Joe Sakic

Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Colorado Avalanche

When you relocate a franchise, coming up with a new look can be a perilous thing. For the Colorado Avalanche, having to come up with something to replace the iconic look the Quebec Nordiques ran with was a tall order. They did the best they could though and carved out an identity of their own.

Best: Avalanche sweaters are an acquired taste. Some adore the logo, the colors, and the look of the whole thing with burgundy and baby blue being big factors of it all. Others find the whole thing to be foul and look at it like a demented Baskin Robbins uniform. That’s a bit harsh, but their original home sweaters really make for a great look. With the huge crest on the front, the burgundy and white sleeves and the Bigfoot foot print secondary logo on the shoulders, it’s a look that Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg made stylish.

Worst: Depending on your opinion of the Avalanche’s look already, there’s almost no argument that their most recent third sweater is an abomination. The Avs took inspiration from their original third that was an all-burgundy affair that had “COLORADO” written diagonally down across the front. The new one, however, took that look and turned it blue with a burgundy shoulder yoke. Vomit city.

I’d rather look like a chocolate bar than a blueberry, personally. Perhaps Willy Wonka was part of the creative process for the Avalanche’s third sweaters. At least that would explain a few things. What I’m left wondering about is why they haven’t done anything with the Bigfoot foot print secondary logo. That’s instantly a winner.

Old-Timey Goodness: While the Avalanche won’t really recognize it, their past in Quebec City as the Nordiques is one that left behind a legacy of sweater beauty. The Nordiques sky blue road sweater is one that goes down in history as one of the all-time best. The funky logo on a background of blue and white with the fleur-de-lis adorning the entire sweater is a look that could not be topped. For the Avalanche when they relocated from Quebec City, they had a really high bar to reach in order to keep up fashion-wise. They did their best but nothing tops the Nordiques. Consider this the same problem the Hurricanes had in changing locations from Hartford and ditching the Whalers moniker.

Assessment: All told, the Avs current sweaters are average. Their original look was solid but with the RBK Edge system taking over after the lockout, the old design just couldn’t keep up with the new “technological marvel” that was the Edge sweater. If your sarcasm detector went off reading that, congratulations it’s in working order. The Avs home and away set is helped out by looking like a work of art in comparison to their nightmarish third. Consider it a moral victory.

Fight video: Zack Kassian racks up penalty minutes, faces Brian Strait

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Pulling Anders Nilsson didn’t stop the bleeding for the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, it really just spread the “wealth.”

The New York Islanders are up 7-1, so don’t be surprised if there’s some ugly stuff in the final frame.

Zack Kassian is an author of at least one outburst, as he was tagged with 19 penalty minutes for a display that included fighting Brian Strait, as you can see in the video above.

It’s not the only fight stemming from the blowout, either, as Eric Gryba just tangled with Matt Martin.

Could there be more?

Isles chase Nilsson from Oilers’ net in less than 12 minutes

Edmonton Oilers goalie Anders Nilsson, of Sweden, makes pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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There was a time when Anders Nilsson seemed like the best bet in the Oilers’ net this season. This … is not that time.

Less than 12 minutes into Sunday’s game, the New York Islanders roared to a 3-0 lead, and that was enough for Edmonton to give Nilsson the hook.

He allowed those three goals on 10 shots, so to be fair, that’s a pretty impressive chunk of chances (almost a shot on goal per minute).

Still, the Oilers were likely hoping to give Cam Talbot a breather, and instead he was rushed into action. Nilsson hadn’t played since Jan. 19, and he’s only appeared in three games in 2016.

As if this didn’t sting enough for Nilsson, consider the fact that he began his NHL career with the Islanders, who eventually decided he wasn’t worth keeping.

Ovi scores 30th as Caps beat Flyers for third straight victory

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Alex Ovechkin scored to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Gartner as only players with at least 30 goals in each of their first 11 NHL seasons, and Matt Niskanen netted the game winner as Washington beat the Flyers 3-2 at Verizon on Super Bowl Sunday.

Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz replied for the Flyers, who suffered their second straight loss.

The win was the Capitals’ third in a row.

It didn’t always look as though Washington would emerge the victor, however. The Caps were out-shot 35-30 on the day and looked disjointed at times, finishing with 12 giveaways (Philly was credited with just five, for comparison’s sake).

But good teams find ways to win when they’re not playing especially well, and the Caps are a pretty good team — especially when Braden Holtby is on his game.

Holtby, atop many Vezina lists at the moment, had another terrific outing on Sunday, making 33 saves, perhaps none better than this one on Mark Streit in the second period:

Holtby’s counterpart, Steve Mason, had a solid outing as well, finishing with 27 stops.

Looking ahead, the Caps will now head out on a three-game Western Conference swing through Minnesota, Nashville and what promises to be a high-octane game in Dallas on Feb. 13.

The Flyers, meanwhile, will now kick off a three-game homestand against Anaheim, Buffalo and New Jersey.

 

Jets’ Stafford to have disciplinary hearing after high-sticking Holden

Colorado Avalanche's Nick Holden (2) hits Winnipeg Jets' Mathieu Perreault (85) during first period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Winnipeg forward Drew Stafford will meet with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his high stick on Colorado’s Nick Holden on Saturday night, the DoPS announced this afternoon.

There was no immediate video of the incident available. Stafford wasn’t penalized on the play, which occurred during the third period; Holden finished the final frame with 10 shifts for 6:46 of ice time.

Stafford, 30, has a clean disciplinary history and hasn’t been fined or suspended during his 10-year NHL career.