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Morning Flurries: San Jose Felt the Bern, Avalanche move on up

The Avalanche took home a win in a super-tight night for the Central Division

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

I find it delightfully ironic that the Colorado Avalanche have a mascot named Bernie, eh?

Do you see what I did there?

I promise, I’ll stop.

Anyways, the Avalanche took home a tough but impressive 3-1 win on Tuesday night, rolling over the San Jose Sharks purely on goaltending.

They were outshot by a whopping 39 to 19 on the night, but Bernie(eh!) allowed just one goal to the two that Martin Jones let slip past. It was a confidence booster for the well-rested interim starter, who finally got his night off while Semyon Varlamov returned from injury in their last game. [Mile High Hockey]

What’s really important, though, is that the Avalanche won on a night where losing for a Central Division team was practically a deadly omen.

The Winnipeg Jets edged out a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes to remain atop the division, but the real excitement came around the Wild Card spots. With a win, the Minnesota Wild stayed one point up on both Colorado and the Anaheim Ducks, moving to just three points out of the first Wild Card spot and four points from the three teams at the top of the division. Anaheim, the other neck-in-neck Wild Card team sitting alongside Colorado, took home a win over Buffalo themselves - and only the Chicago Blackhawks, who desperately needed two points to get back into the hunt, managed not to pull things off.

Colorado is now just one point out of the Wild Card race, with three games in hand on Anaheim (who match them points-wise with 62 apiece) and one on Minnesota right above them.

If you’re still looking to the future, though, here’s a better look at their prospect roster, evaluating how all of the team’s hopeful contenders down the road are shaping up in the minors, major juniors, and NCAA. [MHH]

In a last bit of Colorado news, take a look at the profile on Chris Corning, the hometown slopestyle star that could propel the Americans to the top of the podium in Pyeongchang. [Mile High Sports]

Yesterday, we pointed out that the Rangers have officially opened the market on Rick Nash.

The Dallas Stars already have an obscene stockpile of offense, but is it worth considering them as a landing spot? [Defending Big D]

By the way: if you’re looking for something good to give money to, consider this:

Speaking of women’s hockey, Alex Rigsby went full-on American History with her Olympic goalie mask. [InGoal Mag]

And on the subject of goalie masks, Eddie Lack made his New Jersey Devils debut on Tuesday night.

It could have gone better, sure; he allowed a goal in an eventual 5-3 loss after starter Keith Kinkaid got yanked, and a win would have certainly been sweeter.

But his .917 save percentage was a nice ‘welcome back’ to the NHL, and he got to wear some pretty sick gear in the process. Check out his latest pads and mask. [InGoal Mag]

Finally, I think we all need to have a chat about never, ever moving to Florida.

Recently, I was debating the merits of living in Florida with someone. I said it was absolutely terrible; it’s humid, everyone drives too slow (they really do need to start re-testing people for competency on the road as soon as they start collecting pension, and I hope that’s a thing by the time my already-half-blind self hits old age), and the people there are completely out of their ever-holy minds.

Sure, the beaches are pretty. My ex was recently stationed in Pensacola, and we held our daughter a beach resort birthday party there last year. Running on the little coastal island where she and I stayed was bliss, the sunset was cute, and the seafood was great.

But driving along I-10 you pass through towns that sell confederate flags by the side of the road (no thank you) and you can sometimes go to swim in your backyard pool, only to find there’s a live gator swimming in it.

“It’s always unsettling when you discover an eight-foot maneater in your family pool,” writes the journalist who probably deals with this too often for comfort.

Yeah. Go ahead and count me out. [Orlando Weekly]