Evan’s Daily: A Nikita Zadorov Hat Trick, Lehkonen Nearing Return
The Calgary Flames may not be headed to the NHL playoffs, but Nikita Zadorov ended their season on a high-note.
In Colorado, the Avalanche are very close to getting one of their top six forwards back from injury before the playoffs even start.
All this and more in this Thursday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
Josh Manson is skating much better as Shawn Allard tries to get him ready for the start of the playoffs, but the Avalanche may be getting Artturi Lehkonen back before then. There’s a chance he plays on Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets.
Avalanche Turning Point: A Game of Inches in Overtime (+)
Looking back at the overtime loss on Tuesday night, it was Lars Eller‘s best game in an Avalanche uniform.
He’s likely to spend most of his time with the Colorado Eagles, but the Avalanche did re-sign Cal Burke for one more year. He’s got 37 points in 68 games with the Eagles this season, and made his NHL debut earlier late in 2022.
Cal Burke #GoAvsGo
1 year / 2 way extension
$775k / $125khttps://t.co/11EufWKNtz
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) April 12, 2023
Around the NHL
Anyone who knows me, knows I always liked Nikita Zadorov. In the locker room, he was always great, and gave you more than just your standard quote. He had his ups and downs win Colorado, but also was popular among the fan base with his big hits.
On Wednesday night, in the final game of the year, Zadorov scored a hat-trick for the Flames. To no surprise, it was the first of his career. The Flames will miss the playoffs, and with changes likely, I wonder if they’ll try to sell high on Zadorov, as he’s just one year from unrestricted free agency.
With the New York Islanders beating the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins were officially eliminated from the playoffs. That means that NHL fans will not get to watch Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The Dallas Stars beat the St. Louis Blues, and with the two points, jumped ahead of the Avalanche in the Central (for the moment). The Avalanche still control their own destiny, but they’ll likely have to win out if they want the Central.
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