Matt Duchene

It’s Colorado Avalanche day on PHT


Welcome to our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.

From July 16 until Aug. 14, we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.

There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.

Today we continue with the Colorado Avalanche.

Their glory days are behind them and even making the playoffs has been a monumental challenge for them lately. However, their might be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Colorado is a young team that’s slowly growing up together. Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson, and Semyon Varlamov are all 25 or younger and represent the foundation of what could be a pretty good squad. Not that they’ll have to do it alone, as Colorado also features several other gifted, slightly older players like Steve Downie and Paul Stastny.

Some of those guys have already dealt with a fair number of setbacks and hardships that will lead to some second guessing, but the talent is certainly there.

Colorado’s primary focus over the off-season was re-signing their small army of restricted free agents. However, they also added PA Parenteau, who will be looking to prove that he’s a capable top-line forward even if you separate him from John Tavares.

The Avalanche certainly have a number of exciting, or at least interesting pieces, but is it enough to make them competitors again? Stay tuned for our extended coverage of the Avalanche.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”