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Avs Notebook: Nathan MacKinnon will not play Saturday; Newhook sent to Eagles

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Nathan MacKinnon
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire

So, some news here: I’ve learned that Nathan MacKinnon will NOT play tomorrow night against the St. Louis Blues. I don’t know anything about his latest Covid-19 testing. I just know Nathan MacKinnon won’t play. So, with news today that Valeri Nichushkin will be lost week-to-week because of an upper-body injury and the two-game suspension to Gabe Landeskog, the fact of the matter is the Avs will be without three of their top six forwards for the game against a Blues team that figures to be plenty motivated to win.

There’s more: the Avs reassigned prized prospect Alex Newhook to the Colorado Eagles, and recalled forwards Jayson Megna, Stefan Matteau and Dylan Sikura from the Eagles. Matteau played 18 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, registering one point. Sikura, a 5-11, 170-pound center, played six games for Vegas last season.

I’m told that veteran Darren Helm is unlikely to play tomorrow. He was dinged up in the season-opener.

Why did the Avs send Newhook down already, after one game? Until Jared Bednar meets the media after the morning skate tomorrow, it’s all speculation. It didn’t seem like Avs brass was all that happy with his play during the preseason and, presumably, Wednesday’s season opener. But to send him down after only one game?

Crystal Ball Bonus!

That’s a pretty stern message, all right. It’s pretty clear that there will be no nonsense with Bednar this season. If he thinks guys aren’t working hard enough, they’ll pay the price. He’s always been tough, but I must say I’m surprised by this move. But, there are few sacred cows on this roster right now.

The Eagles start their 2021-22 season tonight in Henderson, Nevada, against the Henderson Silver Knights. But, I’m told, Newhook will not be in the lineup.

One thing we know well as Avs watchers: this team almost always has injury issues. So it goes…

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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Spencer Bradshaw

I’d rather they send Newhook down than Ranta, but I’ll never understand what the coaches see in Megna. The guy just isn’t good.

Jared Moss

I second this… megna always looks bad to me

Joshua Canfield

I do as well. He seems just like a warm body on the 4th line.

Karl Keen

Totally agree

Jared Moss

Dater what happened to maltsev already? Oh my lord this team can’t keep a roster for one game

ricoflashback

So much for the Jersey deal. Another throw in with no talent?

ghost

This is the way it should be. Fans never see what goes on at practice.

Jim Strohmeier

I checked the Orleans Arena and the game tonight with HSK vs Co Eagles, is sold out.

Joshua Canfield

I’m surprised they sent Newhook down after one game. Especially with so many pieces out of the line up. I watched all preseason games I could (and the first game) and agree he didn’t look good but he also didn’t look like a liability. I’m also surprised Bowers didn’t get the call up but I kind of assumed that Matteau and Sikura would get a shot when the injury bug hit. Its disappointing to have MacKinnon, Nichuschkin, Toews and Francouz out (as well as the Captain). This is what good teams have to do though, fight through adversity. I have… Read more »

ricoflashback

I can understand Newhook being sent down. He was invisible on the ice against Chicago. But why replace him with dinky, undersized replacements? Why Sakic likes 5’ 7-8” players is beyond me. Unless they are a stout and strong player with a hard shot like Martin St. Louis, you’re only asking for trouble and mismatches.

Dwayne Hall

Hopefully for Newhook this is the one step back before several steps forward. I’m curious though about the timing of sending him down with the Covid/Sussy/Injury situation. Though it would suggest Bednar is truly trying to make a point to Newhook that his play is not what it needs to be.
What this can serve though for the Avalanche is a chance to prove they are up for overcoming adversity as well as give the depth players on this team a chance to show they can pick up the slack and contribute.

[…] Colorado: Symmetry with the Penguins–Adrian Dater reports that Nathan MacKinnon won’t play Saturday. Valeri Nichushkin is out week-to-week, and the DoPS suspended Gabriel Landeskog for two games. Their top three forwards are OUT. […]

Ryan Krueger

Good get Adrian…my first month at CHN and you are on it…

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