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Avalanche End Preseason With A Whimper; Byram’s Health A Concern




Things started out so perfectly for the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night, as they got off to a 3-0 lead and dominated the Vegas Golden Knights for 28 minutes. It didn’t last, though.

Vegas scored four unanswered goals, including one with under two minutes remaining, to secure the 4-3 victory.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. It’s preseason, and as soon as the buzzer hit zero, the game did not matter. It was a poor ending for the Avalanche, but nothing to freak out about.

What I’m sure fans will be freaking out about is the hit Bowen Byram took late in the game on the game winning goal. If you missed it, take a look for yourself.

The TNT broadcast crew didn’t really have any issue with the hit, but I could see it being boarding. I don’t really think it was a dirty hit, though. Either way, I don’t think Byram played it very well to begin with. Byram being in that position is one of the reasons I don’t like him on this off-side, somewhere he told me he had never played before at the end of last season.

The hit is done and over with, but the concern will be Byram’s health. It didn’t look like he ever left the bench, but his head appeared to make contact with the glass. Given his history, it’s understandable that people will be concerned.

For what it’s worth, the Avalanche are off until Sunday, so it’s unlikely we’ll get any update until then. Just have to hope everything is okay. I would hate to see Byram have to deal with a potential head injury again (or any injury, for that matter).

As for the rest of the game itself, there was good and bad, and I’ll get to a lot of that in Plus/Minus. The Avalanche looked fast in the first period, and the powerplay looked very good, but the rest of the game wasn’t very pretty. The third pair was a mess, and lines two and three looked like they had very little chemistry.

I’m less concerned about the chemistry part, because Rantanen missing forced them to adjust from the lines we’ve seen all training camp. It also might take some time for everyone to gel. In this game alone, five of the six players in the middle six were not on the team last season. Give it some time.

The third pair, however, will be a concern for me. Josh Manson should be healthy for opening night, but I’ve made it pretty clear over the summer that I think this team needs to add another defenseman. Nothing from preseason has really changed my mind on that.

But again, look for more of that in Plus/Minus.

Look on the bright side – preseason is over. Now, the games will actually start to matter.

Let the fun begin.

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