The morning skate for the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena is over, and there are some personnel notes to list here, starting with Nazem Kadri and Devon Toews:
- Kadri returned to wearing a normal, full-contact jersey today. However, he won’t play tonight. He is expected to be back in the lineup at some point on the Avs’ upcoming three-game road trip to Seattle, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
- Devon Toews, as expected, won’t play against the Capitals and won’t make the trip. “We’ll leave him here,” Jared Bednar said. So Toews will get the next four games off, at least, actually. Don’t get too alarmed here, but Bednar did say Toews has a couple of nagging little injuries and the time off will do him good. Bednar said, if this were a playoff series, Toews would be in, no problem.
- Bednar said Kurtis MacDermid would slot in for Toews.
- Erik Johnson will get a night off tonight. “E.J. is still dealing with a lower body [injury],” Bednar said.
- Andrew Cogliano also will get the night off, with Darren Helm sliding in for him. Bednar said Cogliano “actually has an upper-body thing going on.”
- Darcy Kuemper will start against the Capitals.
- Bednar said Bo Byram would get some added responsibility on the power play with Toews out. That’s a nice show of confidence from Bednar in Byram. “He’s going to run the top of the second unit,” Bednar said of Byram. “He’s playing the right side right now with [MacDermid], but he’ll be seeing time with [Cale] Makar as well.”
- Ben Meyers will play again tonight.
- Frankly, I’d like to see Cale Makar get some time off, too. But his Norris Trophy battle with Roman Josi likely explains why he hasn’t gotten any of late and might not down the stretch either.
- Avs are -190 favorites to beat the Caps tonight, at SuperBook Colorado.
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