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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Feb. 16

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

WEEK OF Feb. 9-15
All Times Mountain

Wed, Feb. 16 vs. Pittsburgh (7:00 p.m.)
Sat, Feb. 19 @ San Jose (8:30 p.m.)

Tue, Feb. 22 @ St. Louis (6:00 p.m.)

They Said It...

 “I’m not going to be Bobby Orr out there and put up a whole bunch of points...when you get to the NHL you kind of have a defined role. That’s what makes you successful in the NHL, when you know your role and stick to it.”

-Ryan O’Byrne, discussing his role as a defensive defenseman

Photo of the Week

Stat Of The Week

Milan Hejduk is three goals shy of reaching the 20-goal mark for the 11th consecutive season, which would tie Joe Sakic's franchise record.

Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, hosts Kyle Keefe and Julie Browman  are hanging out at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in honor of Valentine’s Day.  Kyle and Julie help make fudge, and they also taste some of the Chocolate Factory’s best-known treats.  Also, Peter Forsberg talks about his retirement from the National Hockey League after an attempted comeback.  Plus, Kyle heads back to the Avalanche locker room for another edition of “Quick Hits,” this time stumping the players on nursery rhymes.  We also honor Jarome Iginla as part of Black History Month, and Mike Haynes has his weekly chat with head coach Joe Sacco.

The Avalanche heads into the week looking to break out of a prolonged slump. Colorado has dropped eight consecutive games, including its first seven contests in the month of February. Colorado has three games in the next seven days, hosting Pittsburgh on Wednesday and then playing in San Jose on Saturday before making up a postponed game against St. Louis on Tuesday.

The Avalanche and Penguins will meet up for the only time this season on Wednesday night in Denver. The teams squared off once in 2009-10, with the Pens earning a 4-1 victory in Pittsburgh. Both squads have been hit hard by injuries, and the Penguins will play the game without superstar forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Colorado’s only other contest of the week will be an 8:30 p.m. MT start in San Jose on Saturday evening. The Avs and Sharks have played twice already this season, with both games coming at Pepsi Center. The Sharks skated away with a 4-2 victory on Oct. 21, but the Avalanche gained some measure of revenge by earning a 4-3 overtime victory on Nov. 17 when Kevin Porter scored 2:07 into the extra session.

Finally, the Avalanche will visit the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. This game will serve as a make-up contest for the Feb. 1 tilt that was canceled due to severe weather in the St. Louis area.

Perhaps a little bit of down time will help the Avalanche get its season back on track. During an 11-day span from Feb. 15-25, the Avalanche will play only four games. Colorado has two days to practice between its games against Pittsburgh and San Jose, and the team will then have two full days before its next contest against St. Louis on Tuesday. After taking on Edmonton Wednesday, the club will again have two days to practice before facing the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Feb. 26.

That spread out schedule comes in sharp contrast to what the club has experienced for a large part of the season.

Colorado played eight games within the first 14 days of February, and before that the team had 12 contests (including 10 at home) in the first 26 days of February prior to the NHL’s All-Star Break.

-Avalanche forward Peter Forsberg announced his retirement on Monday after playing two contests during his comeback attempt. Read the press release highlighting Forsberg’s career accomplishments and watch the video of Forsberg announcing that he will step away from the game

-Peter Budaj is the most recent winner of the Avalanche’s “Play of the Week” competition for a pair of saves he made against the Minnesota Wild

-This week’s Farm Report highlights the recent play of netminder Trevor Cann, who has been helping the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers climb the standings

-Ryan O’Byrne, Matt Hunwick and others fielded fan questions in the latest Avalanche Mailbag

-Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey and forward T.J. Galiardi will be out indefinitely with injuries suffered on Feb. 9 against the Minnesota Wild

-The NHL’s trade deadline is coming up later this month. Keep up on the latest player movement with’s Trade Tracker

-Sunday will mark the inaugural Hockey Day in America. Click here for all the details

-NHL GameCenter LIVE, the NHL’s live streaming games service, is letting fans keep up with the action at the lowest price of the season

-The Avalanche will host a Learn to Skate clinic on Saturday, Feb. 19

-The Avs Better Halves hosted a Diaper Drive on Monday, Feb. 14, to benefit The Gathering Place. Click here to view photos from the Diaper Drive

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