Author: James O'Brien

Semyon Varlamov

Avs finally tame Wild, but Varlamov gets hurt


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’s Rick Sadowski passes along an early sign of optimism:

Update: Patrick Roy only revealed that it was a lower-body issue:

Varlamov certainly contributed to the win, stopping 29 out of 30 shots before making way to Berra. He’s been on quite the run in general, really.

The Avalanche have now won three in a row and four of five games (also six of eight), and while they have a long way to go, this could be a significant confidence-booster.

If nothing else, they avoided losing all five games to an increasingly hated rival in 2014-15.

Avs’ marked man McLeod scores vs. Wild, fights Stewart

Arizona Coyotes v Colorado 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.

Back in the doghouse? Blackhawks scratch Bickell

Bryan Bickell

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.