Morning Skate Diary
Bo Byram IN tonight; Tentative Avalanche lines, D pairs, goalie
Bo Byram will make his return to the Colorado Avalanche tonight in Pittsburgh. That was the big news to emerge from the morning skate in the Steel City, as Avs-Penguins Round II takes place tonight at 5 p.m. mountain at PPG Paints Arena.
My Pittsburgh Hockey Now colleague, Dan Kingerski reports back that Jared Bednar said he wants Byram to play as many games as possible before the playoffs, to see how he looks. Depending on how he does, and depending on the health of his other D-men entering the playoffs, it’s going to make for an interesting choice for Bednar as to who plays and who sits for the playoffs.
But that’s still a few weeks away, so let’s not worry about that yet. My scouting report of having seen Byram play over the weekend in Ontario, Calif., is here.
Bednar said that Alex Newhook and Valeri Nichushkin did not fly with the team to Pittsburgh because they were “sick.” But, he added that they are both flying into Pittsburgh today and could play tonight.
So, I’m going to pencil them in the lineup here, and go with these as the tentative lines and D pairs for tonight:
J. Johnson-E. Johnson
NOTEBOOK: Bednar said Sam Girard is close to returning. He won’t play tonight, however. … Nazem Kadri did not make the trip. … Bednar said the illnesses to Newhook and Nichushkin were non-Covid related. … Darcy Kuemper starts in goal for the Avs. … For a full report on the Penguins lineup for tonight, click on Kingerski’s story here. … Want $5 off a 12-month subscription to Colorado Hockey Now? Click on the subscription link here, add in the promo code word 5off in the checkout box and your price will drop from $29.99 to $24.99. … Avs are +100 underdogs against the Penguins, at SuperBook Colorado.