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Evan’s NHL Daily: Central Battle, Top Defenseman Officially Available

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The tough road trip for the Colorado Avalanche has officially put them behind in the Central Division. Given Colorado’s road record, home-ice advantage might matter a lot more this year in the NHL playoffs. As of Sunday morning, they’ve fallen behind both teams they’re battling for the top spot in the division.

It’s hardly a surprise, but the top defenseman available at the NHL Trade Deadline is officially for sale, as it doesn’t sound like Noah Hanifin and the Calgary Flames are going to come to an agreement on an extension.

All that and more in this Sunday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

The Avalanche were back at practice on Saturday, but before the team hit the ice, Gabriel Landeskog skated in front of a full crowd at Family Sports. And he looks much better than you’d expect.

Colorado is back on home ice tonight against the struggling Arizona Coyotes, and I’ll have a piece on Chris Wagner’s return to the Avalanche later today.

MacKinnon’s Face

Nathan MacKinnon was at practice on Saturday. He confirmed he broke his nose from the puck to the face on Thursday night, but didn’t seem terribly concerned about it. He will not miss any time.

Tough At The Top Of The Central

With a win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, the Winnipeg Jets officially leapfrogged the Avalanche for second place in the Central Division. They’re one of the biggest surprises in the NHL and don’t seem to be going away.

Colorado is going to have to go through both the Jets and the Dallas Stars if they plan on advancing to the Stanley Cup Final, but they would probably prefer being at home. The Avalanche are 20-5 at Ball Arena, but just 13-13-4 on the road. Dallas picked up a loser point on Saturday, so here’s the updated standings.

  1. Dallas Stars – 55 games played, 75 points
  2. Winnipeg Jets – 52 games played, 71 points
  3. Colorado Avalanche – 55 games played, 70 points

Around The NHL

Everyone was expecting this, but it appears Noah Hanifin is officially available via trade. The Flames and Hanifin’s camp haven’t come to an agreement prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, and he’ll likely be dealt. Hanifin has 30 points in 55 games this year is still only 27. Any team that acquires him would likely want to talk to him about an extension.

The NHL announced another outdoor game for next year, with Columbus and Detroit facing off at Ohio Stadium in March of 2025. I’m officially over these outdoor games, but should be fun for the folks that go.

National Hockey Now

Speaking of outdoor games, the Devils put on a show for 75,000+ fans on Saturday, beating the Flyers in their Stadium Series game.

Jaromir Jagr joined the Penguins for practice on Saturday. What a sight!

The Predators crew looked at trade proposals submitted by fans. Maybe this is something we should try.

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Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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