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Evan’s NHL Daily: Kovalenko Skips Tournament, Blues Fans Boo Their Own



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Just a few days after firing their head coach, the St. Louis Blues were back in action, and the fans took out a lot of their frustration on one of their young starts who made the NHL All-Star Game a few years ago.

With the Colorado Avalanche, we took a look back at the win over the Buffalo Sabres, and over in Russia, Nikolai Kovalenko backed out of a tournament for a very specific reason.

All that and more in this Friday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

I told Sam Malinski last week that he had a little bit of Cale Makar in his game, and he wasn’t having it. Over the last week, I haven’t seen anything that would change my mind.

On the opening goal of the game, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen executed a perfect 2-on-2, but it all started with some strong work defensively by Cale Makar. (+)

Kovalenko Backs Out Of A Tournament

Over in Russia, the KHL is still on its All-Star Break. During the break, they are having some weird tournament called the Channel One Cup. I still don’t truly understand what the purpose of it is, but Nikolai Kovalenko was supposed to be on the “Russia 25” team.

Until he backed out.

Kovalenko missed more than a month with what is believed to have been a wrist injury, and it sounds like it’s still bothering him just a little bit. Here’s what the coach of the tournament had to say.

“Kovalenko called me personally, told that there is a bit of an issue, so he flew away and is working on his health”

There was good news on Thursday, as Kovalenko was back at practice with Torpedo, so it doesn’t seem like it will force him to miss any time, but you do wonder if it’s something that will linger all year.

It should be noted that Mikhail Gulyayev was supposed to play in this tournament as well, but he backed out. No reason was given for him.

Around The NHL

St. Louis Blues fans are an interesting bunch. Avalanche fans know as well as anyone after the Nazem Kadri incident a few years back. They seemed to love Craig Berube, and when he was fired the other day, they weren’t angry.

Jordan Kyrou, a former NHL All-Star, was asked about Berube being fired, and all he simply said was…”I’ve got no comment. He’s not my coach anymore.”

That’s it.

Some seem to have taken that as shade on Berube, but really, he just didn’t say anything. Maybe there was friction between them, but it’s not like he ripped him or anything. He just said “no comment.”

Blues fans didn’t like that, and BOOED him on Thursday night.

After the game, Kyrou had to answer questions, and he got emotional.

Kyrou is struggling a little bit this season, but he’s coming off back-to-back 70 point seasons, and has essentially been a point-per-game player. He’s also signed to a long-term deal until the end of 2031. What good does booing him do? That’s an organization that seems stuck in no-mans land right now, and now you’ve got fans turning on one of their better players. Should be interesting to see how this unfolds.

National Hockey Now

There have been some small trades around the NHL, but nothing really huge. Elias Lindholm would be huge, and that’s who the Bruins need. Maybe the Avalanche too…

The Avalanche will likely not see old friend Nico Sturm this weekend.

DU star Bobby Brink played a big role in the Flyers win on Thursday.

Dylan Larkin was back at practice, but no timetable on his return to NHL action.

Where does Timo Meier belong in that Devils lineup?

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