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Morning Flurries: Everyone is talking about forward scoring production

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How do the Colorado Avalanche stack up to the rest of the league offensively?

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Colorado Avalanche
Nov 28, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) celebrates with defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) and defenseman Erik Johnson (6) after scoring the go ahead goal in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Avs

The Colorado Avalanche first line of Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Gabriel Landeskog is the most productive first line in hockey since the 1980’s. [Mile High Hockey]

Rantanen and MacKinnon, who are both currently riding a six game point streak, are the only two NHLers to hit 40 points this so far this season. And although he’s a tier below them, Landeskog’s 28 points are enough to put him in a tie for 13th in scoring league-wide, sitting pretty alongside the likes of Alex Ovechkin, David Pastrnak, Mark Stone and Morgan Rielly. The threesome has been absolutely unstoppable this season, and they’re the main reason why the Avalanche currently sit second in the Western Conference.

First and second!

Sid and Nate had some fun over the summer. Here are the bloopers from that Tim Hortons commercial. AND THE HOCKEY CARDS!

The Avalanche have a very confident power play with really good players and it allows them to keep possession of the puck more than most.

In junior hockey news, Avalanche prospect Nick Henry has been traded from the Regina Pats to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a massive deal. Jake Leschyshyn is the other player going from the Pats in exchange for a bunch of futures. [Mile High Hockey]

Lethbridge receives the two star forwards in exchange for 19-year-old forward Jadon Joseph, 18-year-old forward Ty Kolle, the Hurricanes first round pick in 2019, Swift Current’s first round pick in 2020, Lethbridge’s third round pick in 2019, Swift Current’s eighth round pick in 2019 and the Hurricanes fourth round pick in 2022. Regina also receives two conditional picks based on if Leschyshyn and Henry return for their 20-year-old seasons.

The Game

Hockey needs more women in the game, and the New York Islanders’ broadcast team is trying to change that in a big way. [ESPN]

When Botterill debuted on the broadcast this fall, MSG aired grainy footage of the goal. The two faced off quite a few times on the rival U.S. and Canadian teams. “We were teammates, then we were opponents, but it’s much more fun to be teammates again,” Mleczko says.

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed Scott Darling and Valentin Zykov on waivers. Their futures will be decided at noon eastern time. [Canes Country]

Since having his rights traded to the Hurricanes in April of 2017, Darling has never lived up to the high expectations that were placed on him. He never became the starting goalie that the team needed and failed to form any sense of consistency. He has still yet to win consecutive starts with the Hurricanes.

It’s been the depth forwards in Toronto who have brought the Maple Leafs from a good to a great team in the NHL. A look at the depth of every NHL team. [TSN]

To highlight strong/weak bottom-six units, I went ahead and pulled out every skater’s average utilization per game and identified his respective on-ice Goal% – or, what percentage of goals his team has experienced with that player on the ice. This allows us to quickly hone in on which bottom-six units are helping drive goals and wins into the standings, and which bottom-six units are really struggling.

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton is unhappy with his team’s compete level. [Second City Hockey]

Colliton was promoted from Chicago’s AHL affiliate in Rockford to the team’s head NHL post Nov. 6 when it fired Joel Quenneville. The Blackhawks lost their first three games under Colliton before defeating the Blues 1-0 on Nov. 14. Since then they’ve only picked up two wins and are 3-6-2 overall with Colliton at the helm.

Highlight of the Night: Matt Duchene paid attention this time!