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Frustration over losing is no excuse for refusing to wear a silver medal around your neck Matt Cullen Jersey Womens , the International Ice Hockey Federation ruled Wednesday.The IIHF issued multi-game suspensions for five players and three coaches of Sweden’s national team for pocketing or tossing their silver medals into the stands during the closing ceremony of the world junior championships in January. The actions occurred immediately following Sweden’s 3-1 loss to Canada in the gold-medal game at the 10-nation tournament held in Buffalo, New York.”The players have, by their actions, shown a lack of self-control,” the IIHF said. ”Taking off the silver medals presented to the players shows not only the disrespect against the spectators and the organizers of the championship, but also the disrespect against their opponents and winners of the championship.”The Swedes violated an IIHF rule requiring players and team officials to wear medals around their necks during the closing ceremony and postgame media availabilities.Captain Lias Andersson faced the most severe discipline in being issued a four-game ban from next year’s world juniors. Upon being presented his medal, Andersson skated away and immediately tossed it over the glass to a fan.”I didn’t want it. That guy in the stands wanted it more than me,” Andersson said, noting he has another silver medal just like it back home after losing the Under-18 championship.He said it made little difference the medal was eventually returned to him.”I’m just going to have it at home in some box or something,” Andersson said.Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, projected to be the No. 1 pick in the NHL draft in June, was suspended from playing the first two games of the Under-18 world championship next year. The ban does not apply to any other league.Forwards Axel Jonsson and Jesper Boqvist and goalie Olle Eriksson Ek were suspended from playing the first two games at the world juniors next year.Head coach Tomas Monten was issued a three-game ban from next year’s world juniors for putting the silver medal into his pocket during the ceremony. Assistants Nizze Landen and Henrik Stridh were handed two-game suspensions.”Losing a game is part of any competition and of the sport of ice hockey Derek Grant Jersey Womens , and does not excuse any unfair and unsportsmanlike behavior,” the IIHF ruled. ”To be `frustrated’ by the loss of a game is not the right attitude.”The players and coaches have three weeks to appeal the rulings. DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche could point to obvious flaws for their prolonged plunge: Erratic goaltenders, floundering special teams, inconsistent scoring from players not on their top line .Or just go with the more direct one.“We just haven’t played good enough,” captain Gabriel Landeskog said.The Avalanche were tied for the most points in the Western Conference after games on Dec. 7. Two months and a 5-15-6 record later, they’re trying to get on track and climb back into playoff contention. It’s been a perplexing freefall for an Avalanche team that hasn’t won since Jan. 19.“Everybody’s kind of taking their individual games down a couple of notches,” said Landeskog, whose team hosts Toronto on Tuesday looking to break a seven-game slide (0-4-3). “That adds up to the team not desperate enough, not hungry enough, not fast enough, not physical enough.”The silver lining to this grisly stretch: Colorado (22-22-11, 55 points) still sat just four points out of a playoff spot entering Monday. Any other year Erik Karlsson Jersey Womens , the deficit probably would be even greater.“We’re lucky,” center Nathan MacKinnon said. “We’re lucky the West is bad this year. If we were in the East, we’d be (eight) points out. So, we’re lucky everyone’s kind of lost separately. It’s been weird. We had a great start. We were first in our division and we’ve been just losing ever since, so we’re lucky. It feels like we’re 30 points out, but we’re only (four) and we need to remind ourselves of that.”Colorado finished a three-game trip with three straight overtime losses . Those are a valuable three points earned in defeat, but the team desperately needs wins.“It’s been two months we’ve been losing, so if we don’t get wins we’re not happy,” said MacKinnon, whose team dropped to 1-11 in OT games this season. “We need wins. That’s all that really matters.”General manager Joe Sakic recently gave the reeling team a vote of confidence. Playoffs are still firmly on his mind.“I believe in the guys in that dressing room, that we can right the ship,” Sakic said. “I know they believe it. Right now Patrick Maroon Jersey Womens , the confidence is a little low.”Colorado’s role at the trade deadline on Feb. 25 could be decided over the next few games. Once potential buyers — or comfortable making no moves — the team could become sellers. One thing Sakic won’t do is mortgage the future. He said the two first-round picks are off limits, along with some of their prized prospects.“For us, it’s got to make sense going forward,” Sakic said of a deal.The recent struggles in net have plagued Colorado. Semyon Varlamov is 13-13-8 with a 2.91 goals-against average. Backup Philipp Grubauer hasn’t been any more steady, going 9-7-3 with a 3.47 goals-against.“Got to get them playing with a little more confidence,” Sakic said.The power play of late has been problematic, too. Since Dec. 8, they’re last in the league in penalty kill percentage and 21st in converting power play chances.Colorado also is looking for more secondary scoring to help out the top line of Landeskog, MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, which has combined for 206 points.“Obviously, everything is magnified when you lose,” MacKinnon said. “When you win Tyler Bozak Jersey Womens , those mistakes kind of get covered up and you don’t really see them in video or things like that. So, it’s been tough. Obviously, a lot of negativity, but we’ve played some decent games.”Sakic remains firmly in the corner of coach Jared Bednar, who led the Avalanche back to the postseason a year ago — he was a coach of the year finalist — after going 22-56-4 in his first season.“The problem is not coaching at all,” Sakic said. “We have good systems.”The skid hasn’t soured the locker room, MacKinnon said“Some losing teams kind of turn on each other, but everyone has each other’s backs and we’re trying to win with each other,” MacKinnon said. “We know (with) losing comes changes and we don’t want to change our team. So, the mood is still pretty good.“I think that’s the only way to get out of it. If you hang your head and be negative, I think you’re just kind of doomed from there. So we’re still positive.”