Colorado Avalanche Players at IIHF Worlds


The Colorado Avalanche as a team are not competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, as we well know. However, several players are participating in the IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic. Most are doing well, a couple are dominating and one, though he played great, has been eliminated.

Switzerland vs USA

No doubt Team USA was favored to win this game. I predicted it would not be a blowout, though, and I was correct. The Swiss went up early, but the US got two quick goals in the second period and never gave up the lead. They took the game 3-1, with Roman Josi the lone goal scorer for the Swiss.

Avalanche back up goalie Reto Berra was in net for Switzerland. He made 21 saves. The Swiss only got 22 shots off, though. Berra and the Swiss are done with their international play after today’s game.

Avalanche defenseman Zach Redmond was a healthy scratch for Team USA.

Team USA moves on to the Finals to face Russia, who beat Sweden 5-3. The game is Saturday, May 16 at 7:15 am MDT.

Avalanche Players for Team Canada

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Russian Machine Never Breaks” may be true, but it’s the Canadian machine that’s taking over IIHF Worlds domination. Every game Canada plays looks like an NHL team playing an AHL one. The Belarussians were the only team to defeat Team USA, but the Canadians trounced them 9-0.

Avalanche players were active in this game, as usual. Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie earned an assist on the second goal of the game, scored by Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis. He now has one goal and four assists in eight games and is +10.

It was Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly who showed off in the game against Belarus. He earned his first goal midway through the first to put Canada up 3-0. He scored again midway through the third to make the score 8-0. O’Reilly also assisted on the sixth goal of the match, scored by San Jose sharks defenseman Brent Burns. O’Reilly now has two goals and eight assists at IIHF Worlds.

Avalanche centers Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon didn’t earn any points this time around. Duchene has four goals and seven assists, while MacKinnon has three goals and five assists.

Duchene is also the faceoff leader at IIHF Worlds with an impressive 69.7%. O’Reilly isn’t too far behind with 64.4%.

The Canadians move on to face the Czechs Saturday, May 16, at 11:15 am MDT. The Canadians are heavily favored to win, which is almost a pity because…

Avalanche Player and a Legend

Avalanche veteran defenseman Jan Hejda is still in the thick of competition, and it’s largely due to an ageless legend — Jaromir Jagr. At 43 years old, Jagr is playing like a man physically half his age but with the wisdom of a veteran.

Jagr is hugely popular in his native Czech Republic and is largely regarded as the greatest Czech athlete ever. He’s powerful, yet his skating and puck handling are pure grace.

Jagr scored a beauty of a power play goal in the second period on the backhand to tie the game 2-2. (He also assisted on the goal that put the Czechs up 3-2 late in the third.) However, it was his third period spin-o-rama goal — classic Jagr — that was the most gorgeous play of the game — maybe of the day. It was unassisted, and it was the game winner.

Like I said, it’s unlikely that, even with the ageless Jaromir Jagr, the Czechs will prevail against the Canadians. Team Canada is built to take gold this year — which is great for the four Avalanche players on the team.

Next: Importance of a Stellar Goalie

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