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Avalanche playoffs

Indications are Sampo Ranta might replace Alex Newhook for Game 1 Sunday



Adrian Dater

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:



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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.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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chippy play

Interesting. Yeah, I guess no sense risking Newhook against the leaping Knights if he isn’t 100%. But it also means that they think Ranta can be a useful part now. That’s great news I think. This team is serious about establishing depth.

And it’s more evidence that they do not think Kaut or Bowers are ready. Not at all.


Even if Newhook is at 99% I don’t mind putting Ranta in. There will inevitably be games in which guys are going to have to sit out on a long run. So even if it’s just putting Ranta in for one game for 5-6 minutes that gets him into the feel of the NHL and playoffs, so that I’d he has to go in later on the jitters are already “gone”.


> Rampa skated with P.E. Bellemare and Carl Soderberg

I wish I could skate with them, but then it would be Grampa. 🙂

Joshua Canfield

I’ve been trying to follow the Avs prospects the last couple years and Ranta seems like he could be ready. I mean, I’d much rather him skate in his first NHL game during the regular season instead of the Playoffs (Round Two no less). I bet he’d do just fine. If he struggles at all, I would imagine Bednar not giving him a lot ice time.


AD you wrote Rampa there. That is actually a Finnish word for cripple.

Ranta means beach and Sampo is a money making machine in Finnish folklore.

Would love to see him out there!

[…] playoffs since 2002, including two straight second-round exits. There is a lot of pressure on this Avs team, and it won’t be easy at all against Vegas. In Game 7, Vegas’ Max Pacrioretty returned […]

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