Stefan Elliott

Amid injury concerns, Avs recall Elliott

The Colorado Avalanche are finishing the season strong, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to the injury concerns affecting other contenders. The Denver Post’s Adrian Dater reports that the team recalled defenseman Stefan Elliott in light of injuries to fellow blueliner Tyson Barrie and forward John Mitchell.

Dater couldn’t get any additional information beyond Barrie and Mitchell being considered day-to-day. He expressed some fear that the two might have suffered concussions.

What is Barrie’s status going forward? No word from the Avs just yet, but this is obviously a bad sign and the obvious worry is that he has a concussion. John Mitchell also may have one, as he missed last night’s game too.

Elliott, 23, generated four points in 18 games last season and 13 in 39 contests in 2011-12. He’s been solidly effective in AHL duty in 2013-14, producing 28 points in 61 games for the Lake Erie Monsters.

In other words, losing a player like Barrie wouldn’t be ideal, but at least Elliott brings some promise if he’s forced into a relief mode.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.