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Darcy Kuemper suffers right eye injury, leaves Game 3 *Updated



Mark Zaleski/AP

As I write this, the Colorado Avalanche’s No. 1 goalie, Darcy Kuemper, is hurt and out of the lineup. Kuemper left today’s Game 3 with the Nashville Predators after taking a stick to the eye from Nashville’s Ryan Johansen.

The stick went through the grill of Kuemper’s mask and looked to have gotten his right eye. Kuemper dropped to the ice in agony and left for the locker room with a towel to the eye. There was no immediate word on Kuemper’s condition, but he did not return for the second period.

In college and junior hockey, goalie masks must have enough of a condensed grill so things like that can’t happen. In the NHL, however, goalies can opt for masks that have bigger openings, theoretically to see pucks better.

It appeared to be accidental, Johansen’s stick to the eye. He was tied up in front of the net with the Avs’ Nathan MacKinnon. Pavel Francouz relieved Kuemper and made an excellent save right away as the Avs led 2-1 after the period.

Let’s hope for the best here. I’ll update when I hear.

UPDATE: Kuemper has been ruled out for the rest of the game. We’ll see what the coach says afterward.

UPDATE: Jared Bednar gave some good news after the game. He doesn’t believe the injury to Kuemper’s eye is serious. He even said “possibly” when asked if Kuemper could play in Game 4. He confirmed it’s an eye injury, but he said Kuemper is “able to see.” He said there is swelling on the eye and that Kuemper will need to be evaluated further.

But it sounds like the Avs dodged a major bullet here.

By the way, this wasn’t the first time this happened to Kuemper:

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