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Morning Flurries: the Avalanche are a top 5 team in the NHL

and their sights set on first in the West.

Colorado Avalanche v Montreal Canadiens
MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 5: Goalies Pavel Francouz #39 and Philipp Grubauer #31 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on December 5, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

The Avs

According to the standings this morning, following back-to-back wings over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens on the road, the Colorado Avalanche sit fifth in the NHL with 38 points in 28 games. They are ahead of everyone in the Western Conference save for the St. Louis Blues, with whom they have a four point deficit with two games in hand on.

The Avs shot metrics are decent and overall positive, but they’ve gotten a lot of positive luck from a high on ice shooting percentage and save percentage. That’s just to say our depleted offense has been outperforming what they should, so as that goes down the players who were injured will come in and make up for the loss, and our two good goalies have been good. Case in point:

Another good indication that things are going extremely well in Colorado is that they are second in the NHL in Regulation Wins (the first tiebreaker) with 15. Only the Boston Bruins (18) have more.

Getting to the links, here is a recap from the Canadiens game. Lots of positive moments against a team with strong shot metrics but poor goaltending. Sorry not sorry for ruining that kid’s debut. [Mile High Hockey]

The Avalanche jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Cale Makar did what Cale Makar does. The rookie defender led the rush from his own zone, creating a scoring chance that eventually saw Ryan Graves putting the puck behind Cayden Primeau. You don’t usually like to see your two defenders deep in the offensive zone but hey, it paid off this time.

In the game, Nikita Zadorov laid a vicious hit on Jesperi Kotkaniemi, forcing him to leave the game. The Habs fans on the bench, in the team box, and on the internet were apoplectic and made their opinions quite known. Habs coach Claude Julien had this quote after the game, indicating he’s already been made aware of his bosses opinions on the play. Don’t type in Zadorov in the search bar on Twitter, you will not come back a more healthy person.

Here is the video of the hit:

And Z’s quotes on the play after the game:

It’s probably going to go to the Department of Player Safety, but considering Zadorov’s history and the lack of a penalty on the play, it’s hard to see anything more than a fine being handed out to Zadorov. Maybe a game if DoPS are feeling festive.

The Game

Manon Rheaume is getting a statue in Quebec City, Canada!! [The Ice Garden]

Rhéaume tried out for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992 and appeared in two preseason games for the team, against the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins. Following that display of her talent, Rhéaume made history again by becoming the first woman to compete in a men’s professional league, playing for the Atlanta Knights of the IHL.

There is a scandal in the NHLPA as one of its executives has been caught stealing funds!

I don’t have much respect for Petr Mrazek after his history in Detroit, I somehow have even less now. What a flop for a guy with a full face mask designed to stop chunks of rubber flying at highway speeds. Way to go, Grandpa Joe.