Slip and slide

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

How bad have things been for the Colorado Avalanche this year?

Well, their best old player lost a battle with a snowblower and their best young player is out for at least another month after forearm surgery. Those two facts combined to make Tyler Arnason their No. 1 center until recently, when Wojtek Wolski moved over from the wing, which is a sure sign things aren’t going your way.

All that happened after they signed Darcy Tucker last summer in the hopes he could add a little toughness and scoring grit to the front lines.

Injuries to Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny and impaired judgment on personnel moves have combined to make this a miserable season in Colorado, a city once firmly on the road map of any Western Conference team hoping to advance to the Cup final.

A fairly barren prospect cupboard means it’s time for a complete rebuild in the Rockies.

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

L10

THE SCOOP

1

1

29-6-4

9-1-0

Wins should keep coming with eight of their next 11 at home

2

4

26-7-5

7-2-1

At their best when they've been pushed this year

3

3

29-4-5

6-1-3

Still have the best winning percentage in the league

4

5

26-11-3

9-1-0

How cool would it have been to see Ovie, Jeff Carter and Thomas Vanek starting the All-Star Game on the same line?

5

2

21-8-7

8-2-0

Nikolai Khabibulin shows he's still on the scene with a 34-save performance in Sunday's win over Calgary

6

6

23-12-4

7-1-2

Suddenly it seems the Northwest is theirs to lose

7

8

23-12-3

7-3-0

Patrik Elias and Zach Parise have been awesome, but Brian Gionta is almost at a point-per-game pace, too

8

9

22-10-6

6-3-1

Habs have to be concerned with how shaky Jaroslav Halak has looked in Carey Price's absence

9

7

21-10-8

5-3-2

The Flyers are so banged up at forward that 18-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa became a first-line winger in a loss to the Kings

10

10

23-14-3

5-4-1

Michal Rozsival coming alive on the back end with four goals in his past five games. He had just two all year prior to the outburst.

11

11

20-1-5

4-4-2

Jonas Hiller's 2.12 goals-against average and .933 save percentage rank him No. 3 league-wide in each of those categories

12

13

20-15-5

7-3-0

Have been picking on the lesser lights of late to rack up some W's

13

19

19-16-5

5-3-2

Shane Doan has simply been awesome this year

14

15

19-15-5

5-3-2

Walked into Boston and put a halt to the Bruins' 10-game winning streak

15

17

21-15-5

4-4-2

After months of excruciating talk, we'll see Mats Sundin play an NHL game this week

16

12

19-16-4

3-7-0

Maybe the freefall ends if Evgeni Malkin jumps somebody on a faceoff

17

23

18-17-4

5-4-1

Jackets have the fourth-best goals for/against ratio at 5-on-5 in the league; imagine if the NHL's worst power play suddenly improves

18

18

17-16-5

6-3-1

On a team that needs an offensive leader, Brad Richards has 13 points in his past nine games

19

26

19-16-3

4-4-2

Marian Gaborik had hip surgery on Monday; the team is hopeful he'll return for the last month of the season. The real question is where he'll play after that.

20

14

17-16-6

3-4-3

Four of David Booth's seven assists this year have come in the past five games. The young American is on pace for 37 goals

21

20

18-16-3

5-4-1

Sam Gagner finally coming alive with four points over his past two contests

22

22

16-17-6

5-5-0

If I was GM of a Cup contender, I'd be calling about Nik Antropov and Tomas Kaberle

23

24

16-16-6

4-4-2

Was this forward crew simply overrated from the start?

24

21

19-19-1

5-5-0

Franchise that always picked high in the late '80s and early '90s could use a top three selection in this year's draft

25

16

17-18-3

3-6-1

Dan Ellis hasn't been able to replicate his magic from last season

26

27

11-18-10

4-4-2

Ryan Malone had three points through the first 14 games; he's got 18 in the past 16

27

25

13-18-6

3-6-1

Which one of the players who dazzled at the World Junior Championship in Ottawa would Sens fans most like to have next year? I'd have to guess John Tavares

28

29

15-21-3

3-7-0

What will they get for Keith Tkachuk in this year's trade?

29

30

13-22-5

3-6-1

Coach John Anderson not happy with what he calls his team's "give-a-crap level"

30

28

12-24-4

2-6-2

Mark Streit has a five-game point streak going and has been awesome on Long Island all year

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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