Iain MacIntyre: Plenty of lessons for Canucks to learn from loss to Avalanche

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It’s difficult to make much sense of any of this and, besides, countless mountain climbers can tell you the brain does funny things at high altitude.. It looked in the Vancouver zone like the puck was made of flubber, not rubber, as the Canucks failed to cope with the speedy Avalanche’s exuberant forecheck.. So, let’s dismiss Saturday and see how the Canucks play today against the Nashville Predators.. But understand this will be the sixth straight game that Vancouver plays against an opponent unlikely to make the playoffs and in the first five of these the Canucks have outplayed the other team only twice.. “Losing in this fashion, the last 10 seconds of a game and giving up three goals in the third, it’s not who we are, not our identity,” goalie Cory Schneider said before the Canucks flew Saturday evening to Tennessee.. “I don’t think we have to change a whole lot; it’s just being safer with the puck and making plays that are there and not trying to force things.. It’s only a positive if you learn from it.. If you go out the next game and make the same mistakes, (this game) won’t have done a whole lot for us.” It certainly did nothing for coach Alain Vigneault, who lamented it was difficult to find six forwards and four defencemen among his 18 skaters whom he could put on the ice with confidence that they’d pass the puck to each other instead of the Avalanche.. As Kesler summarized: “We played like (rhymes with spit) for 40 minutes.. You’ve got to give them credit, they forechecked us hard but we gave them everything that they got tonight – turnovers and miscommunications and not getting the puck out. source: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Iain+MacIntyre+Plenty+lessons+Canucks+learn+from+loss+Avalanche/8241380/story.html

Varlamov and Hejduk return to Avalanche lineup for final five games

(Jeff McIntosh, AP Photo/The Canadian Press ) Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov and right winger Milan Hejduk will return to the Avs lineup Friday when it begins its final five-game stretch of the season.. Varlamov, who will start in Colorado’s fifth and final meeting against the Oilers, hasn’t played in the past six games, some of which because of a hip injury, and Hejduk has been recovering from a shoulder injury or was a healthy scratch over the last nine games.. Defensemen Erik Johnson (wrist) and Ryan Wilson (ankle) will remain out with injuries, Avs coach Joe Sacco said after Thursday’s practice.. Colorado, 2-0-2 (six of eight points) over its last four games, remains last in the 15-team Western Conference, three points behind the Calgary Flames.. The Avs are second-to-last in the NHL, three points ahead of the Florida Panthers, and just one ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.. The Avs begin a home-and-home series with St.. Louis on Sunday in Denver before visiting the Blues on Tuesday, playing at the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb.. 26 and concluding against the visiting Minnesota Wild on April 27 in Denver.. Those final four opponents are in the playoff hunt.. Is your comment not appearing on the article?. Read this . source: http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_23054649/varlamov-and-hejduk-return-avalanche-lineup-final-five

Defensive issues, road woes were Avs’ downfall

Greg Zanon , signed as a free agent to add a veteran presence, was adept at blocking shots, but his minus-13 rating is the worst among the team’s blueline corps.. 2.. No refuge on the road The Avalanche were simply awful on the road and didn’t make up for it at Pepsi Center, where they were mediocre.. They went nearly two months without a road win, going 0-11-3 in a 14-game stretch between a 4-3 shootout victory in Minnesota on Feb.. 14 and a 4-1 win in Anaheim on April 10.. Poor penalty killing played a major role in the Avalanche’s inability to win on the road.. They are among the best penalty-killing teams in the NHL at home and the worst on the road.. The Avalanche have given up a League-high 77 goals in road games, and 24 of them were scored on power plays.. They took too many penalties and, on the road, couldn’t kill them off.. 3. source: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=666490


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