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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Feb. 18

by Jeff Jacobson / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche has won two straight in extra frames and is poised to carry that momentum onto a season-long, six-game road trip opening Friday. The Avs will play six East Coast games over 11 days including visits to Washington, Carolina and Atlanta this week. Colorado is 6-5 against Eastern Conference clubs this season after going 8-2-0 a year ago.

Catch all the games on the television home of the Avalanche, Altitude and Altitude 2 or tune in to the Altitude Radio Network, Mile High Sports Radio AM1510 and FM 101.5.

Date Opponent Time (MT) TV/Radio
Fri, Feb. 20 at Washington 5:00 p.m. Altitude 2 / AM 1510
Sun, Feb. 22 at Carolina 1:00 p.m. Altitude / 101.5 FM
Tues, Feb. 24 at Atlanta 5:00 p.m. Altitude / AM 1510

Colorado is amidst a stretch that finds it playing 10-of-12 games outside the confines of Pepsi Center. The Avs are coming off a recent road win in Detroit on Feb. 15, when Jordan Leopold buried a wrister past Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood in the fifth round of a shootout for a 6-5 victory at Joe Louis Arena. The upcoming six-game road swing for the Avs matches the club’s longest since coming to Denver and is the third longest in franchise history. The trip features games against this week’s opponents, then New Jersey, the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders to close things out.

Franchise’s Longest Road Trips
DATE                                 GAMES           W-L-T        PTS PCT.
Oct. 9-26, 1980                9 games        1-6-2        .222
Feb. 8-22, 1981               8 games        6-2-0        .750
Feb. 20-March 2, 2009   6 games          n/a           n/a
Oct. 31-Nov. 10, 1998     6 games        2-3-1        .417
Feb. 14-24, 1991             6 games        0-5-1        .083


The series has been close ever since the Avs moved to Colorado, with the Caps holding a slight 8-7-2 edge. The clubs met once last season in Washington D.C., when the Capitals beat the Avs 2-1 with all three goals coming in the third period. The Caps sit atop the Southeast and third in the Eastern Conference. The squad is led by one of the league’s top players in Alexander Ovechkin, who currently leads the NHL in goals (41) and shots (363) and is second in points (74). Washington also features former Avalanche netminder Jose Theodore, who has seen action in 37 games this season.

Carolina holds the ninth spot in the East and continues to battle for the final playoff position. Colorado holds a 6-1-1 advantage in Carolina, and has won its last two contests at the RBC Center. Last season’s match-up saw Marek Svatos cap a third-period rally with two goals in a span of 2:07 and the club rallied three times from two-goal deficits to beat the Hurricanes 5-4 on Jan. 12.

The Avs have only played the Thrashers twice in the past four seasons, recording a 5-2 win in the most recent tilt on March 11, 2008 at Philips Arena. Colorado has the advantage when facing Atlanta on the road, claiming a 3-1-1 series mark. Russia native Ilya Kovalchuck heads the team with 29 goals (7th NHL) and 61 points (11th NHL). Avs defensemen Brett Clark and Daniel Tjarnqvist have ties to Atlanta, as Clark spent time with the club from 1999-2002 before being traded to Colorado in Jan. of 2002, while Tjarnqvist served with the Thrashers from 2001-2004.

NHL veteran Brett Clark was our guest in the latest installment of AvsCast. He currently leads the Avalanche in ice time at 22:03 per game and ranks second in the league with 182 blocked shots. Clark chatted about growing up on a farm, his passion for golf and much more.

Check out the latest episode of AvsCast and catch up on any you may have missed.

AvsCast 02/12/09: Brett Clark

AvsCast Archives

Avs head coach Tony Granato needs one victory to become just the 10th American-born coach in NHL history to record 100 wins. The Downer's Grove, Illinois native is 99-74-18 (.565) in 191 regular season games behind the Avalanche bench. Granato is also looking to become only the fifth coach in franchise history to reach 100 wins, joining Michel Bergeron (265), Bob Hartley (193), Marc Crawford (165) and Joel Quenneville (131).

With its shootout win over Detroit, the Avalanche moved to 8-1 in those contests this season. The eight shootout wins trails only the New York Rangers (who have nine) while Colorado's .889 winning percentage leads all teams who have participated in at least five tiebreakers. Wojtek Wolski has led the way for the club, going 7-for-8 in shootouts this season (87.5%) and 14-for-22 in his career (63.6%), the highest percentage in shootout history. Among NHL players who have at least five attempts this years, Wolski ranks first in both shootout goals and percentage.

The Colorado Avalanche Pee Wee hockey team is competing at the 2009 Quebec Pee Wee Hockey Tournament from Feb. 12-22.

Throughout the duration of the tournament, members of the team will be checking in with to share their thoughts on the experience in Postcards From Quebec. The players touch on subjects ranging from their on-ice play to the new things they are experiencing away from the rink.

Click here to view the postings

The weekly Avalanche show on Altitude Sports & Entertainment features a behind-the-scenes look at Avalanche players and coaches. This week’s show (Feb. 18) features: David Jones & T.J. Hensick reading to 2nd graders at Deer Creek Elementary School, a segment of Roommates with Cody McLeod & Cody McCormick, outtakes of a promo shot with Brett Clark and a Jordan Leopold interview with Avs play-by-play announcer Mike Haynes.

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