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Morning Flurries: defeating Nashville

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NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators have been one of the toughest teams in the NHL to beat this year.

Despite that, the Avalanche showed why they’ve been one of the league’s fastest-rising franchises since wrapping up their disastrous 2016-17 season.

Colorado has had some ups and downs this season, but they’re on a tear lately. After a concerning OT finish against the Anaheim Ducks, they absolutely demolished both the Los Angeles Kings and the Arizona Coyotes — then went on to pick up another win against Dallas in their second game in two days.

Then, last night they took down the hottest team in the west. [Mile High Hockey]

The Avalanche would need to win two more games, while watching the Predators fail to pick up a point in the same time span, to overtake Nashville for first in the Western Conference. But the very fact that they’re in that position speaks volumes; although they still have kinks to work out in their roster and system, things are continuing to move forward.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators are still one of the league’s least effective teams, despite a win over the equally-hapless Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

For Avalanche fans excited about what that means in June, here’s a preliminary look at the 2019 Draft. [OHL Prospects]

We’ve also got a fun goal from Dylan Strome, who recorded his first tally as a Blackhawk last night:

On the plus side, he recorded his first multi-point game of the season, which was only the second of his NHL career.

On the down side, the Blackhawks were steamrolled by the Vegas Golden Knights in the process, falling 8-3 when all was said and done. Oh, and their fans were incredibly unhappy with the way Strome’s trade partner, Nick Schmaltz, performed for Arizona in the Coyotes’ win over Minnesota on Tuesday:

Never change, Chicago fans!

Up in Canada, the Leafs FINALLY had a roster announcement to make on Tuesday night!

Oh, is that not the one you were waiting for? Lol.

In some other-sport news, Deadspin reported the best story of the month, and it’s really not even close.

In Ireland this week, Ballybrack FC — a real-life club from one of the lower-tier Irish men’s pro leagues — was ‘strongly condemned’ by their league for, get this, pretending one of their players had died to get out of playing a game.

The team announced just prior to their match this weekend that one of their players had died in a traffic accident, then threw up roadblocks when the league tried to find out more and express their condolences to the player’s family.

The reason? Turns out, the player had just gone home to Spain to visit his family a few weeks earlier. Not even joking.

I’m not entirely sure why no North American team in recent memory has tried to fake a player’s death to avoid a game they really didn’t want to play, but I am absolutely here for that level of unsportsmanlike... not even conduct. Existence, maybe. [Deadspin]

Finally, this is absolutely worth your time to watch, then read:

The story of a black woman from North Philly making it to college, then to break down a racial and gender barrier and succeed as an NCAA coach, is something that everyone should look up to. And as with a number of stories very similar to hers, the bottom line isn’t to make you as the reader or the viewer feel guilty for being white, or male, or a white male - it’s to point out how her presence alongside you, not instead of you, helps to open up doors and provide a sense of comfort and belonging for a group of Americans who have previously been treated as something ‘other’. She’s a rock star, and it’s awesome that she got to tell her story.