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Bob Hartley


C - Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Stephane Yelle, Chris Drury, Dale Hunter. LW - Valeri Kamensky, Milan Hejduk, Shean Donovan, Warren Rychel, Chris Dingman. RW - Theoren Fleury, Claude Lemieux, Adam Deadmarsh, Shjon Podein, Jeff Odgers, Scott Parker. D - Sandis Ozolinsh, Sylvain Lefebvre, Adam Foote, Alexei Gusarov, Jon Klemm, Aaron Miller, Greg deVries, Cam Russell, Eric Messier. G - Patrick Roy, Craig Billington.


Stephane Yelle, c (knee, day-to-day); Cam Russell, d (shoulder, out for season); Alexei Gusarov, d (knee, day-to-day).


Recalled Scott Parker, rw, from Hershey (AHL). Recalled Chris Dingman, lw, from Hershey.


First Round vs San Jose: Avalanche won 4-2
4/24 at San Jose  W 3-1
4/26 at San Jose  W 2-1 OT
4/28 San Jose     L 4-2
4/30 San Jose     L 7-3
5/01 San Jose     W 6-2
5/03 at San Jose  W 3-2 OT

Second Round vs Detroit: Avalanche lead series 3-2
5/07 Detroit     L 3-2 OT
5/09 Detroit     L 4-0
5/11 at Detroit  W 5-3
5/13 at Detroit  W 6-2
5/16 Detroit     W 3-0




by Greg D'Avis, Colorado Correspondent

What ever happened to the depth?

Coming into the Avalanche/Detroit series, all the talk was how the Avalanche's depth simply couldn't match up to the Red Wings. And for two games, they were right; particularly in Game Two, the Avalanche seemed far more interested in racking up stupid penalties than, say, playing defense. But with a few new additions and a new lease on life, Colorado went flat-out wild.

Missing Yelle

Stephane Yelle went down with a knee injury in the final game of the San Jose series - he's expected to miss the entire Detroit series - and he's been a huge loss. The loss of the Avalanche's top penalty killer forced Dale Hunter up to the third line for the first two games, and that was a mess. The third and fourth lines were basically useless; pundits called the fourth line of Warren Rychel, Jeff Odgers and Shean Donovan the "IHL Line". Hunter appeared to be intent on setting a record for ill-timed high-sticks (only teammate Peter Forsberg, who played the first two games in a blind rage, could give him any competition), and Detroit was able to key on the Avalanche's stars and shut them down.

What A Difference A Russian Makes

Then, for Game Three, Valeri Kamensky made his first appearance with the Avalanche in two months, since his arm was broken by Enemy of Humanity (and Red Wing) Kirk Maltby. While Kamensky hasn't set the world on fire since coming back - two points in three games - his impact can't be overstated. He's outplayed the Red Wings' vaunted Russian crew, and his presence allowed coach Bob Hartley to move Adam Deadmarsh to the third line with Shjon Podein and Chris Drury and Hunter back to the fourth - with fantastic results. Since Kamensky's return, the third line has been hot, particularly Deadmarsh, and the fourth line has even chipped in a couple of goals. So the Red Wings can still key on the first line of Joe Sakic, Theo Fleury and Milan Hejduk, as they've done with success, but now the Avalanche have two more scoring-threat lines instead of just one.

Meanwhile, add a Russian, lose a Russian. The Red Wings have had to live without smart, experienced center Igor Larionov, replacing him with Brent Gilchrist - not a good trade-off. And the Red Wings' much-ballyhooed depth hasn't paid off; no goals from Brendan Shanahan, Darren McCarty, Martin Lapointe, Sergei Fedorov.

Miller Time

For the third straight year (and, admittedly, last year it was nothing to brag about), Aaron Miller has been the Avalanche's best defenseman in the playoffs. He's leading the league at +10, chipped in a bit offensively, but most of all, just been a steady, strong presence. This year, Avalanche fans have seem him evolve from a seventh defenseman into a blueline leader, and that's continued in the playoffs.

Other Avs deserve notes. Deadmarsh has been fantastic, Forsberg has played well after being out for blood in the first two games, Adam Foote and Sylvain Lefebvre have been steady, and while they haven't been scoring as much, the line of Fleury, Sakic and Hejduk have kept the Red Wings on their toes and worn them out. And, of course, Patrick Roy has been great.

There's still at least one game left, and no one expects the Red Wings to lie down and die. But, thus far, the Avalanche have put to rest the concerns that surrounded this team coming in.

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