Colorado Avalanche fans can breathe a sigh of relief because their rookie of the year candidate Matt Duchene “will be fine” after an injury scare, at least according to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post. Note: Dater’s post shows up in my Google Reader feed but the link is dead. Because of that, I’ll keep my eyes on the situation in case that post was taken down because Duchene is (in fact) hurt. If not, trust that Duchene should be OK.
Anyway, my text was chirping in the black hours of morning, with word from golden, trusted sources that Matt Duchene “will be fine.” A story detailing this and more should have been on denverpost.com a while ago, but hasn’t posted yet so I thought I’d do this here.
We’ll have to get the Avs’ official line later this morning after practice, but my sources are saying, indeed, he’ll be fine with his torso injury.
Again, if anything changes you will be informed. So far though, good news for the Colorado Avalanche. Duchene has been a big part of the young team’s resurgence, leading all NHL rookies with goals (24) and points (55).
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.