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Morning Skate Diary

Ryan Graves back in Avs lineup tonight, Newhook to play soon



Avalanche d-man ryan graves

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – The Colorado Avalanche get back in action tonight against the San Jose Sharks, and one player who will return to the Avs lineup is defenseman Ryan Graves.

Ryan Graves missed Saturday’s game, one night after taking an errant elbow to the face from Sharks forward Evander Kane.

So….that’s about as much lineup information as I have for tonight’s game. Jared Bednar’s new policy with the media is to not give lineup info. on days of the game, such as the starting goalie, line combinations, etc. etc. I do believe it’ll be Philipp Grubauer in net tonight, however.

Yesterday, we told you about Alex Newhook being called up to the taxi squad by the Avs. Today, Bednar did reveal that he plans to play Newhook at some point in this five-game road trip. Bednar said Newhook won’t play tonight, because he wants to go over more video with him, talk over team systems, etc.

I asked Bednar what type of role he foresees with Newhook on this current team, and he said he’s still trying to figure that out. He said he doesn’t know whether he’d use him as a center or winger. He did say that he could be part of the special teams, both of them, that he’s used to that from college and from earlier days than that.

Man, right now I can see Newhook being anything from a third-line center to possibly a second-line winger – especially with Brandon Saad still out. Tyson Jost has played pretty well as a 3C this season, so I doubt Newhook would take that spot necessarily. Yet, it wouldn’t shock me either.

Bednar said forward Logan O’Connor had surgery last week for his lower-body injury and, while he said he’s out longer-term, he seemed to indicate he might still have a chance of returning by the playoffs. Bednar said Bo Byram has been skating again, but that he does not have a “timetable on a return.”

Bednar said defenseman Jacob MacDonald is progressing nicely from his latest injury and could play soon. So, there’s some decent news there.

The weather here is UN-believable, 80 and sunny. I understand the temperature is about half that today in Denver. I will raise a fruity beverage in all your honor back home, folks, and thank YOU to the many people who have contributed to the Avalanche Travel Tip Jar. You help make these trips possible – with the first priority being covering the Colorado Avalanche of course! The playoffs are coming (hint, hint).

But seriously folks, thank you. My goal here is always: I’m gonna cover the Avs to the best of my ability, and go where I need to go to do that.

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