Got some coffee on the pot, got some jazz playing on the living room stereo, a perfect time, therefore, to do some Avs observations. That is, before my slumbering 16-year-old, 6-foot-6 son wakes up and starts dominating the room with TV, video games, demands for food, etc.
- Avs originally had a practice slated for noon today, and yours truly was going to be there. But it’s been scrubbed. The team already had an off-day on Monday, so this is unusual. Is it Covid-19-related? Not that I’ve been told. Not yet anyway. Jared Bednar could have just decided “You know what? We’ve got to play the Wild tomorrow night, then travel to St. Louis Saturday and play weekend back-to-backs against the Blues. Let’s just conserve our energy some.
- Philipp Grubauer’s 1.67 goals-against is the third-best in the NHL right now.
- “Grubi’s been incredible for us,” Cale Makar said. “He’s the backbone of our team. It gives us a lot of confidence playing in front of him. He plays consistent night in and night out and I think that just allows us to play our games as defensemen and know that he’s going to make those saves when we need him to.” Speaking of pretty close to incredible, how about this move by Makar last night?
Cale Makar 😱pic.twitter.com/bQT7zb506h
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) February 3, 2021
- Of course, goaltending is a worry right now. Not with Grubauer, but with the backup. With Pavel Francouz out for what could be a good while longer, Adam Werner is your new backup goalie. He hasn’t played competitive hockey in quite a while. Hunter Miska has been moved to the taxi squad (at least for now). So, yeah, it’s a real worry. You can’t overplay Grubauer too much, and yet you can’t just take too many scheduled losses in a 56-game season, especially when the Blues and Vegas rarely lose.
- I’m not backing off my reporting that Nathan MacKinnon will ultimately miss 1-2 weeks, from when he was checked out Monday, with his lower-body injury. Nor am I backing off that Devon Toews will be out 7-10 days from when he was checked out on Monday as well. I’m told that Toews will resume skating this weekend in Denver, in fact.
- Bednar is tired of answering questions every day about injuries, so that explains a good deal of his “week-to-week” thing yesterday, in updating everyone. Essentially, he just wants to address them once a week now.
- The Wild will get leading scorer Kevin Fiala back for tomorrow’s game. He was suspended three games for a dirty hit (a shocker than a Wild player would do such a thing, right?)
- I still think Kyle Rau’s hit on Makar last night was worthy of a penalty. So did Bednar, who said, “I thought it was boarding, or a charge.”
- Come on out to new site sponsor Blake Street Tavern Saturday afternoon to watch the Avs-Blues with me. We’ll be giving away some boxes of these. Owner Chris Fuselier is a true die-hard Avs fan and loves to treat Avs fans well, and the whole place is completely cognizant of all social distancing requirements. It’s why they’re likely to get a coveted 5-star certification rating from the state in these pandemic times.
- I really like the new Avs fourth line. Logan O’Connor? Oh yeah, I’m a growing fan. He’s nasty to play against and has some good hands and speed. That said, the center position is a worry. They’ll miss P.E. Bellemare eventually. Nothing against Sheldon Dries, who I thought did a pretty good job last night, but you need that good two-way guy in the 4C hole.
- The first two Colorado Eagles games, originally slated to start Friday night at the Bud Center, have been canceled.
- A lot of good odds at SuperBook Colorado. I’ll take better odds over teaser sign-up offers anytime.