Welcome to the goalie controversy, Avalanche fans!
Colorado found themselves at the very bottom of a dark hole in the 2016-17 season, when they fell off a cliff in the absence of Semyon Varlamov and couldn’t find their way back out.
This year, they’ve done a complete one-eighty... but surprisingly enough, Varlamov has had little to do with it.
It’s been Jonathan Bernier.
After Varlamov was hurt at the start of 2018, Bernier went on an impressive tear, helping the team to a nearly-unheard of 10-game win streak that put them at nearly half their point total for the entire year prior.
Eventually, exhaustion began to wear on Bernier, and he lost a few games on the tail end of the streak. One game back for Varlamov saw another loss, though, so the team put a now-rested Bernier back in Monday night - and he put up an impressive win, putting Varlamov’s future in at least a bit of question.
It’s clear that Bernier needs those breaks to stay on top of his game, but it’s also clear that he’s the one winning the team games.
He’ll be starting again on Thursday, which begs the question: what is the team going to do when the season ends?
With that in mind, here’s a bold prediction: the Avalanche are nearing another Stanley Cup, and it’s coming in the next five years. [Mile High Hockey]
The Avalanche are making history. Yes, you read that correctly - THIS Avalanche squad. [Mile High Sports]
With the Olympics coming up, it’s time we talk about the elephant in the room: the jerseys are awful. Here’s a look at how good they could be, except they aren’t. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
By the way, Alex Burrows got a 10-game suspension for being a dangerous dirtbag. [NHL Player Safety]
If you don’t want to listen to why he got double digits, here’s a quick video of him repeatedly taking a knee to Taylor Hall’s head while he’s flat on the ice, which is very much not allowed in any sport and likely did no favors to the brain cells Taylor Hall desperately needs:
Just a few weeks ago, Taylor Hall explained his system of breaking the season apart into 10-game segments by describing two different 11-game splits:
Might well be the most curious quote I've gotten in a long time:#Devils Taylor Hall— John Wawrow (@john_wawrow) January 30, 2018
"It goes in 10-game segments. We started off 9-2 and then in our last 11, I think we're 2-9-2. So what team are we?"#math?
The repeated knees driving his head into the ice aren’t going to do much to improve his math skills, and we sincerely hope he’s okay after that.
While we’re on the subject of Alex Burrows, his former team just signed 27-year-old heavyweight Darren Archibald to an NHL deal to bring him up from the Utica Comets. [Canucks Army]
If you missed it, Patrik Laine gave an interview to The Player’s Tribune, and they turned it into this masterpiece. Know that one weird friend you have? That’s Patrik Laine. [TPT]
And now, you might be wondering why an entire Flurries is dedicated to St. John’s basketball - if not fully, than at least partially.
Well, let me tell you something.
I went to St. John’s University, back when Connor McDavid was still just a prepubescent talent on the OHL’s radar and Nico Hischier was a wee squirt (if they even play squirts in Switzerland. Does minor hockey work the same way in Switzerland? I’m not sure.).
The mighty Red Storm was pretty much a fever dream of a college experience. It’s a Vincentian Catholic school in the middle of Queens, New York, a few blocks away from Jamaica Station and smack dab in the middle of Forest Hills and Flushing. It’s a completely dry campus that had DJ Zeke hold ‘block parties’ on the dorm strip on random Tuesday afternoons during midterms week, is surrounded on all sides by the gate of death that forces you to pass off as reasonably sober when trying to sneak past public safety to your dorm at midnight, and somehow managed to be the smallest big school in the entire universe.
Translation? You could go to a house party with your theater friends from theology class and run into Moe Harkless. One of my friends was technically suitemates with Phil Greene his freshman year, although I’m about 99.9% sure that Phil spent exactly 30 minutes in that dorm suite of oddballs before figuring out a better place to crash. The athletes were in it with the rest of us, slogging through a bizarre college experience that literally meant you could take an alcohol education class as punishment for being caught in your dorm with a beer at age 22.
Anyways, when I went there, we were pretty much THE school for Nassau County kids who didn’t want to go to Stony Brook and kids from Flushing who didn’t want to move out of their parent’s house. And while we liked to talk a lot of smack about being the big dogs of the Big East at one point (our inferiority complex ran real deep because we had an arena named after Lou Carnesecca and we had no football team to distract us), I more or less spent my college career witnessing an absolute shitshow that somehow had the right to play games at MSG.
The pinnacle of our misery and marginal embarrassment came in the 2015-16 season, when I basically gave up on my alma mater after they went 1-17 in the Big East.
This year they’re looking real fresh on track for something similar - but yet, there’s magic in the air.
First, we beat #4 Duke on the tail end of an 11-game losing skid. Then, yesterday, we beat #1 Villanova.
That’s right. We beat Villanova. digs out old Red Storm basketball shirt from drawer the comeback, my friends, is on.
Shoutout to my friend Danny, who has miserably kept up with SJUBB for the last three years while the rest of us opted out of self-inflicted pain and misery. Thank you for keeping their #comeup on my timeline.
Now, I’m going to end with the funniest video of signing day, since we’re already on the topic of college sports: