Some notes and quotes from Avs morning skate, starting with Jared Bednar on Nathan MacKinnon, who will play tonight:
- Bednar said x-rays on Nathan MacKinnon, presumably on his right hand, proved negative. His relief level when he found out: “Significant.” Bednar added, “He’s playing. He’s good to go.”
- Bednar said he hasn’t and will not have any conversation with MacKinnon about fighting, as in “Don’t do it.”
- “No,” Bednar said. “The game has to be played with passion and it has to be played with physicality. Would I like him to make a different decision in the moment? Yeah, sure. I wish he wouldn’t have fought. If you don’t play with passion and physicality, in my opinion, you’re going to come up with more injuries than you do if you (don’t) play it that way. Hockey is a physical sport. It’d be a lot like telling a linebacker in football, ‘hey, you know, we’re almost in the playoffs, so make sure you don’t hit anybody hard. You might hurt your shoulder.’ It’s not going to happen.”
- Bednar on whether there is any timetable yet on Bo Byram: “No.”
- Bednar said Sam Girard is still on his original four-week timeline to return. Girard has skated three straight days now.
- Pavel Francouz will start tonight against the Sharks.
- Nicolas Aube-Kubel will be a healthy scratch.
- Bednar said MacKinnon had x-rays in Calgary, but was sent home early for “further evaluation.” He said “it’s time-sensitive now, right? If there’s something wrong, we need to know right away. The playoffs are a month away…We do the same thing at home. You guys just don’t know about it.
Bednar said he would have preferred MacKinnon not fight like he did, said "Do I want him fighting every night? No". But he said you don't want to "harness" the passion MacKinnon has, i.e. telling him NOT to fight at times
— Adrian Dater (@adater) March 31, 2022
- Josh Manson said “I would love to stay”, based on his tenure with the Avs so far. He’s UFA this summer, don’t forget
(Ryan Boulding contributed to this report)