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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Feb. 25

Avs Continue Six-Game Road Swing

Wednesday, 02.25.2009 / 3:49 PM MT / Features
By Jeff Jacobson
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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Feb. 25
The Colorado Avalanche is halfway through its season-long, six-game road trip. The Avs earned a 4-1 win in Washington to open the road swing before falling to Carolina and Atlanta. The Avalanche will conclude its trip this week with visits to three Atlantic Division teams in New Jersey, New York and Long Island. Colorado holds a 7-7 record against the East this season and is 2-1 against the Atlantic.

Date Opponent Time (MT) TV/Radio
Thurs, Feb. 26 at New Jersey 5:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510
Sat, Feb. 28 at NY Rangers 5:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510
Mon, March 2 at NY Islanders 5:00 p.m. VERSUS / AM 1510


Thursday marks the only meeting between the Avs and Devils this season. Colorado will be traveling to Jersey for the first time since Dec. 9, 2005, when it recorded a 4-3 shootout win at Continental Airlines Arena. With the game tied after regulation, overtime and six rounds of shootouts, the Avs finally closed things out with a seventh-round goal. The Avs met the Devils once last season, but fell 4-2 at Pepsi Center on March 15. Colorado holds a 4-2-1 advantage in the last seven meetings. The Devils are atop the Atlantic Division, having won five of their last seven games. The squad is led by winger Zach Parise who heads the team in scoring with 70 points (5th NHL) and 35 goals (2nd NHL) on 256 shots (3rd NHL). All-Star goaltender Martin Brodeur, who has missed the past four months due to an elbow injury, is expected to start on Thursday against the Avs.

The Avs bring a seven-game winning streak over the Rangers into the Big Apple on Saturday. Colorado is 10-1 in the last 11 overall meetings, including a 4-3 overtime win last season in Denver. In the most recent tilt at Madison Square Garden in 2005, Joe Sakic scored on a breakaway, then capitalized on a penalty shot 19 seconds later to give the Avalanche a 2-1 win. The Rangers stand sixth in the East and fired head coach Tom Renney Monday, who was replaced by former Tampa Bay head coach John Tortorella. The club features former Avs center Chris Drury who played his first four NHL seasons with Colorado. Avs winger Ian Laperriere saw time with the Rangers during the 1995-96 season, playing in 28 contests.

Colorado has only traveled to Long Island once in the past five years, with the visit coming during 2005 when it was edged 5-4 at Nassau Coliseum. The Avs last faced off against the Isles on Jan. 5, 2008, notching a 2-1 overtime victory at Pepsi Center as Marek Svatos scored halfway through the OT period. Winger Ryan Smyth played with the Islanders to conclude the 2006-07 campaign before signing with Colorado as a free agent during that offseason.

Tony Granato posted his 100th career victory on Friday night in Washington, becoming just the 10th American-born coach in NHL history to record 100 wins. The Downer's Grove, Illinois native is 100-75-18 (.565) in 193 regular season games behind the Avalanche bench. Granato also became the fifth coach in Avalanche/Nordiques history to reach 100 wins, joining Michel Bergeron (265), Bob Hartley (193), Marc Crawford (165) and Joel Quenneville (131).

The Colorado Avalanche Pee Wee hockey team finished second overall in the 50th Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament held in Quebec City, falling to the Hershey Bears 3-1 in the Class B tournament final on Feb. 22. The Colorado Springs Jr. Tigers posted a 4-2 tournament record, defeating teams from Atlanta, England, New Brunswick and the top-ranked Class B Pee Wee team in the province of Quebec, the Quebec Frontenac, to earn a spot in the championship game.

Complete details and full team roster

Click here to check out comments from the team in Postcards from Quebec

Colorado winger Marek Svatos took some time to field questions from fans in the latest edition of "Ask an Av." Questions for Svatos ranged from the biggest highlight of his career (both professional and from his amateur days) to his motive for wearing number 40. The 26-year-old Slovakia native currently ranks fourth on the team with 13 goals and 108 shots, and has tallied 15 assists for 28 points.

Click here to read the full transcript

Also, catch up on any installments you may have missed:

Ryan Smyth I Cody McLeod I Wojtek Wolski

Colorado forward Cody McLeod spent a quick minute with Avalanche TV to answer questions about his favorite pre-game meal, how he likes his pizza and his dream vacation spot. McLeod leads the club in hits (151) and penalty minutes (116) and is one of just eight NHL players with at least 10 goals and 100 penalty minutes this season.

Avs forward Brian Willsie enjoys spending his limited free time on the links in and around Denver. Recently, he took some time to share his favorite courses in the area. His five favorites included the infamous Castle Pines Golf Club and The Ridge at Castle Pines North.

The Lake Erie Monsters closed out their nine-game road trip with a 4-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Feb. 21 after beating the same Grand Rapids team 4-1 to open the 15-day swing on Feb. 7. The squad recorded a 4-5 mark over the nine-game swing.

Check out the complete farm report
and the prospect spotlight with Kelsey Tessier

The weekly Avalanche show on Altitude Sports & Entertainment features a behind-the-scenes look at Avalanche players and coaches. This week’s show (Feb. 25) features: Captain Joe Sakic discussing his rehabilitation from back surgery on Jan. 10, Cody McLeod and his love of hockey and Adam Foote on the ice with the Junior Pioneers.
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