Jarome Iginla

Pickard makes one last bid to stay, beats Wings in nine-round SO


If Calvin Pickard is sent to the minors after leading Colorado to a 2-1 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings Sunday night, he can at least head there knowing that there was nothing he could have done to change Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and GM Joe Sakic’s minds.

Semyon Varlamov is very likely to return from his groin injury on Tuesday and Roy has previously suggested that Pickard will report to AHL Lake Erie once that happens, but before Pickard’s fate was sealed, he turned aside 34 of 35 shots in regulation tonight and was only beaten twice in a nine-round shootout.

It was the third straight time that Pickard held the Avalanche’s competition to just one goal. He now has a 2.06 GAA and .939 save percentage in 13 games this season.

Fellow youngster Petr Mrazek was sharp at the other end of the ice too, but after stopping 22 of 23 shots through 65 minutes and lasting eight shootout rounds, Jarome Iginla scored what proved to be the winner.

The contest was scoreless until the third period when Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk found the back of the net on a power-play opportunity. Erik Johnson evened the contest with just 4:15 minutes remaining in the third frame.

Colorado has now recorded at least a point in each of its last five games. Detroit has dropped six straight contests, including four in the skills competition.

Video: Jarome Iginla fights Barret Jackman


Beyond scoring a ton of goals, Colorado Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla is known for two seemingly conflicting things: being a nice guy and fighting quite a bit for a star player.

Yet with him getting up there in the years at 37, it feels like more of an event when he drops the gloves. While it’s not a flat-out spectacular display of fisticuffs, his brawl with Barret Jackman’s probably worth a look:

Hockey Fights lists two Iginla fights in 2014-15: tonight’s bout vs. Jackman and a Nov. 8 squabble with Brayden Schenn. He was fairly feisty last season, as he had five fights with the Boston Bruins.

Avs battle back for shootout win over the Jets


Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene both scored in the shootout and rookie Calvin Pickard made 30 saves the Colorado Avalanche edged the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 Thursday night.

With the win, the Avs snapped a four-game skid.

Andrew Ladd and Paul Postma scored second period goals giving the Jets a 2-1 lead after two periods. Mark Scheifele made it 3-1 just over four minutes into the third; however, Jarome Iginla and Ryan O’Reilly scored less than five minutes apart forcing overtime.

The second period featured a fight from both captains as Ladd and Gabriel Landeskog each landed some big shots.

The win was a historical one for the Avs:

Duchene had the other Colorado goal.

Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves in the loss.

Eberle rumors swirl as Bruins’ offense struggles


The Boston Bruins, when they’ve been at their best in recent seasons, have been one of the top defensive teams in the NHL.

Everyone knows that. (Lest we forget Claude Julien’s beloved “layers,” and how those layers helped the B’s stifle the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 playoffs and the high-scoring Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.)

What occasionally gets forgotten, however, is that the Bruins have been a pretty high-scoring team themselves. In that 2010-11 championship year, Boston finished the regular season with the NHL’s fifth-ranked offense. The B’s finished third in the league last season, averaging 3.15 goals per game.

Hence, the growing concern about the state of the current team, which ranks 22nd in offense, averaging just 2.41 goals per game.

While injuries to David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are surely to blame for some of the Bruins’ scoring woes, that’s not stopping the rumor mill from churning. The latest speculation involves a possible deal with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Jordan Eberle.

According to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, it’s believed that Eberle has “always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold,” even if it didn’t sound today like the Oilers were on the verge of making a big trade.

Why Eberle?

Well, the salary cap-limited Bruins did not, if you’ll recall, bring in a replacement for departed winger Jarome Iginla this offseason, opting instead to hope Loui Eriksson could be “better than he was last year.”

And how’s Eriksson done?

Well, he has just three goals in 27 games, so…yeah.

Consider also: Boston’s leading goal-scorers are Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith, each with six. Currently, there are 92 players in the NHL with more than six goals.

The Bruins lost their third straight last night, falling 7-4 to the San Jose Sharks in a game where, let’s be honest, the offense was the least of their problems. But before that they were shut out by the Kings, 2-0, marking the third time this season that they’d been blanked.

Boston is in Arizona Saturday to play the Coyotes.

Related: (Video) PHT Extra: Why Bruins fans should be worried

Tanguay: Avs ‘keep finding ways to lose’


Alex Tanguay’s highlight reel goal turned some heads on Thursday, but that wasn’t the replay on the minds of the Colorado Avalanche.

Instead, more than a few Avalanche members were unhappy about a disallowed Daniel Briere power-play goal in what ultimately became a 5-4 loss to the Calgary Flames, as the Denver Post reports.

“Apparently Sportsnet has an angle … the angle we had it was impossible whether it touched the glove or not,” Patrick Roy said.

Here’s video of the disallowed tally:

The NHL laid out its explanation in its Situation Room Blog:

At 3:49 of the second period in the Colorado Avalanche/Calgary Flames game, video review determined that Avalanche forward Daniel Briere used his left hand to bat the puck into the Flames net. According to Rule 67.6 “a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net”. No goal Colorado.

Ultimately, it counts as a loss. A disenfranchised Tanguay told the Denver Post that “we are finding ways to lose” while Jarome Iginla lamented the team’s many close losses.

A few bits to consider, then:

  • They have a .444 winning percentage when scoring first, tying them with the Edmonton Oilers for third-worst in the NHL. Their .822 mark in 2013-14 tied Montreal for the fourth-best percentage.
  • Conversely, they were the third-best at coming back from behind (40.5 percent) in 2013-14, but they’re middle of-the-pack in that area now.
  • They’ve only won a third of the one-goal games they’ve been in so far. Last season, they were the best in the league, winning 70 percent of their one-goal games.

Some might think it’s too simplistic, yet it really does seem like the Avalanche are rarely getting the bounces they enjoyed to an almost ridiculous extent last season. The team needs to find a way to force their luck to improve or their many critics will feel vindicated.