I know we’ve all heard about concussions enough to nearly be certified Internet experts about them, but if you’re part of the Colorado Avalanche defense, chances are you know more about them than anyone would ever want to. Avs defenseman Kyle Quincey is out of the lineup indefinitely thanks to a concussion and Adrian Dater of The Denver Post says that things are practically an epidemic now.
The Avs got more bad medical news today when it was learned defenseman Kyle Quincey will be out indefinitely with a concussion. He becomes the fourth Avalanche player to be sidelined with the injury, joining Adam Foote, Kyle Cumiskey and Peter Mueller.
“I can’t put my finger on that injury. It’s just one of those things that’s part of the game,” Avs coach Joe Sacco said. “I can’t put my finger on any reason why they’re happening.”
Obviously concussions aren’t contagious like the flu is but this is a rather remarkable situation in Denver. These injuries coupled with Craig Anderson’s mystery knee ailment as well as David Jones’ nagging health issues have really put the bite on the Avs early on this season.
To make up for it, the Avalanche are busy turning their team into Boston University’s alumni camp with former Terriers David Van der Gulik, Kevin Shattenkirk, and latest call-up Colby Cohen helping to fill out the roster. Those three along with starter Brandon Yip help to give BU fans a vested rooting interest in the Avalanche that has absolutely nothing to do with Ray Bourque.
With all these injuries to deal with, the Avalanche blue line looks like a rookie camp lineup and with Peter Budaj holding down things in goal for the time being, head coach Joe Sacco’s abilities are being tested big time early on in Denver. So far, so good for Colorado as they hold down a 7-5-1 record and are winners in three of their last four. For now, perhaps the rest of the Avalanche lineup should get familiar with some of the songs made famous by the BU band.
Raanta rewards Rangers for starts over Lundqvist by blanking Blackhawks
If someone told you that the New York Rangers started a goalie on back-to-back nights, and that goalie wasn’t Henrik Lundqvist, you’d probably wonder if he was hurt or retired.
Nope. It just so happens that Antti Raanta is playing at an incredibly high level, Alain Vigneault noticed, and that decision paid dividends on Friday night. Raanta won both nights of a back-to-back, allowing a single goal (with the Rangers protecting him, being that he only needed to stop 43 of 44 shots during that span).
Raanta and the Rangers blanked the Chicago Blackhawks with a 1-0 overtime win, at least briefly climbing to first place in the massively competitive Metro Division:
1. Rangers – 39 points in 29 games played
2. Penguins- 37 points in 27 GP
3. Blue Jackets – 36 points in 25 GP
4. Capitals – 35 points in 26 GP
5. Flyers – 35 points in 29 GP
Nick Holden ended up scoring the only goal of the game:
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks lost but at least salvaged a standings point and it seems like Patrick Kane is OK after this injury scare:
Raanta improved to 7-1-0 on the season, allowing two goals or less in all but one of his appearances so far this season. That’s the kind of work you’d expect to see if you’re going sit a guy who’s, you know, a living legend.
Blue Jackets remain in thick of things in Metro on tough night for Red Wings
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.