The Colorado Avalanche are likely to see rookie forward Matt Duchene return, but Peter Mueller’s concussion problems might force him to miss some playoff time according to a story in the Denver Post.
Duchene finished as Colorado’s third-leading scorer with 55 points (24 goals) and is expected return to the lineup when the Avs open the playoffs at San Jose on Wednesday.
Winger Peter Mueller is considered more of a question mark for Game 1 against the Sharks. He has missed the past four games since suffering a concussion when he was checked into the boards by San Jose captain Rob Blake on April 4.
“I’m optimistic,” Avs coach Joe Sacco said of having Duchene and Mueller available for Game 1. “I don’t have a definite answer right now. We’ll see how they present (today). Both guys are progressing very well in the last couple of days. So I’ll know more (this) morning.”
Really, you can point to an injection of new talent as to why the Avs made an unexpected playoff run. From new head coach Joe Sacco to acquisitions such as Craig Anderson (more on him later, possibly) to farm team call-ups including Chris Stewart, the team seemed to hit a lot of high notes with the changes it made.
People can make all the “choking” jokes they want with the San Jose Sharks but they are a loaded, veteran roster that could very well tear the young Avalanche apart. The one clear advantage Colorado has is in its skating ability, so the more young legs they have, the better.
We’ll keep an eye on status updates for Duchene, Mueller and other injured players on playoff teams and pass along news to you as we hear about it.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.