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:
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.
The Traverse City prospects tournament is nearly upon us and teams are letting us know who they’re sending. The latest to do that are the Minnesota Wild.
Leading the way to Michigan are a pair of first-round picks in defenseman Matthew Dumba (2012) and center Zack Phillips (2011). In all, the Wild will have 10 draft picks in Traverse City to represent them.
Other highlighted players include forwards Brett Bulmer (2010, 2nd round) and Raphael Bussieres (2012, 2nd round) as well as goalie Johan Gustafsson (2010, 6th round).
Dumba and Bulmer have had time at the NHL level in recent seasons while Phillips has hopes of being the next big offensive prospect for the team soon. He played alongside current Wild favorite Charlie Coyle in the QMJHL at Saint John.
The Wild will be joined by the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres, and Detroit Red Wings at the tournament.
It’s decision time for the junior-eligible players getting work in the NHL and two of them are headed back to the CHL today.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that forward Scott Laughton is headed back to the OHL’s Oshawa Generals after playing in all five of the team’s games. Had he played against Tampa Bay tonight he would’ve played the full season in Philadelphia and burned the first year of his entry-level contract.
With Danny Briere back in action and Zac Rinaldo likely returning this week and Tye McGinn playing well, it didn’t make sense to keep Laughton around to play minimal time.
The Minnesota Wild followed suit in doing the same for defenseman Matthew Dumba as they sent him back to the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels. With the Wild getting rookie Jonas Brodin as well as Marco Scandella back from injuries, their defensive depth was more than sufficient.
Dumba did impress Wild brass with his ability to adapt quickly, but burning the first year of his contract wouldn’t have made much sense. We will miss our new favorite last name/number combination. Maybe Dumba-55 will be back next season.