in school, and showing some seriously impressive stuff in her junior season. [Fox 21]
Not to circle back to Coyne, but we’d like to offer this up to Jalen Ramsey. Your move, Jalen:
The women also want to make sure you know they aren’t done fighting for equality. Here’s more on their battle to gain better footing in the world of pro sports and national representation. [ESPN W]
Finally, since the Avalanche play the Flyers tonight:
Thoughts on Gritty, now that we’ve had some time to... digest its existence?
I literally do not understand how anyone finds Gritty horrifying or wrong or anything other than the glorious gift from the heavens that he is. Look at him. He looks like Animal from the Muppets after doing a pillowcase full of coke. He is a miracle we do not deserve. pic.twitter.com/t6bpstgiJ3— Shannon Proudfoot (@sproudfoot) October 5, 2018