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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.

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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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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Aaron Rud

Johansson was in no hurry whatsoever to get the stick out, however.


100% intentional. He sights Kuemper and then turns away before spearing. He’s responsible for his stick, regardless. Stop defending dirty play. Some teams don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Yan Girard

I believe that Kuemper was on the knees on the play. Height of the stick seemed OK for me.

Jim Strohmeier

These players don’t even look down at the puck when stickhandling – Johansson had to feel that his stick was tangled in the mask of Keumper

Donald Victory

Nah, since it is so rare. Should have been a penalty. Let’s end this Monday with DK. Then let him rest.


Put a pirate patch on it and get back out there!

Let’s go Pavs

Thor's Hammer

That should have been a high sticking penalty. He better be back because the insane love of Frankie will doom this team. What a bizarre badner type of game. Good start, dumb penalties allowed the preds life. Helm was a total tool. On the preds third goal he had an easy clear and screwed around with the puck at the blue line, of course he coughed it up, and goal! Douchene was throwing vaG around like a wet doll. So, Sammy gspot pulled out his small stick and cross-checked Douche to no avail. And the hit on O’Connor by Forsberg was not good enough as… Read more »

Aaron Rud

You must be Donald Victory.


Darcy needs a smaller mesh mask, second incident like this.

Thor's Hammer

Good to see that ass Don Kowhoresky eat a bigh black crow!

Thor's Hammer

Mikko Rats has been MIA and frankie piss poor!

Thor's Hammer

Arguably MacK’s best game. Other than some powerplay gaffes, his best all around defensive effort I have witnessed.




Maybe not fully intentional, but willful negligence for sure. The play moves to his left and he should have followed it right away, instead, he lingers and you can see the stick get extended to the right away from the play, pushing the head back. Disgusting. He needs to control that thing and he did not. Epic punk move.

Richard Trujillo

He didn’t “extend” his stick. Goalie was falling with the stick in his mask. Kuemper pulled the stick as he fell and the player quickly yanked it out of there.


the stick had already pushed him backward into the net by the time he got his hands on it. DK pushes it down and his helmet is levered off. Johanson might not know his stick is in Kuempers mask but he knows it is somewhere near his face and he was clearly pushing and not stopping, no accident. There was another view that clearly shows the push. This is more than a 2 minute high stick and could have been a game mis-conduct. Iwonder what would happen if Kadri did something similar? Johanson wasn’t always cheap (stil not if you… Read more »

Bob Neal

Darcy needs to seriously think about getting a new face mask design. Hope he is really ok as these incidents could easily be career Enders.

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