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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Nov. 10

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

WEEK OF NOV. 10-16
All Times Mountain

Fri, Nov. 12 @ Columbus (5:00 p.m.)
Sat, Nov. 13 @ Detroit (5:00 p.m.)
Mon, Nov. 15 vs. St. Louis (6:00 p.m.)

They Said It...

“It was a weird play. I didn’t have a lot of PK this year and it was one of my first shifts. I want to be good defensively and I want to be good in my zone. It ended up I had a scoring chance and we put it in so we got lucky there, but I’ll take it.”

-Forward Philippe Dupuis, describing his first NHL goal. Dupuis, who was originally selected by Columbus in the fourth round of the 2003 Entry Draft, achieved the feat in his 23rd NHL game

Photo of the Week

Stat Of The Week

Joe Sacco earned his 50th career coaching victory on Saturday night against Dallas in his 95th game behind the Avalanche bench. He is the third-fastest coach in franchise history to reach 50 wins, trailing only Marc Crawford (83 games) and Tony Granato (87 games). Sacco owns a 50-35-10 record (.579%) as an NHL head coach.

Avalanche All-Access

This week on Avalanche All Access, defensemen Ryan Wilson joins us at Aqua Golf for some miniature golf with Kyle Keefe.  Also, Julie Browman takes Ryan O’Reilly to Elitch Gardens to experience some of their most thrilling rides.  We also catch up with Head Coach Joe Sacco, and Peter McNab talks about the team speed of the Avalanche in his “McNab Minute.”

After four consecutive games at Pepsi Center, the Avalanche hits the road this weekend for a back-to-back set against the Columbus Blue Jackets (Friday) and Detroit Red Wings (Saturday). This weekend’s games will mark Colorado’s third set of back-to-back contests this season. Overall, the club will have 14 throughout the course of the 2010-11 campaign.

All three of Colorado’s games this week (including a Monday night tilt at home against St. Louis) will be against teams from the Central Division. The Avalanche holds a 3-0 record against the Central this season, which includes victories over the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit and Columbus.

The schedule begins Friday at Nationwide Arena, when the Avs take on the Blue Jackets. Colorado earned a convincing 5-1 victory over Columbus on Oct. 30 at Pepsi Center, with Paul Stastny and Chris Stewart netting a goal and an assist apiece and Peter Budaj putting forth a 33-save performance. The Avalanche holds a 28-7-1-1 all-time record against Columbus, which includes five consecutive Colorado victories.

After taking on the Jackets, the Avs will head 200 miles north to face the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Colorado has already defeated Detroit at the Joe this season, earning a 5-4 shootout victory on Oct. 12. In that contest, David Jones had three points (2g/1a) in regulation and Brandon Yip scored the shootout winner in the sixth round to propel Colorado to victory.

Finally, Colorado will return home on Monday for the first of four meetings between the Avs and Blues this season. The Avalanche had St. Louis’ number last year, sweeping the season series while outscoring the Blues by a 21-8 margin. Chris Stewart was nearly unstoppable last year against St. Louis, totaling 12 points (7g/5a) in four games, including a four-point effort (3g/1a) on March 6 during a 7-3 Avalanche victory.

First goals have become the norm lately for the Avalanche.

During a recent stretch, an Avalanche player scored his first NHL goal in three consecutive games. First, it was David Liffiton who netted his first career goal during an Oct. 30 game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. David Van Der Gulik took center stage next, recording his first this past Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks. Most recently, forward Philippe Dupuis tallied his first goal on Saturday versus the Dallas Stars.

There are currently three other players on Colorado’s roster who are still searching for their first goal: Colby Cohen, Jonas Holos and Kevin Shattenkirk.  Holos nearly extended the streak of first-goal scorers to four games during Tuesday evening’s 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. During a power play in the first period, Holos’ shot from just inside the blue line found the back of the net, but it turns out the blast went in off the skate of forward Brandon Yip. Instead of his first NHL goal, Holos had to settle for his second career assist.

-Chris Stewart, Ryan O’Reilly, Cody McLeod and other Avalanche players responded to questions from fans in the bi-weekly “Colorado Avalanche Mailbag” examined Daniel Winnik’s early contributions to his new team and also looked at Peter Budaj’s solid play since taking over for Craig Anderson in goal

-Paul Stastny’s diving goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets is the most recent winner of the Avalanche’s “Play of the Week”

-We also posted a pair of photo galleries featuring pictures taken by Michael Martin. The first comes from the Avalanche’s “Meet The Team” Event for season ticket holders that was held last weekend. The second gallery contains photos of Brandon Yip and Ryan O’Reilly at a “Break The Ice” event

- Colin Campbell, Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League, touched on a couple of hot-button topics during the league’s GM Meetings this week. Campbell spoke about hits to the head and pre-game confrontations

-Speaking of hits to the head,’s Dan Rosen has an interesting feature that suggests there is evidence the crackdown on head shots is working as planned

-In other news from the GM Meetings, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon saw his idea of instituting a coach’s challenge (much like in the NFL) get shelved

-The Avalanche, in conjunction with Kroenke Sports Charities and the Denver Rescue Mission, will host the annual “Do What You Can Canned Food Drive” prior to Colorado’s Nov. 17 contest against the San Jose Sharks

-Colorado will host its second Family Night of the season this coming Monday (Nov. 15) when the Avs take on the St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center. Fans can receive four tickets, four Pepsis and four Family Meals for just $99.

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