Nick Shore, F, Los Angeles Kings
When: The Avalanche hosts Shore and the Kings onMonday in the third game of a fivegame homestand and a stretch that has Colorado at the Pepsi Center nine times in 10 games.
What’s up: Shore, a University of Denver product, has played in all 37 games and is often centering the likes of Olympians Marian Gaborik (Slovakia) and Dustin Brown (U.S.) on the second or third lines. He is a primary penalty killer and sometimes seen on the power play. His statistics— two goals and six points— suggest he’s on the brink of being sent down to the minors. But he’s in the lineup every night, and the Kings believe his scoring will come.
Background: Shore, 23, won the Calder Cup with the ManchesterMonarchs last spring after the Kings missed the playoffs and chose to send him back to the American Hockey League for more seasoning. He had 18 points in 19 playoff games, with a plus-12 rating. Shore made his NHL debut last season, mostly playing on a fourth line, just one year after leaving DU following his junior year.
Chambers’ take: This is a story of a smart, two-way hockey player who is among the tidal wave of talent coming out of Colorado. Shore was born in Denver and was the second of three brothers to play for the Pioneers. He fits in nicely on an NHL team that makes winning puck battles the No. 1 job requirement.