The good news for the Colorado Avalanche is that they finally beat the Minnesota Wild by a score of 3-2 on Sunday. The bad news is that Semyon Varlamov seemed shaken up during that win.
Varlamov took a Matthew Dumba shot up high and clearly seemed stunned for a bit during the contest, yet he gutted out most of the contest … until he gave way to Reto Berra with about six minutes remaining in the third period.
That’s a troubling initial sign, although NHL.com’s Rick Sadowski passes along an early sign of optimism:
#Avs finally beat #Wild have to see about Varlamov injury; he was high-fiving guys coming into room, good sign. #Avalanche
Patrick Roy vented on a Minnesota sportswriter for discussing Cody McLeod’s agitating presence against the Minnesota Wild, yet it didn’t take long for the tough Colorado Avalanche forward to operate as expected.
It’s obviously been a catalyst for Colorado tonight, too, as they’re off to a 3-0 lead in part thanks to McLeod’s efforts.
Less than a minute into the game, he fought his old pal Chris Stewart:
Later in the first period, he scored the Avs’ first goal:
If these two teams meet in the playoffs again anytime soon, fans of chaos would probably want McLeod involved.
It almost seems like old hat by now: Bryan Bickell is ice-cold during the regular season. The difference is that the Chicago Blackhawks are concerned enough to make him a healthy scratch against the New York Rangers tonight.
While one could argue that Bickell can be enough of a physical presence to make an impact without scoring, yet at some point, you have to produce. That simply hasn’t happened enough with the streaky 28-year-old.
Bickell hasn’t scored a point in his last five games. Going further, he only has a goal in his last 12 contests (mirroring the last slump he had when he seemed doghouse-bound earlier this season).
The Blackhawks are a deep team that can afford to sit a supporting cast player like Bickell, so this is probably more about message-sending than desperation. It’s likely this is a great way to get the power forward’s attention, but we shall see.