Matt Duchene

Avs’ Duchene out 3-4 weeks with ankle injury

Matt Duchene’s injury-plagued season just got a little more, uh, plagued as the Avalanche announced he’ll miss 3-4 weeks with an ankle issue.

The injury occurred Tuesday during a 7-1 blowout of the Wild. Duchene was tripped up by Minnesota’s Nick Palmieri late in the third period and rolled his right ankle — he had to be helped from the ice and didn’t return to the contest.

While there’s no word on the injury’s severity, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports Duchene won’t require surgery, meaning he’s got a chance of returning before the end of the regular season.

That said, the loss is still a critical one for the Avalanche, currently sitting in a three-way tie for eighth in the West with 74 points (at the time of writing, only seven points separated teams seven-through-12.) Duchene had been skating with Mark Olver and Peter Mueller on an effective third line and led Colorado in scoring last season with 67 points, the youngest player in franchise history to achieve that feat.

As mentioned above, this has been a forgettable season for Duchene in terms of health. The 21-year-old missed 20 games earlier this season with a knee injury and is on pace for career lows in every significant statistical category.

Update: Duchene addressed the injury via his Twitter account.

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‘Very upset’ Jokinen blasts NHL’s handling of Abdelkader-Barkov hit

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You can add Jussi Jokinen to the list of Florida Panthers livid with Justin Abdelkader‘s hit on Aleksander Barkov.

“I’m very upset,” Jokinen said, per the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I don’t know if I’m too emotional because that’s my best friend on the team. It looked really dangerous.”

Barkov was knocked woozy by a big Abdelkader check during Detroit’s 3-0 win over the Panthers on Monday. The hit forced the young Finn from the game, and also forced him to miss yesterday’s contest in Buffalo.

Abdelkader wasn’t fined or suspended for the hit and, according to the Sun-Sentinel, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety didn’t contact him at all.

It’s also worth pointing out that Abdelkader wasn’t penalized at the time of the incident.

But that didn’t stop Nick Bjugstad and head coach Gerard Gallant from calling the hit “cheap,” with Gallant suggesting Abdelkader left his feet to make the hit, and caught Barkov in the jaw.

Jokinen put the onus on the league to wipe out checks of this nature.

“There are too many hits like that an no suspensions,” he explained. “Fans want to watch Barkov, not those guys. The league has to do a better job of taking those hits out of the game.”

Florida and Detroit next play on Mar. 19, in case you’re wondering.

With winless home stand, Avs blow ‘good opportunity to pick up some big wins’

Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog, left, of Sweden, and center Mikhail Grigorenko, of Russia, react as time run out in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016 in Denver. The Canucks won 3-1.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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When the Colorado Avalanche came out of the All-Star break, they were presented with a four-game home stand and a great chance to build an even bigger playoff cushion.

Last night, that home stand ended with a 3-1 loss to Vancouver. In the four games, the only point they managed came in a 4-3 OT loss to Dallas. Colorado’s still in a playoff spot, but only by two points over Minnesota, which has played three fewer games.

“Unfortunately for us, we had four games at home (and) a good opportunity to pick up some big wins, and we didn’t do it,” head coach Patrick Roy told the Denver Post.

The loss to Vancouver was painful for a number of reasons. First, the Canucks are one of the teams chasing Colorado for a wild-card spot; they’re now just four points back of Colorado, with three games in hand. Second, the Avs couldn’t convert on a pair of 5-on-3 power plays, which always hurts. Third, the Avs trailed 2-1 going into the third and couldn’t muster much of a push. In fact, it was Vancouver that scored the only goal in the final 20 minutes. And the Canucks had to play the period without two key players, Alex Edler and Brandon Sutter.

“I’m looking around the league, and everybody goes through tough times,” said Roy. “It’s not a period of time when you feel sorry for yourself. You have to find solutions and ways to bounce back.”

The Avs kick off a three-game road trip Thursday in Ottawa, with stops in Detroit and Buffalo on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Video: Jaromir Jagr inches closer to Brett Hull with goal 739

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Jaromir Jagr keeps getting it done. Because of that, he’s on pace to speed up various all-time ranks and lock down milestone after milestone.

He recently hit his 1,600th game played, but if that doesn’t do it for you, check out goal 739 from No. 68 in the video above.

Whether you deem it a “beer league” goal like Sportsnet does or not, it’s impressive that he’s still such a reliable scorer for the Florida Panthers, who throttled the Buffalo Sabres last night (even if Evander Kane won three fights).

That tally leaves Jagr two goals behind Brett Hull for third all-time in goals at 741.

The seemingly ageless one would have a fitting person to chase if he then eyes the second all-time goalscorer, as Gordie Howe defied age himself in racking up 801.

Watch angry Quenneville bolt out of press conference (Video)

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Chicago had a disallowed goal in its 2-0 home loss to San Jose on Tuesday night, when Brandon Mashinter‘s tally was wiped out after Dennis Rasmussen was judged to have interfered with Martin Jones.

It marked the second disallowed goal the ‘Hawks have had in a week and, for head coach Joel Quenneville, it appeared to be a breaking point.

“It’s gone to a different level,” Quenneville said. “I don’t know the rules anymore or something’s changed because my understanding, played a lot of hockey, that, I don’t know.

“I think everybody has an interpretation of what’s a good goal and what’s a bad goal, but I can’t believe it.”

And with that, Coach Q stormed off.

We all should’ve seen this coming, really.

Last Thursday, the ‘Hawks had another disallowed goal in an eventual win over Arizona, a call that sent Quenneville into histrionics on the bench.