Pittsburg, Calif. – Hello from Northern California, where I’ll be for the next few days, covering the Avs against the San Jose Sharks. The team is taking a flight today from Denver to San Jose, and on that plane will be Avs prospect Alex Newhook.
Newhook, 20, was called up to the Avs from the Eagles this morning, though the Avs say he’ll be on the taxi squad. It wouldn’t shock me if he somehow gets to play in a game or two on this road trip, however. In eight games for the Eagles, Newhook had five goals and four assists. Also called up by the Avs and put on the taxi squad were Dennis Gilbert, Jayson Megna and Jonas Johansson.
Look who’s joining the taxi squad!
— x – Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) May 2, 2021
The Avs continue to be heavy favorites with the sportsbooks right now, still a favorite to win the Stanley Cup including with a BetMGM Colorado bonus code, as the Avs remain at +500 to win the Cup.
The Eagles lost 5-4 in overtime to Ontario Saturday night, and Newhook scored twice. Also scoring were Sampo Ranta and Ryan Wagner, while 2020 first-round pick Justin Barron had two assists.
Alex Newhook could absolutely still be a player for the Avs in the postseason, I think anyway. His skill level is very high end and the fact that he had such a strong showing in the eight games playing against grown men, pro players, is a great sign that maybe he can handle playing at the NHL level already.
If Brandon Saad isn’t ready to go for the start of the playoffs, I could easily see Alex Newhook grabbing his spot in the lineup. Saad is a week into his 2-4 week injury absence, and the playoffs should start in about two weeks or so.
Some other Avs tidbits:
- I hear Ryan Graves is doing well. I was a little surprised he didn’t play last night, but as always the Avs are pretty cautious about anything injury-wise. I think he’ll play Monday in San Jose, but that’s only my hunch and not official.
- About Sam Girard: I do believe he was/is hurt from that collision into the boards from Friday night. I also believe that maybe the Avs just said to themselves, “You know what, let’s just give him a couple weeks of rest before the start of the playoffs and not take any chance of him getting re-injured. The Avs really need to go into the playoffs as healthy as possible, and taking a chance with Sam getting hurt in these final games just might not be worth the risk.
- Conor Timmins really played well in the last two games against the Sharks. That takes some of the pressure off of losing Girard for a while.
- I think two weeks for Sam is a relief to all involved, right? Could have been much worse, the way he went into the boards legs first.
The Avalanche is 14-0-1 in its last 15 games at Ball Arena, tied for the second-longest home point streak in franchise history.LONGEST HOME POINT STREAKS, FRANCHISE HISTORY17 -Jan. 20–Apr. 6, 2003 (14-0-2-1)15 -Mar. 10, 2021 – present (14-0-1)15 -Mar. 1–May 3, 1995 (13-0-2)14 -Nov. 19, 1983–Jan. 21, 1984 (11-0-3)12 -Dec. 27, 1999–Feb. 3, 2000 (9-0-3-0)
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare appeared in his 500th NHL game, becoming the second French player to play in 500 NHL contests. Antoine Roussel (554 games) is the other. Bellemare is the third French-born player to reach the milestone, joining Roussel and Paul MacLean (719), who was born in France but is Canadian.
- Thanks to some who have chipped in to the Avalanche Travel Tip Jar. The more I get, the more I can cover this team on the road. Playoffs are coming up too (hint, hint). To donate, it’s easy by clicking here.
- I expect Philipp Grubauer to start Monday’s game here against the Sharks. Remember, though: Jared Bednar isn’t giving out any more lineup information on game days. We have to wait until the lineup sheet comes out before games to know now.