eason Harrison Phillips Jersey Bills , myself included, last year to resp

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  • eason Harrison Phillips Jersey Bills , myself included, last year to resp


    Fair warning to the rest of the league: As fast and young as the Colorado Avalanche were this season Youth Bo Scarbrough Jersey , general manager Joe Sakic vows to make them even faster and younger.
    Its become a full-speed-ahead priority.
    That blend of quickness, youth and skill boosted the Avalanche from the bottom of the league a year ago to a playoff contender this season. Having an MVP candidate like Nathan MacKinnon leading the charge certainly didnt hurt, either.
    We love the way we play the game, Sakic said a day after the Avs were eliminated from the first round of the postseason by top-seeded Nashville in six games. Its fast. Its entertaining. Its exciting.
    Few expected this kind of run from a Colorado team that had just 48 points in 2016-17. But youthful energy kept the Avalanche in the playoff chase until the end, where they earned the final postseason spot on the last day of the regular season. Their 47-point turnaround from a season ago matches the fourth-highest year-to-year improvement over a full season in NHL history, according to the team.
    That bodes well. That is, once the sting of losing to the Predators fades.
    Were going to stay the course and let this team grow because they deserve it Malik Jefferson Jersey Bengals , said Sakic, whose squad was one of the leagues youngest with an average age of 25.8. Were going to stay young and in the next couple of years may even get younger. If we can, even try to get a little bit quicker and faster out there.
    The Avalanche fully bought into the message of even-keeled coach Jared Bednar, who will be around two more seasons after Sakic announced Monday he recently agreed to a one-year extension with the former American Hockey League coach.
    Its a cool story that we went from last to the playoffs, but were trying to win a Cup, said the 22-year-old MacKinnon, who had 39 goals and 58 assists in the regular season. We showed a lot of fight this season. Hopefully we can use some of that next season.
    Things to know about a season in which the Avalanche returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014:
    HOME COOKIN
    The Avalanche returned the aura back to the Pepsi Center. They won 28 games at home in the regular season Brandon Parker Jersey Raiders , which tied the franchise record held by the 2000-01 squad that captured the Stanley Cup crown.
    To see the way this Colorado crowd and the city responded to us was great, defenseman Erik Johnson said.
    YOUTHFUL SPIRIT
    The future is certainly bright with a total of 11 rookies dressing this season. Even more, nine players got their first taste of the postseason.
    It was great to get into the playoffs just to feel the different level, where youve got to go emotionally and intensity goes up, Sakic said. We cant take it for granted.
    MACS OFFENSIVE ATTACK
    MacKinnon had a season worthy of consideration for the Hart Trophy as league MVP. He led the league in home scoring this season with 67 points (27 goals, 40 assists). Thats tied with Sakic (2000-01) for most in Avalanche history.
    In addition, MacKinnons 284 shots were also the most by an Avalanche player since Sakic (332 Dolphins Game Jerseys , `00-01).
    He was frequently paired with captain Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, giving them one of the leagues most potent lines.
    If you want to bring someone to their first hockey game, you want to bring them to watch Nathan MacKinnon, Sakic said.
    HANGIN TEN
    Colorado had a 10-game winning streak that began with an overtime win over Toronto on Dec. 29 and ended Jan. 23 with a loss at Montreal. It was the second-longest streak in team history.
    Great group, fun to coach, Bednar said. It was a good season, a fun season especially for a lot of our guys who went through probably their worst season Harrison Phillips Jersey Bills , myself included, last year to respond and have a season like this.
    INJURIES
    Colorado dealt with its fair share of injuries, including the loss of starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov and Johnson to knee injuries before the playoffs. In the postseason, backup Jonathan Bernier went down. The Avs had to rely on third-stringer Andrew Hammond, who was acquired as part of the three-team trade in November that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa.
    I know well come back stronger, Landeskog said. Im proud of this team.
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