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Bob Hartley


C - Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Stephane Yelle, Chris Drury, Serge Aubin. LW - Valeri Kamensky, Rene Corbet, Milan Hejduk, Shean Donovan, Warren Rychel. RW - Claude Lemieux, Adam Deadmarsh, Shjon Podein, Jeff Odgers, Scott Parker, Christian Matte. D - Sylvain Lefebvre, Adam Foote, Alexei Gusarov, Jon Klemm, Aaron Miller, Eric Messier, Wade Belak, Greg deVries, Cam Russell, Mike Gaul. G - Patrick Roy, Craig Billington.


Stephane Yelle, c (wrist, day-to-day); Eric Messier, d (eye, late January); Joe Sakic, c (shoulder, day-to-day); Alexei Gusarov, d (finger, mid-December); Shjon Podein, rw (fractured leg, mid-February); Jon Klemm, d (knee, early March); Warren Rychel, lw (hand, indefinite).


Recalled Christian Matte, rw, from Hershey (AHL). Assigned Dan Smith, d, to Hershey. Recalled Serge Aubin, c, from Hershey. Recalled Mike Gaul, d, from Hershey.


12/08 at Islanders   W 2-1
12/09 at Rangers     W 2-1
12/12 at New Jersey  L 5-3
12/14 St. Louis      T 0-0
12/17 at Vancouver   L 2-1
12/19 at San Jose    L 2-1


Northwest Division  GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA 
  Colorado          31  14  14   3    31   75   78   
  Edmonton          32  14  15   3    31   88   84   
  Calgary           31  12  16   3    27   87   90  
  Vancouver         30  11  15   4    26   84   90


by Greg D'Avis, Colorado Correspondent

Ah, the holidays; the snow ... the bite in the air ... the giving feeling in the air ... and the Avs stinking it up.

After putting together their best run of the year, and finally climbing above .500, the Avalanche promptly went in the tank, losing to the mighty Canucks and Sharks. Oh boy.

And, just when it seemed like the injured list was slimming down, the boys went out and hurt themselves in new and exciting ways.

After a successful road trip, with a sweep in New York and a loss (but a good loss!) to New Jersey, the Avs played in quite possibly the most boring hockey game ever, a 0-0 tie with the Blues. Quite a statement, but I stand by it. Everyone said, "Oh, boy, Roy and Fuhr were great," and sure they were, but it's not like they had competition. Pee-wee players go to the net more. By the end of this one, I was rooting for fights.

Which came aplenty in the next game, as the Avalanche sent their legion of tough guys out to get pounded by Vancouver's legion of tougher guys. Scott Parker held his own against some enormous Canuck, but Warren Rychel's gone for a while with a broken hand after fighting Murray Baron, and Jeff Odgers was distinctly overmatched against Donald Brashear. In between, there was a hockey game, but Garth Snow was as close to spectacular as a Canuck goalie can be, a goofy shot went in off Greg deVries' skate, and the Avs lost when they should have won.

As it was next game -- no one should EVER lose to the Sharks. Yet they did, in another ugly, ugly game. Eric Messier came back for this one to give the power play a much-needed boost, and promptly took a stick in the eye. He's out for another two months. Which leads us to:


In addition to Rychel and Messier, the Avs got a scare when Joe Sakic went down with a bad shoulder against Vancouver. He should be back quick, though.

Meanwhile, Adam Foote returned, to shore up the battered defense. Alexei Gusarov and Stephane Yelle should also appear soon. Of course, none of that addresses...

Power Play Problems

Simply put, it stinks. Sandis Ozolinsh (remember him?) was rumored to be on his way back, but talks have broken off again. Messier was supposed to help, but he's hurtin'. All this leaves the Avalanche with deVries and Cam Russell on the point quite a bit -- a sobering thought. Maybe help can be had from ...

Recent Call-Ups

To take the place of Sakic and Messier, the Avalanche recalled center Serge Aubin and defenseman Mike Gaul from Hershey. The ever-helpful Colorado media guide neglects to mention that these fellows exist, so I don't know anything, except by the names they both appear to be Francophones.

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