From high above rinkside here at Ball Arena: the most newsy thing that I can derive from Avs practice today is the fact that Sampo Ranta skated on a line with two guys who will play Game 1 against either Vegas or Minnesota Sunday night, and that Alex Newhook skated with two guys who almost certainly won’t play Sunday night.
While Newhook did practice at what appeared to be full speed, after missing a couple of practices with a lower-body injury, he skated in drills on a line with the suspended Nazem Kadri and spare forward Kiefer Sherwood. Meanwhile, Rampa skated with P.E. Bellemare and Carl Soderberg.
Could Ranta replace Newhook in the Game 1 lineup? Certainly seems possible, though Jared Bednar isn’t going to tip his hand on that right now.
The other three lines at practice:
Conor Timmins and Patrik Nemeth are still paired together, by the way, so don’t expect to see Bo Byram in Game 1.
As for the potential Ranta replacement of Newhook, I mean, I’m not sure how to feel about it. Newy scored the game-winner in Game 4 and Ranta has yet to play a shift in the NHL. But if he’s not 100 percent, I guess that would change things. Or, maybe Newhook will be back on a line with Bellemare and Carl tomorrow.
I’ll update this story after the coach speaks.