Avalanche Skate: Key Defenseman Doubtful, No Nichushkin

Colorado Hockey Now

I know Colorado Avalanche fans are chomping at the bit for Valeri Nichushkin to return to the lineup, but you’ll have to wait at least a few more days.

Nichushkin was on the ice for morning skate, but a clear sign he wasn’t ready to play was the jersey color. The big Russian was in white, along with the rest of the penalty killers. If he’s ready to enter the lineup, he’ll almost certainly have a powerplay jersey on. Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar confirmed after skate that he will not play tonight, but they’re hopeful he returns this week.

Colorado also appears as though they will have to play without Josh Manson, who Bednar said is doubtful to play due to a lower-body injury. Caleb Jones, who has not played since Jan. 15, would step back into the lineup if Manson isn’t able to play.

If Jones does play, he’ll face-off against his brother, Seth Jones, for the first time. The Nuggets are in town, so it’s a good bet their father Popeye will be at the game to watch it all.

“He’s going to be excited regardless,” Bednar said after morning skate about Jones. “He’s working hard in practice and staying prepared and he’s a good pro, a good teammate. Little added extra kick playing against his brother trying to grab some bragging rights is also a good thing.”

The people most disappointed in Manson’s potential absence could be on the Chicago Blackhawks side. There have been a lot of talk on Chicago’s side about retribution for Manson’s slash on Connor Bedard. Does Bednar expect any funny business tonight from the road team?


News And Notes From Skate

  • Justus Annunen will start again for the Avalanche on Monday. He shutout the Blackhawks just a few days ago, and this is likely to be his last start ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline. Maybe Colorado already has their minds made up on what they want to do, but in the eye of a player, it’s one last shot before any potential move is made.
  • I was not in the Cale Makar scrum this morning, but he is adamant he is not injured at the moment…
  • I did talk to Logan O’Connor about the NHL Trade Deadline happening to fall on the same day the Avalanche have a game, and whether or not it should be a day off for every team. Probably will speak to more about it in the coming days. Bednar’s initial thoughts?
    • “I don’t care.”
PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com