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This Week In Avalanche Hockey - Nov. 3

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

All Times Mountain

Thu, Nov. 4 vs. Vancouver (7:00 p.m.)
Sat, Nov. 6 vs. Dallas (7:00 p.m.)
Tue, Nov. 9 vs. Calgary (7:30 p.m.)

They Said It...

“Sometimes you get caught up in the moment and you forget how fortunate you are to play in the NHL. It’s a big achievement to play 200 games as a goalie in the NHL. I’m very glad and thankful for that and hopefully I stay healthy and have many more games to come.”

-Goaltender Peter Budaj, who made his 200th career appearance on Oct. 28, joining Patrick Roy (478) and Dan Bouchard (225) as the only goaltenders in franchise history to reach 200 games.

Photo of the Week

Stat Of The Week

The Avalanche sat atop the Northwest Division standings at the end of October for the second straight year, finishing with a 6-4-1 record (13 points) in the opening month. The Avs also led the division with a 10-2-2 record (22 points) through Halloween last season.  The Avalanche's 16 combined wins over the last two Octobers is tied with Los Angeles for second most in the NHL behind Pittsburgh's 17.

Avalanche All-Access
This week on Avalanche All Access, we take defenseman John-Michael Liles to the Downtown Aquarium for some scuba-diving fun.  Julie Browman also takes Daniel Winnick to the “13th floor,” a well-known Denver haunted house.  Mike Haynes talks with head coach Joe Sacco, and we take a look at the highlights of the week on the ice.

After a four-day break between games, the Avalanche jumps right back into things this week. The club will play its next three games at home, with two of those contests coming against division rivals. Starting netminder Craig Anderson is still out with a knee injury, but did get on the ice briefly to test his knee (without his equipment) on Monday. Until Anderson returns, Colorado will likely continue to ride Peter Budaj between the pipes.

Colorado has three games at Pepsi Center this week, including its first two home contests against Northwest Division rivals.

Colorado opens the week by hosting the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. It will be the second meeting between the clubs in a span of 10 days, as the Canucks earned a 4-3 overtime victory over the Avs on Oct. 26.

The Avs will then face off against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The clubs haven’t met during the regular season, but did go head-to-head three times in the preseason. For what it’s worth, each game finished in a 2-1 final score, with Dallas earning two victories. Colorado won the season series last year, 3-1.

The Calgary Flames will then come to Denver on Tuesday. Colorado won the first meeting between the teams this season, posting a wild 6-5 victory in Alberta on Oct. 28.

It’s always easy for David Jones to get up for games against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Avalanche forward was born in Guelph, Ontario, but grew up in Vancouver and rooted for the Canucks as a child. Needless to say, he doesn’t have those same fuzzy feelings any longer.

One of Jones’ boyhood idols was Kirk McLean, the former Vancouver netminder and current Avalanche goaltending consultant.

“It’s actually funny because Kirk McLean is with us now and I was always a big fan of his, including the 1994 Cup run when they lost to New York,” said Jones.  “I was a big Canucks fan, but obviously not anymore. It’s always fun to go back there or play them here.”

In a somewhat strange twist, Jones has actually played more career games against Vancouver (11) than any other team in the NHL. His four points (3g/1a) against the Canucks are tied for his career-high against any team.

“It’s definitely easier to get up for those games, just knowing that all your friends and family are cheering for the Canucks,” said Jones. “It’s always good to beat them.”

-Chris Stewart was named the NHL’s Third Star for October after totaling 16 points (9g/7a) in 11 games during the month.

-Part of the reason Stewart earned the honor was his hat trick on Oct. 28 against the Calgary Flames.

-Stewart also earned Avalanche “Play of the Week” honors for the second of his three goals against the Flames.

-Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles recently set a new NHL record for the longest assist streak by a defenseman to begin a season. Liles broke the previous mark of eight games, which was established by Ottawa’s Filip Kuba in 2008-09.

V. AROUND THE LEAGUE posted its goals, hits and saves of the week. Keep an eye out for an Avalanche player in both the top goals (Paul Stastny) and saves (Peter Budaj) videos

-HBO Sports will present "Preview to 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road To The NHL Winter Classic," a 12-minute preview of the upcoming NHL reality series featuring  the spirited rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals, which is set to air exclusively on HBO.  Debuting Saturday, Nov. 20 at 10:15 p.m. MT, the special will serve as a primer to the acclaimed series for new viewers as well an introduction of the players and coaches from the Penguins and Capitals, who will appear on the all-access series.’s Mike G. Morreale
takes a look at the top QMJHL players available for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn.

-And speaking of the draft,
five players selected at the 2010 Entry Draft have earned full-time spots in the NHL.

-Need a night out with some friends? The Colorado Avalanche is hosting its
second “Guys Night Out” game of the season on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks. Receive two tickets, two beers and two Guys Night Out t-shirts for just $59.

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