After the NHL took three days off for the holidays, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t have a practice ahead of Friday’s 7-2 slaughter at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.
That’s because they flew out to Chicago at 8:00 a.m. that morning, which is something Avalanche coach Patrick Roy was pretty unhappy about.
“I’m not going to use that as a reason why we lost,” Roy told the Denver Post. “(But) it’s unacceptable that we have to lose an hour to go to Chicago. … How can you give a good show? No matter what, we were in a bad spot. We’ve done it in the past, but why (didn’t) Chicago come here?
“I don’t know who’s working for the league for the schedule, but they need to understand that (when) Denver goes to Chicago, you’re losing an hour (and) if you want to play at night you have to be up at 4 or 5 in the morning to get to the airport … to have a good morning skate. It’s nonsense.”
Colorado is the westernmost team in the Central Division and the only one that’s not in the central timezone. Of course, rough patches in the schedule are nothing new and certainly aren’t unique to the Avalanche, even if the timezone difference gives them an added challenge in their division.
More importantly, they’re just 9-9-3 since their 14-2-0 start, which has put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. They’re about to start a seven-game homestand, so obviously travel won’t be a factor for a while. They need to have a strong showing during this stint.
Through six games of the NHL season, Travis Konecny enjoyed a nice start to his rookie campaign with five assists. Just one thing was missing, though.
On Tuesday, he took care of that against the Buffalo Sabres.
Konecny, taken 24th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, deflected an Ivan Provorov point shot early in the third period, beating goalie Anders Nilsson on the glove side for his first NHL goal. That goal also got the Flyers on the board.
Konecny and Provorov make Flyers, expected ‘to be here all year’
California rivals clash tonight, as the Anaheim Ducks visit the San Jose Sharks. This marks the first meeting of the season between the two Pacific Division teams.
The Sharks have lost two games in a row, while the Ducks have won two straight.
You can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN or with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra (10 p.m. ET).
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Brent Burns is on a beastly pace
Report: Ducks put Despres on long-term injured reserve
NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Flyers; Ducks vs. Sharks
Difficult night for some goalies across the NHL.
Frederik Andersen has had his struggles against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, although the players in front of him haven’t given their puck stopper much help, either.
And then there is Bolts goalie Ben Bishop, who took a Peter Holland wrist shot off the mask and appeared to lose some teeth as a result.
But this is hockey. Bishop, who even appeared to crack a smile while being examined on the ice, remained in the game.
Claude Giroux was called for boarding after plastering Zemgus Girgensons from behind into the boards in the second period. But the Buffalo Sabres made the Philadelphia Flyers and their captain pay.
Giroux was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. He promptly exited the penalty box, though, after Matt Moulson scored six seconds into the Sabres power play, giving Buffalo a two-goal lead.
Girgensons and Moulson scored less than two minutes apart to give Buffalo the lead.