Sam Girard did not practice with the Avalanche this morning, but that seemed to be the worst of the news concerning the defenseman.
Coach Jared Bednar said Girard, who was hit hard into the boards in Saturday’s win at Tampa Bay, was banged up but suffered no significant injury. He termed Girard’s absence a “maintenance day”, which probably explains the lack of a call-up from the Colorado Eagles today.
“He’s sore from the other night from the hit he took in overtime. So maintenance day, we’ll see what he feels like tomorrow,” Bednar said.
Girard was hurt from a late-game hit into the boards by Tampa Bay Lightning veteran Steven Stamkos, which neither drew a penalty in the game nor any supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.
It’s another slap in the face to the Avs from DoPS, which gave captain Gabe Landeskog a two-game suspension for a hit very similar to the one Stamkos gave Girard. Stamkos also added a sucker punch to Girard after the hit.
In other Avs news, Valeri Nichushkin and Pavel Francouz both returned to the practice ice. Francouz is on LTIR, which means he has to miss another five games, minimum, before returning to the lineup. Nichushkin did not take part in the main practice. He just skated on his own.
Devon Toews has been cleared for contact, but didn’t practice today. Bednar said that’s because he was seeing team doctors.