Mikko Rantanen

Coyotes-Avalanche stream
Getty Images

Coyotes-Avalanche stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup First Round

Leave a comment

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Friday’s First Round matchup between the Coyotes and Avalanche. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Coyotes-Avalanche stream at 2 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

After Darcy Kuemper held the Avalanche at bay for most of Game 1, Colorado broke through with three quick goals in the third period. Just like that, the fast-striking Avs built an insurmountable lead, winning Game 1 by a score of 3-0.

The Coyotes only ended up firing 14 shots on goal against Philipp Grubauer in Game 1. Even as a defense-oriented team, Arizona will need to create at least a little more offense to keep up with the well-rounded Avs in Game 2 on Friday.

Will the Coyotes’ bigger names like Taylor Hall, Clayton Keller, and Phil Kessel make an impact? After collecting two assists in Game 1, what does Nathan MacKinnon have in store for Game 2? We’ll get a better sense of where this Coyotes – Avalanche series after Friday’s action.

WHAT: Arizona Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche
WHERE: Rogers Place – Edmonton
WHEN: Friday, August 14, 2 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
ON THE CALL: Kenny Albert, Pierre McGuire
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Coyotes-Avalanche stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes (COL leads series 1-0)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Colorado 3, Arizona 0
Friday, Aug. 14: Arizona at Colorado, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Colorado at Arizona, 3 p.m. ET – CNBC
Monday, Aug. 17: Colorado at Arizona, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Arizona at Colorado – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Colorado at Arizona – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Arizona at Colorado – TBD

*if necessary

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

Avalanche overcome Kuemper, beat Coyotes in Game 1

Leave a comment

For much of Game 1, it looked like Darcy Kuemper would steal a win for the Coyotes, but the Avalanche eventually broke through. The Avs exploded in the third period to win 3-0 against the Coyotes, giving Colorado a 1-0 series lead.

Avalanche dominated — but the Game 1 score is misleading in some ways for Coyotes

If you look at the final score, you’d get a mixed reading on Game 1 between the Avalanche and Coyotes.

On one hand, the Avalanche dominated possession throughout Game 1. The Avs managed a lopsided 28-7 shots on goal advantage through the first two periods of Game 1, but Kuemper allowed nothing, keeping the Coyotes tied 0-0.

That 0-0 tie lasted quite a while through the third period, too.

As it seemed increasingly likely that another Game 1 would enter overtime, Nazem Kadri came up big for the Avalanche once again. Kadri connected on the power play with 6:55 remaining in the third. Then, just 10 seconds later, J.T. Compher increased that lead to 2-0.

Gabriel Landeskog took a hit to make a play, then Nathan MacKinnon sent a nice pass to Mikko Rantanen, who adjusted nicely for the 3-0 goal.

If you merely decided to walk your dog or make a restroom break at the wrong time, you might have missed Avalanche – Coyotes Game 1 breaking wide open. Colorado scored three goals against Kuemper in less than 90 seconds. It was a reminder that, as well as Kuemper played, the Avalanche can threaten with quick-strike offense as much as any team in the NHL.

Rick Tocchet must consider some tweaks. After all, you’re not going to win many games while being outshot 39-14 overall (you also won’t enjoy many easier playoff shutouts than Philipp Grubauer did in Game 1).

Yes, you want to contain that deadly Avalanche offense. And, yes, Kuemper’s been outstanding. But you also have to do something to try to score some goals, right? Then again, trying to win with defense, Kuemper, and some counter-punching might just have to be the way for the Coyotes. (Frankly, it’s generally how they beat the Predators, as they relied upon Kuemper a ton during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.)

No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes (Avs lead series 1-0)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Colorado 3, Arizona 0
Friday, Aug. 14: Arizona at Colorado, 2 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Colorado at Arizona, 3 p.m. ET – CNBC
Monday, Aug. 17: Colorado at Arizona, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Arizona at Colorado – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Colorado at Arizona – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Arizona at Colorado – TBD

*if necessary

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Avalanche-Stars stream: NHL Return to Play round-robin game

Avalanche-Stars stream
Getty Images
Leave a comment

NBCSN’s coverage of the NHL’s Return to Play continues with Wednesday’s round-robin matchup between the Avalanche and Stars. Live look-in coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Avalanche-Stars stream on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Colorado Avalanche (1-0-0, 2 points)
Vegas Golden Knights (1-0-0, 2 points)
St. Louis Blues (0-1-0, 0 points)
Dallas Stars (0-1-0, 0 points)

Scenarios based on Wednesday result

Dallas can finish no better than second (Colorado and Vegas each have two points and because of their remaining matchup, one of them will get to four points. Dallas maxes out at four points and will lose any tiebreaker)

Avalanche win in regulation
• DAL can finish no better than third.
• Other three teams can still finish with No. 1 seed, but Colorado controls its own outcome and would earn the No. 1 seed by beating Vegas.

Stars win in regulation
• Second is still the best Dallas can do.
• All other teams can still finish with No. 1 seed.

Avalanche win in OT/SO
• DAL can still finish second.
• But would need St. Louis to beat Vegas in regulation on Thursday
• Other three teams can still finish first, but Colorado controls its own outcome and would earn the No.1 seed by beating Vegas.

Stars win in OT/SO
• Second is still the best Dallas can do.
• All other teams can still finish with No. 1 seed.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

WHAT: Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars
WHERE: Rogers Place – Edmonton
WHEN: Wednesday, August 5, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN (live look-in)
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Avalanche-Stars live look-in stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

Western Conference round-robin schedule

Sunday, Aug. 2: Avalanche 2, Blues 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 3: Golden Knights 4, Stars 3 (recap)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN (live look-in stream)
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights vs. Blues, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues, TBD

MORE:
2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule

Avalanche-Blues stream: NHL Return to Play round-robin game

Avalanche-Blues stream
Getty Images

NBCSN’s coverage of the NHL’s Return to Play continues with Sunday’s round-robin matchup between the Avalanche and Blues. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Avalanche-Blues stream on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

This round-robin matchup features the top two teams in the Western Conference. When the regular season was paused in March, the Blues led the Central Division (and entire conference) with 94 points through 71 games. They have led the West since the morning of Dec. 15 and became the first defending champion to finish the following regular season atop their conference since the 2000-01 Devils.

When the puck drops for this game on Sunday, it will have been 417 days since the Blues became Stanley Cup champions on June 12, 2019 in Boston. St. Louis will look to build on their first-ever title and become the first team to repeat as champions since the Penguins did so in 2016 and 2017.

Just over three years ago, the Avalanche finished last in the NHL in Jared Bednar’s first season in charge. But now they are set to make their third straight playoff appearance and boast one of the league’s most talented rosters, which includes Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon and Calder Trophy finalist Cale Makar among many other pieces.

The defending champs will benefit from the return of their superstar forward Vladimir Tarasenko. The 28-year-old underwent left shoulder surgery in late October and was on pace to return for the playoffs even before the season was paused. He played just 10 games this season.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

WHAT: Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues
WHERE: Rogers Place – Edmonton
WHEN: Sunday, August 2, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
ON THE CALL: Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Avalanche-Blues stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

Western Conference round-robin schedule

Sunday, Aug. 2: Blues vs. Avalanche, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN (Livestream)
Monday, Aug. 3: Stars vs. Golden Knights, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights vs. Blues, TBD
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche, TBD
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues, TBD

You can watch all the NHL playoff streams on the NBC Sports app.

MORE:
2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule

Day 1 of NHL training camps: Uncertainty about Blackhawks’ Crawford, and more

1 Comment

Monday, July 13 represented a big day in the NHL return-to-play plan, as formal training camps began — naturally there was plenty of news.

To little surprise, such training camp news also brought uncertainty. This post won’t hit on all 24 NHL teams involved in the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, but let’s take a look at some of the rumblings from around the league:

Blackhawks’ Crawford, other absences lead to speculation

At the moment, the NHL elects not to name players or teams while announcing positive COVID-19 tests.

The bright side of that is that players gain at least a modicum of privacy. The downside is that fans and others are left to speculate about the nature of absences. To some extent, this follows the NHL’s clear-as-mud transparency when it comes to injury updates already, only turned up to 11.

Rank Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford as one of the players people are speculating about during this first day of NHL training camps. If you’re looking for more from the Blackhawks on Crawford, you were largely out of luck.

“For now, he’s just unfit to play,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “I think the NHL has been pretty clear that’s going to be the policy going forward as far as how we’ll announce all injuries. So, that’s all I have for you.”

Blackhawks fans are probably used to uncertainty regarding Crawford, being that his career was threatened by concussion issues. Such issues, and Chicago’s mediocre overall play, might have pushed Crawford’s strong work under the radar. During the last three months of the truncated season, Crawford’s save percentage didn’t sink below a splendid .927. For a team as porous defensively as the Blackhawks, they must hope that Crawford will eventually be fit to play — particularly after trading Robin Lehner.

It would be a sad way for Crawford to end his Blackhawks career, too, as he’s a pending UFA.

Now, other goalies sat out day one of NHL training camps, too. Marc-Andre Fleury joined Crawford with that distinction. But while the Blackhawks shared few Crawford details, the Golden Knights deemed MAF’s absence a maintenance day.

Though not a comprehensive list, here are a few other notable absences from day one of NHL training camps:

Noteworthy names attending NHL training camps on day one

Going over every single player who participated would be a fool’s errand. Consider a few names that stood out, though.

Assorted bits, including Gritty

Now, for some quick random bits.

Matt Niskanen said it right:

“The world is pretty bonkers right now,” Niskanen said, via Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Nothing is normal … But as hockey players, we just want that (Cup) chance.”

Actually, (Niskanen’s … Flyers’ colleague?) Gritty also got it right:

The first one to the rink? Well, the name Gritty makes sense then, I guess.

If you’re looking for the best gesture of them all, it’s probably the Oilers’ tribute to Colby Cave.

Although, the Maple Leafs also made quite a statement by wearing “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts as a group:

If news and other bits from day one of NHL training camps are any indication, there will be a lot of stories to sort through. At least some of them will involve Gritty, too, so that’s nice.

More on NHL return to play, CBA extension, COVID-19:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.