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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Jan. 12

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

WEEK OF JAN. 12-18
All Times Mountain

Wed, Jan. 12 @ Chicago (6:30 p.m.)
Fri, Jan. 14 @ Minnesota (6:00 p.m.)
Tue, Jan. 18 vs. Vancouver (7:00 p.m.)

They Said It...

 “I don’t think you can really blame him…I think no matter how good the goalie is, if you crash the net the guys in front of him can’t stop them.”

-David Jones, breaking down his two goals (and the team’s performance overall) against Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 10

Photo of the Week

Stat Of The Week

Matt Duchene (20 years, 14 days) will be the second youngest player in franchise history to play in an NHL All-Star game behind Owen Nolan (19 years, 340 days) in 1992; and ahead of Joe Sakic (20 years, 198 days) in 1990.

Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, hosts Kyle Keefe and Julie Browman head to Southwest Ice Rink at Skyline Park, where goalie Craig Anderson joins them for a game of 20 questions.  Also, we relive the top “off the ice” moments from 2010, including hanging out with Ryan O’Reilly at Elitch Gardens and Milan Hejduk and his twin sons taking a tour of the Denver Zoo.  Plus, Mike Haynes chats with head coach Joe Sacco and Peter McNab breaks down the first half of the season in his McNab Minute.

The Avalanche plays its only two road games in the month of January – facing Chicago on Wednesday and Minnesota on Friday – before returning home to host five games prior to the NHL All-Star Break.

Colorado and Chicago will wrap up their season series on Wednesday. The Avalanche has won all three contests so far, beginning with a 4-3 overtime victory on Opening Night at Pepsi Center. The point the Hawks received for taking the game to an extra session on Oct. 7 was the only one Chicago has earned against Colorado, as the Avs picked up regulation victories on Dec. 13 (a 7-5 win) and Dec. 15 (a 4-3 triumph).

Colorado returns to divisional play on Friday night, going up against the Wild for the third time this season. Colorado beat Minnesota, 7-4, on Nov. 27 and then dropped a 3-1 decision on Dec. 23. That first game was also the last time the Avalanche had Chris Stewart in the lineup. The right wing suffered a fractured hand in the contest during a fight with Minnesota’s Kyle Brodziak.

The Avs will wrap up the week with another Northwest Division tilt, hosting the division-leading Vancouver Canucks at Pepsi Center. Through Tuesday’s games, Vancouver (62 points) has the highest point total not only in the division, but the entire NHL. It will mark the fifth of six meetings between the clubs this season, with Vancouver claiming victories in the first four (Colorado earned a point during a 4-3 overtime loss on Oct. 26).

The Avalanche will have two representatives at the NHL’s All-Star Weekend.

Second-year center Matt Duchene will take part in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, while defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is one of 12 rookies who will compete in the Honda NHL SuperSkills®.

Duchene’s selection didn’t come as a big surprise to most, but the timing caught the Haliburton, Ontario native off guard.

“I didn’t know they were naming it today. It was a great surprise to come in to this morning,” Duchene said on  Tuesday.

For Shattenkirk, the honor of being on the ice with some of the NHL’s top players shows just how far he’s come since the start of the season. After being reassigned to the Lake Erie Monsters during training camp and going pointless in 10 AHL games, the defenseman has found his groove since arriving in the NHL in early November.

“I never thought, coming in here this late in the season, that it would even be a possibility,” said Shattenkirk. “It says a lot about the opportunity that I’ve had here  and that the coaches have given to me. I’m just really excited about it. It should be a fun event.”

Click here for the full All-Star Game roster.

-Power forward Chris Stewart has started practicing with the team and is traveling with the Avs on their current road trip. Following his first day of full-contact practice, Stewart spoke with the media and talked about his rehabilitation process.

-Forward Philippe Dupuis was the subject of our latest “Five Quick Questions” feature.

-David Jones’ overtime winner against the Buffalo Sabres is the most recent winner of the Avalanche’s “Play of the Week”

-Avalanche prospects Tyson Barrie and Sami Aittokallio recently wrapped up play at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo. Barrie and Team Canada claimed the silver medal at the event.

-Paul Stastny makes the cut as looks at the top 10 goals from the Western Conference so far this season.

-Deb Placey and EJ Hradek break down some of the weirdest and coolest plays from the first half of the season in the BlackBerry Mid-Season Awards.

-NHL Central Scouting has released its mid-term rankings. Take an early look at some of the top prospects for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft:
North American Skaters I North American Goalies I European Skaters I European Goalies

-The NHL has released the jerseys that will be worn at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.

-A total of 21 players will be making their All-Star debuts this year.

-Colorado’s game against Vancouver on Tuesday will be the next Arby’s Faceoff 4-Pack game. Get 4 tickets, 4 regular roast beef sandwiches, 4 small curly fries, 4 medium Pepsis and a $10 Altitude Authentics gift card (Redeemable at Denver area Arby's locations, not including Pepsi Center) for just $99.

-The next Colorado Avalanche Mailbag – where players respond to questions from fans – will be posted on Thursday.

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