Avs rip Stewart after Sarich scrap, celebration


The Colorado Avalanche were in a sour mood following Thursday’s 7-3 blowout loss to St. Louis — but the hard feelings weren’t just about the scoreline.

The Avs took exception to a second-period tilt between Chris Stewart and Cory Sarich, in which the St. Louis forward scored a comprehensive victory:

The post-fight celebration irked a number of Colorado players, as did Stewart’s choice in dance partners. Colorado had a pair of tough guys in the lineup on Thursday — Cody McLeod and Patrick Bordeleau, who’ve combined for seven of the team’s 13 fights this season — though Sarich is no stranger to the scrap game, having already dropped the gloves twice this season.

Regardless, the Avs were choked.

“There is no brains,” defenseman Jan Hejaa said about Stewart, as per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s just a guy who fights his whole life.”

“It’s a little gutless by him,” added goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere. “But it’s an emotional game and these things will happen.”

(Making this all the more interesting is that Stewart was drafted by Colorado, spent his first two-and-a-half seasons with the Avs and was teammates with a number of current players.)

The testy contest featured two other fights — Matt Duchene going with Vladimir Sobotka, Ryan Reaves dropping ’em with McLeod — and the two teams combined for 80 penalty minutes.

UPDATE: For a little more context on the scrap and aftermath, here’s Adrian Dater of the Denver Post

The game got very rough in the second, starting with a big Patrick Bordeleau hit on Blues defender Ian Cole in a 4-1 game. A few seconds later, Stewart dropped the gloves with 35-year-old Avs defenseman Cory Sarich. Stewart won the fight, and then raised his arms to the crowd like a WWE wrestler.

Later, Bordeleau was given a 10-minute misconduct penalty simply for lining up next to Stewart for what would have been a probable fight.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Ducks name Kesler alternate captain

Ryan Kesler
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For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”

On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.

With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.

“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”

As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.

It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.