Categories
Avalanche Broncos CSU Rams CU Buffs Nuggets Rockies

Avs blank Stars 4-0, eye No. 1 seed

Avalanche

Pavel Francouz made 27 saves and became the first goalie in Avs history to post a shutout in his first postseason game as Colorado dominated Dallas 4-0 in the teams’ second of three round-robin games on Wednesday in Edmonton.

Rookie Cale Makar got the scoring started just 3:19 into the first period on the power play. Joonas Donskoi later scored just after an Avs’ power play ended to give Colorado a 2-0 lead. Vladislav Namestnikov scored late in the second period and Andre Burakovsky added the final tally early in the third.

Colorado faces the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (time to be determined) and with a win would earn the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed.

  • TheAthletic.com’s Ryan S. Clark wrote about what the Avs will do throughout the rest of the playoffs with two goalies in Francouz and Philipp Grubauer who have both looked very sharp in Colorado’s first two games.
    My thoughts: In hockey you almost always have a clear No. 1 goalie, so the idea of going with two during the playoffs just feels weird. But the reality of the matter is it’s worked with the Avs so far, so what’s wrong with sticking with it. And if one guy gets hot or goes cold then you can make an adjustment, but until then, don’t try to fix what’s not broken.
  • TheDNVR’s Evan Rawal handed out grades to the Avs after the victory over the Stars.
  • Unfortunately, The Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla was forced to write about how ridiculous it is that so many fans in Colorado still can not watch the Nuggets and Avs because of Altitude not being able to reach an agreement with Comcast and Dish Network.

Nuggets

Michael Porter Jr. had his second straight 30-point game as the Nuggets rallied to beat San Antonio 132-126 on Wednesday afternoon in Orlando. Porter finished with 30 points, 15 rebounds and made five threes in Denver’s second straight win.

The Nuggets also got another solid game from center Nikola Jokić who finished with 25 points and 11 assists. Monte Morris, starting in place of injured Jamal Murray had 19 points, four assists and zero turnovers. Both Jerami Grant (22 points) and P.J. Dozier (12 points and eight assists) led the Nuggets off the bench.

Denver is in third place in the Western Conference standings at 45-23, two games clear of fourth place Utah and just a half game behind the Clippers. The Nuggets are back in action tonight as they face Portland at 6 p.m. (Altitude, 92.5 FM).

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Porter became the first rookie to score 65 points while shooting 65% or better and grab at least 25 rebounds in back-to-back games since Shaquille O’Neal in 1993.
    My thoughts: Stats like this are fun, but also not really accurate at this point. While technically still a rookie this is more like Porter’s third season than his first. He basically took a medical redshirt Year 1, and then with the four-month layoff this season due to COVID-19 it’s hard to really consider him a rookie. Either way he’s been fun to watch and if he keeps it up this year and going forward the Nuggets should be serious championship contenders.
  • TheDNVR.com’s Adam Mares broke down the play of Grant and looked at how he shows off an under-utilized skill.

Rockies

Nolan Arenado homered in his third straight game, but it wasn’t enough as Colorado’s four-game winning streak was snapped with a 4-3 loss to the Giants on Wednesday night at Coors Field.

Starter Jon Gray pitched well (six innings, three earned runs), but Brandon Belt tagged him for a three-run home run in the fourth inning and San Francisco added another run in the six to pick up the win.

  • Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to nine games and is hitting .378 this season, especially impressive when you remember he missed the start of Summer Camp due to a battle with COVID-19.
  • The Rockies and Giants finish off their four-game series this afternoon (1:10 p.m., AT&T Sports Net, 850 AM) with Kyle Freeland taking on the Giants’ Tyler Anderson, a former first-round pick of the Rockies.
  • Freeland is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA after two starts this year, and one of the reasons for his early-season success has been throwing more changeups.
  • Reliever Wade Davis, who was placed on the injured list with a right shoulder strain, has not yet begun throwing and continues to receive treatment.

Broncos

There’s no question the Broncos are going to be very reliant on young players this season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. TheDNVR.com’s Andrew Mason looked at how Courtland Sutton and the rest of the offensive will attempt to build some chemistry, especially with the impact coronavirus has had on everything.

  • Along very much the same lines, PFF.com’s Sam Monson looked at whether Denver can challenge this year, with so much of a dependance on young players.
  • Over at TheAthletic.com Sheil Kapadia ranked all the NFL offenses from 1-32. Where’d the Broncos check in? How about 27th, one spot down from where they had them ranked last year. Clearly Kapadia believes the Broncos youth is a detriment, not a blessing.

CU Buffs

In some very sad news long-time CU Buffs fan Betty Hoover died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Hoover was 95 years old.

She, along with her twin sister Peggy Coppom, have been iconic fans at Buffs games for 80 years. She will be missed.

CSU Rams

Colorado State’s football scheduled was revealed, kind of, on Wednesday. Assuming it happens, the Rams will play eight conference games, with the opener coming the week of Sept. 26. CSU’s lone remaining non-conference game vs. Northern Colorado is now in limbo. As for who they’ll actual face? According to The Denver Post story, the scheduling models for the Mountain West Conference season remain “under consideration.”

Categories
Avalanche Broncos CU Buffs Nuggets Rockies

Avs win opener with less than a second to play

Avalanche

In one of the most exciting finishes you’ll see in a regulation NHL game the Avs beat the Blues 2-1 on Sunday as Nazem Kadri scored with 0.01 seconds to play in the teams’ first game of robin-round play of the NHL restart in Edmonton.

Obviously, winning is paramount for the Avs, and every team, but even more important is the fact that it happened in regulation. By winning in regulation Colorado earned two points, while St. Louis got zero. Had the game gone to overtime, both teams would have been assured of a point.

After Kadri scored it took officials almost seven minutes to declare it was officially a goal. Replays showed a blurry puck being mostly across the line, but the next frame the clock went to 0.00 when it was clearly across the goal line.

The Avs are now in first place in the Western Conference round-robin, their next game is Wednesday (4:30 p.m.) against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Rockies

It’s hard to believe the Rockies’ season is just over a week old, but with a 6-2 record through eight games Colorado is in first place in the NL West. The Rockies won their third straight series on Sunday by beating the Padres 9-6 behind Antonio Senzatela’s pitching and the bats of Daniel Murphy and Matt Kemp.

Senzatela (2-0) went six innings, struck out six and allowed just one run on four hits and one walk. Murphy went 4-for-4 with a home and two RBI, while Kemp added his second homer of the season and drove in two as well.

Colorado is percentage points ahead of the Dodgers (7-3) in the West standings and one game ahead of the third place Padres.

Colorado welcomes in the San Francisco Giants to Coors Field tonight (6:40 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 850 KOA) with righty Chi Chi González scheduled to make his first start of the season.

Nuggets

After dropping their first game of the NBA restart 125-105 to the Miami Heat on Saturday the Nuggets are back at it again today as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder at 2 p.m. (Altitude, 92.5 FM).

Denver was without starters Will Barton (knee), Gary Harris (hip) and Jamal Murray (hamstring) in its first game back and both Barton and Harris have already been ruled out of today’s game, while Murray is questionable.

My thoughts: It still is very early, counting today the Nuggets have seven seeding games remaining, but I’m starting to feel more and more like the Nuggets could be one-and-done when it comes playoff time this season.

Every team has had a lot to deal with during the NBA restart, from players opting out to getting guys into and out of the NBA quarantine. It just feels like the Nuggets can’t get any traction built up. And while many people have referred to these seeding games a like the preseason, Denver coach Michael Malone made the great point that the playoffs don’t follow the preseason.

If Denver can’t get everyone on the court in the next few games I fear there simply is not going to be enough time to get in sync before the playoffs start. And with the Western Conference being as deep as it is that’s almost a sure ticket to a first-round exit.

  • TheAthletic.com’s Kendra Andrews wrote about how the Nuggets sloppy third quarter against the Heat highlighted the struggles the team is facing as a whole.

Broncos

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio talked about the possibility the team will have live practice periods this month, something hardly ever seen anymore, but without any preseason games it might be a necessity this year.

“Obviously with no preseason games, we’ll lose those evaluation times. It will be a challenge for young players to learn and adapt to the game. … Maybe in practices, we’ll have to have some live action in there on occasion. I’ve never been many places where that’s been done in practice. We just relied on the preseason games for that.”

Vic Fangio told The Denver Post

CU Buffs

Over the weekend it was announced that CU star McKinley Wright will return to Boulder for his senior season with men’s basketball team. Previously Wright had submitted his name for the NBA Draft.

Nationally

Forbes released its annual list of the 50 most valuable sports teams over the weekend. The Top 5 were:
1. Dallas Cowboys ($5.5 billion)

2. New York Yankees ($5 billion)

3. New York Knicks ($4.6 billion)

4. Los Angeles Lakers ($4.4 billion)

5. Golden State Warriors ($4.3 billion)

The Denver Broncos checked in at No. 25 with a valuation of $3 billion. No other Colorado teams made the list, while no NHL teams at were in the Top 50.