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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Dec. 8

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

WEEK OF DEC. 8-14
All Times Mountain

Fri, Dec. 10 @ Atlanta (5:30 p.m.)
Sat, Dec. 11 @ Washington (5:00 p.m.)
Mon, Dec. 13 vs. Chicago (7:00 p.m.)



They Said It...

 “It was almost like I had a repelling magnet on my stick for the puck. One time I’d go to the left side of the net and it would pop out to the right, the next time I would be on the right and it would pop out on the left. Right now I just feel like the puck is attracted to my stick a bit more.”

-Center Matt Duchene, talking about his recent goal production



Photo of the Week



Stat Of The Week

The Avalanche, Blues and Red Wings are the only three teams who have yet to be shut out in 2010-11.



Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, Ryan O’Reilly talks about his now infamous playoff goal versus the San Jose Sharks.  Also, Julie Browman takes Chris Stewart to a Cherry Creek High School football game to talk about his gridiron days of playing tight end.  Plus, Greg Mauldin and Philippe Dupuis talk about their long roads to the NHL, and what they need to do to stick with the Avalanche.

I. THE STORYLINE
The Avalanche will conclude its five-game road swing through the Southeast Division with back-to-back games against Atlanta and Washington this weekend. On Monday, Colorado finally returns to Pepsi Center to begin a home-and-home series with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

II. WHAT’S ON TAP
The Avalanche will square off against the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night for the second time in 11 days. The Thrashers earned a 3-2 overtime victory in the last meeting between the clubs on Nov. 30 at Pepsi Center. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien tied the game with a blast from the point at 6:12 of the third period and Anthony Stewart won it for Atlanta 1:49 into overtime. Byfuglien continues to lead all NHL blueliners with 29 points (10g/19a) through Tuesday’s games.

When you talk about the Washington Capitals, the attention obviously shifts to forward Alex Ovechkin (12g/23a), and rightfully so. But the Capitals are about much more than just Ovechkin, as demonstrated by the fact that his teammates Alexander Semin (18g/15a) and Nicklas Backstrom (11g/21a) also average over a point-per-game. Saturday’s contest also marks the first time Tomas Fleischmann and Scott Hannan will face off against their old teams after being traded for each other on Nov. 30.

Monday night’s contest against Chicago will be the first meeting between the teams since Colorado claimed a 4-3 overtime victory against the defending champs on Opening Night at Pepsi Center. Paul Stastny scored twice in that game, including the game-winner 3:40 into overtime. The Avalanche and Blackhawks will also meet up next Wednesday at the United Center to wrap up the home-and-home set.

III. NEWS OF THE WEEK
Kevin Shattenkirk recently set one record, but fell just short of another.

After being recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League on Nov. 3 and recording one assist in his first six games, Shattenkirk pieced together a nine-game point streak during which he totaled four goals and nine assists.

Shattenkirk’s point streak was the longest by a rookie defenseman in franchise history, equaled the longest point streak by an Avalanche blueliner since the franchise moved to Denver (tying the mark John-Michael Liles set earlier this season) and also stands as the longest streak by an NHL rookie this season.

Shattenkirk’s streak came to an end Tuesday night during a 4-3 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers, leaving him just shy of tying the NHL record for the longest point streak by a rookie defenseman. Former Colorado Rockies rearguard Barry Beck continues to hold that record, having notched a pair of 10-game point streaks during his rookie campaign of 1977-78.


IV. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
-Be sure to check out this video feature from Altitude Sports & Entertainment, where Ryan O’Reilly joins Altitude’s Julie Browman for some thrills at Elitch Gardens. On its website, Altitude also posted a web exclusive from the shoot.

-Want to know why Matt Duchene and Paul Stastny do a special dance after victories, or why John-Michael Liles is always the last player off the ice? How about a unique training tip from Duchene? If any of that interests you, be sure to check out the most recent Avalanche Mailbag.

-We examined Matt Duchene’s recent goal-scoring splurge, which essentially mirrors his production from the past few seasons dating back to his time with the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League.

-Avalanche prospect Joey Hishon has been tearing up the Ontario Hockey League in 2010-11. In this feature, Hishon talks about the challenges that go along with having a player shadow him throughout the game.

-Keeping on the prospect front, this week’s Farm Report puts Saskatoon defenseman Stefan Elliott under the spotlight.

V. AROUND THE LEAGUE
-There’s still time to cast your vote and help your favorite Avalanche players gain a roster spot at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. Click here to vote for the Avs, and here for the latest results from NHL.com.

-Watch last week’s top goals, saves and hits from around the NHL.

-NHL.com Senior Managing Editor Shawn P. Roarke examines the positive vibes coming out of this week’s Board of Governors meetings.

-NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen takes a look at the protocol a player experiencing a concussion must go through before returning to the ice.

VI. ODDS AND ENDS
-How does a trip to the NHL All-Star Game sound? One lucky Avs fan will win two lower-level tickets, flight and hotel accommodations to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.

-Don’t miss out on your chance to get four great games for one low price, a free Avalanche scarf and an autographed puck signed by Matt Duchene, John-Michael Liles or Chris Stewart. That’s what you’ll receive with the Avalanche Holiday Pack.

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