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Monday Flurries: Pioneers headed to semis, Avalanche holding on

Denver hockey looking good all around after a strong weekend

NCAA Hockey: Frozen Four-Denver vs Minnesota-Duluth Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

It’s believed that Henrik Borgstrom of the Denver Pioneers will be in the show with the Florida Panthers before you know it - and really, it’s not going to come as much of a surprise.

The 20-year-old Finnish forward has been unbelievable for a second consecutive season, and he was huge on Sunday night in the team’s dominant victory to advance to the next round of the road to the Frozen Four:

For those who prefer a clearer picture and a slow-mo goal that will make you feel physically ill, here you go:

There are debates about whether or not he slots in as a center or a wing when he hits the NHL, but few are debating whether or not the Panthers will be pushing for him to go pro next year. Given how tightly they clung to him this trade deadline - even though rumors had the Montreal Canadiens dangling Max Pacioretty in return, which would address an immediate need - expect to see him on the ice in Sunrise sooner rather than later, much to the chagrin of DU fans.

For now, though, he and the Pioneers are headed to the NCHC Semifinal round - where they’ll look to make their journey back to the championship game in the coming weeks. [Denver Pioneers]

If you missed it, by the way, here’s the game that led to Sunday night’s clinic, recapped by none other than our own Ben Shumate. [Mile High Hockey]

Moving up the depth chart of league levels, here’s a look at how the San Antonio Rampage have been doing lately. [MHH]

Oh and some kid named Kamenev was back in the Rampage lineup yesterday after four months off. All he did was have a three assist night - imagine what happens when he shakes off all the rust.

Check out this pass:

We can’t forget, though, to show you the fight that never was:

As a noted fan of goalie fights, this is the biggest letdown of my year so far.

We also want to give a big farewell to the fun crew over at Eurolanche, who are headed home after their stateside invasion to crash Avalanche games and cheer the club on.

If you want to check out all the fun they had while they were here, they’ve provided a ton of fun links:

At the moment, the Avalanche sit in the second Wild Card spot, which is fantastic news.

With 80 points in 68 games, the Avs are currently on pace to officially double their points total from last season - and assuming they don’t collapse down the final stretch, they could see postseason action to boot. That’s a best-case scenario from all angles, given the injuries, new faces, and other adjustments that have hit the team all year long.

To track how the Western Conference is shaping up, we’ve got your playoff race tracker right here. [MHH]

Looking away from the here and now, was Peter Forsberg his generation’s toughest star? Here’s a cool look at the argument putting Foppa at the top of his class. [The Denver Post]

For your daily, hockey-wide dose of perfection, here’s future Olympian Liv Chu-Ouellette, hanging with her mom (and former USA Olympic team captain) Julie Chu at a game for the CWHL’s Les Canadiennes. Chu and Liv’s mom Caroline Ouellette, former Canadian Olympic team captain, both played on the Clarkson Cup-winning roster last year:

We’ve also got a fun picture of Alex Rigsby and Kendall Coyne doing the puck drop at the Chicago Blackhawks game today, where they were honored for their gold medal performance at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last month:

A few NHL clubs have welcomed the women from the gold medal roster to take part in puck drops over the last few weeks, including the Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers had a special tie with their own honoree, as well - defender Emily Pfalzer is the long-time girlfriend of Panthers defender Mike Matheson, who performed the puck drop with her ahead of the game. []

Also want to give a quick moment of silence to the Calgary Flames. They combined for an absolutely insane 100 shots taken in a two-game stretch against the NHL’s pair of New York City-based clubs, yet walked away from the games with a combined ZERO points.

For the Flames, that’s miserable news. They now sit as one of just three NHL clubs to have hit the 70-game mark this season (everyone else is still at 69 or fewer), yet are now two full points out of the second Wild Card spot. They’d have to earn back those points - while both Colorado and Los Angeles failed to stay ahead - with two fewer games to work with than either of the teams immediately in front of them, which will be no easy feat.

For the Avalanche, though, that’s fantastic. The Kings will face off against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday - which seems like a shoe-in, but may be harder than they’d expect (Arizona is now 4-1-1 through March, losing their only game in regulation so far to Colorado themselves) - and while they will likely get an easy game later today facing the beleaguered Vancouver Canucks, they won’t enjoy that back-to-back they have to go through this week.

Speaking of the Canucks... here’s a run-down of what a disaster they were on Sunday night against the Arizona Coyotes. [Canucks Army]

Finally, big apologies for the lack of regular Flurries lately!

As the season winds down, my full-time job has been taking up quite a bit of time. Combine that with travelling to visit my parents and the other half of my co-parenting team, stationed a few states away, and it’s been a pretty hectic month and a half.

As the playoffs get closer, I’ll be doing my best to delegate some of those days that I’m unable to hunt down links and toss them together, but I’ll be making very sure that we at least get a Monday Flurries - and once the postseason starts, if the Avs go on a nice run, we’ll be having a morning recap no matter what.

You guys are a super fun group - and if this was my full-time job, you’d probably get sick of all the links I’d toss your way in the mornings. But unfortunately, we’ve done some expansion over at The Athletic and my goaltending coverage has been growing with it, which means more time cutting video and pulling old game tape from teams I haven’t gotten to cover as much this year. Hopefully, this link dump gives you at least a little bit of something fun to tide you over for a bit, and I’m crossing my fingers that things settle down soon enough that I’m able to get some more consistent content compilation as we head down this final stretch towards the playoffs.

As always, if you think I’ve missed a story or have a particularly fun one that you’d like me to make sure I share with the rest of the community, you can let me know here in the comments or on Twitter @catmsilverman.