The Colorado Avalanche and Team USA are breathing sighs of relief about the health of Paul Stastny.
Stastny, hurt during Colorado’s 4-2 win over Minnesota on Saturday, will be OK to suit up for Tuesday’s game against Chicago, according to the Denver Post.
Head coach Patrick Roy said the injury — apparently an issue with Stastny’s leg — wasn’t serious.
Stastny, 28, is having a banner campaign for the Avs this season, sitting third on the team in scoring — 34 points in 43 games — while averaging over 18-and-a-half minutes per night. He’s been remarkably effective on the power play, leading the team with eight assists, and was rewarded for his fine play by being named to the U.S. Olympic team on Jan. 1.
It’s likely that Team USA GM David Poile was paying close attention to Stastny’s injury situation. Stastny is one of the centers Poile picked for the American team and, in various interviews, the Nashville GM has been adamant about his desire to carry five centers for Sochi.
Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.
O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.
The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.
He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.
With a quote that’s sure to raise the ire of the stats crowd, here’s Jonathan Quick on his .833 save percentage to start the season:
“That’s for people that don’t know the game. Those numbers don’t mean nothing. We’re 0-2, though. That number means something, so that’s something that we’ve got to get better at.”
(That quote, per LA Kings Insider.)
Quick allowed four goals on 22 shots in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Friday, after which head coach Darryl Sutter said of his star goalie: “He didn’t play very well tonight, did he?”
So even if Quick doesn’t think much of statistics, he should still be extra motivated for tonight’s home game against Vancouver, assuming he gets the start.
Last season, Quick’s .918 save percentage ranked in a three-way tie for 14th out of the 29 goalies who started 40 or more games.