Colorado Avalanche v Anaheim Ducks

It might be time to blow up the Avalanche

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The Avalanche have lost 11 of their last 14 games after what was a hot start. Their scoring leaders like Paul Stastny and Matt Duchene haven’t been impressive nor consistent. Their defense has been iffy and now they’re not even looking like they’re competing.

Sound bad to you? It sure sounds bad to The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater who cast all of his doubts about what this year’s Avalanche team has going for it after the Avs were shutout 3-0 by Vancouver last night. What is there for this team to do though?

Last year it was rumored that numerous teams were looking into acquiring Stastny but the Avs refused to deal him. With six goals and seven assists this year Stastny hasn’t looked like the all-world star he was supposed to become a couple seasons ago. Erik Johnson was acquired last year in a stunning deal with St. Louis and he’s been merely average.

Does that mean it’s time to fire Joe Sacco and hope that a new coach can change things around? That might be the quick fix to make to try and get things turned around. Sacco’s job has been on the hot seat in seasons past but after seeing the Avs be one of the NHL’s worst teams two of the last three seasons, perhaps this is the right move to make.

One way or another, GM Greg Sherman has some serious decisions to make soon if the Avs don’t get some wins put together. After all, another awful season in Denver won’t bring them another lottery pick to help rebuild the team thanks to the Semyon Varlamov trade.

As the saying goes, it’s time for the Avs to “win or go home.”

Devan Dubnyk pushes shutout streak to two games

ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 15: Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild defends the net against Winnipeg Jets during the game on October 15, 2016 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.

For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.

It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.

Ryan Suter said that Dubnyk bailed his teammates out during the second period, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo reports.

He’s now allowed just 10 goals in six games so far in 2016-17, with Taylor Hall‘s overtime-winner being the last shot to beat him. That came on Sunday:

More often than not, Dubnyk’s been making those saves so far in this young season.

Video: Another way Patrik Laine evokes Alex Ovechkin

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There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.

Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.

Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.

This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.

Sure, there will be some grumbles from the “act like you’ve been here before” crowd, but this is brilliant stuff for the rest of us.

Video: Want another booming hip check? Sean Couturier obliges

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 25:  Sean Couturier #14 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Buffalo Sabres at Wells Fargo Center on October 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.

While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.

Rate this as you will:

Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not:

Uh oh, Nikita Kucherov might be hurt

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As much as this Tampa Bay Lightning – Montreal Canadiens means right now, losing Nikita Kucherov would hang a dark cloud over any result for the Bolts.

There hasn’t been an update yet regarding whether Kucherov is actually injured – or if this is a minor vs. significant issue – but there are concerns after he fell into the boards during tonight’s game.

You can see the fall in video form above the headline and also in this GIF from Stephanie Hail: