Those expecting pessimism from Patrick Roy following Monday’s 5-2 loss to Minnesota weren’t getting any.
“You know what? We fought all year to be in that position to be in a Game 7,” Roy said, per the Denver Post. “We’re going to be in our building, in front of our fans. I’m sure our players are excited about it. I know our players are not happy with losing this game, but we are excited to be going back home.
“I’d rather be playing at home.”
You can expect to hear plenty about “playing at home” leading up to Wednesday’s game at the Pepsi Center. Monday’s Game 6 marked the sixth time in this series the home team emerged the victor, with both teams playing “their games” at home. The Avs have been dynamic offensively at the Pepsi Center, scoring 13 times in three games, while the Wild have been equally good defensively at Xcel, surrendering just three goals on 57 shots against.
But those performances at Xcel are now rendered moot, because Game 7 is in Denver.
Aside from winning all three games at home this series, the Avs have a season-long history of solid performances in Colorado. They went 26-11-4 during the year and closed out the year going 2-0-1 with wins over Vancouver and the Rangers, losing to Pittsburgh in a shootout.
In light of this decided home-ice advantage, one would expect the Wild to go into Game 7 as the underdog — but as head coach Mike Yeo reminded after tonight’s win, anything can happen in a one-shot, winner-take all scenario.
“We’ve got to be ready to go play our best game of the series,” he said. “We’re not done. We’ll go in there with a real purpose.”
Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.