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Evan’s NHL Daily: Coyotes Say Goodbye, Will Avalanche Rest Anyone?



nhl coyotes

The worst kept secret in the NHL finally was confirmed by the soon-to-be newest owner in the league on Wednesday, as the Arizona Coyotes will officially be moving to Salt Lake City for next season. On the ice, the Coyotes played their final game in Arizona and fans had a chance to say goodbye.

The Oilers and Avalanche really don’t have anything to play for on Thursday night. We expect the Oilers to rest some of their top players, but will the Avalanche rest anyone?

That and more in this Thursday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

The Avalanche will start on the road in Winnipeg. When will that be? Hopefully we find out soon enough…

The production has fizzled out for Casey Mittelstadt of late, but he’s not worried about it just yet. (+)


Will Avalanche Rest Anyone?

There is some meaning to Thursday’s game between the Avalanche and Oilers, but not a whole lot. The regulation winner of the game will finish higher in the NHL standings, meaning that if these two teams did happen to play in the playoffs, the winner on Thursday night would have home-ice advantage.

Now, a lot would have to go right for these two teams to meet in the Conference Finals, so I’m not sure either side is terribly worried about that scenario right now. Edmonton played on Wednesday, and called up a few players. We expect them to rest some guys, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Connor McDavid is one of them, seeing as how he’s been dealing with a lower-body injury.

Will the Avalanche rest anyone?

It doesn’t seem like it, and Colorado’s weird schedule plays into that. Their last game was Sunday, and if they rest anyone, that player will have gone a week without playing a game heading into the NHL playoffs. Jared Bednar doesn’t really want that. Colorado didn’t call anyone up, and guys like Nikolai Kovalenko (who looks solid for the Eagles) and Jean-Luc Foudy played back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday, so they almost certainly wouldn’t ask them to play three games in three nights. That leads me to believe Colorado probably isn’t going to rest anyone on Thursday.

I don’t have a say in it, but I think it would have been the perfect time to see give Kovalenko a look at the NHL level. The game doesn’t mean anything, and you have some aging veterans in the bottom six who could easily sit out. Bednar indicated yesterday morning that there was a chance they’d give him a look, but it doesn’t seem likely now.

If anything, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Avalanche staff treated this matchup a bit like a preseason game. Just roll four lines and get everyone their reps. For their sake, hopefully no one gets hurt and they can work out some kinks, especially defensively.

Coyotes Say Goodbye

It’s all but done. The NHL is leaving Arizona (for now) and heading to Salt Lake City.

That sale will almost certainly get approved, meaning Arizona’s final game in the NHL was on Wednesday night against the Oilers. Fans had a chance to say goodbye to the team, and didn’t seem all that interested in leaving quickly.

There are good fans in Arizona, and good people that work for and cover the team, and they’re the ones that are going to suffer from this move. A lot of the issues stem from horrific ownership, and that owner, Alex Meruelo, didn’t bother to show up for the final game. It really stinks that he’s getting out of this situation with a ton of money and a chance to bring the NHL back to Arizona, because he has clearly shown he’s not fit to run a team.

I went to Mullett Arena earlier this season and had a good time. No, it’s not an NHL arena, and the opposing players don’t like it at all, but it was supposed to be just a temporary setup. Meruelo clearly didn’t have a plan, and now the fans are the ones that have to pay for it.

Around The NHL

Well, at least the Eastern Conference teams know when they’re going to be starting. Us Western Conference folk will probably have to wait until late Thursday night to find out when we can book travel to Winnipeg.

Still sounds like Sunday or Monday for the Avalanche and Jets. I wish we would had known by now, but nothing we can do about that now.

The Dallas Stars clinched the top spot in the West with a win on Wednesday, thanks to Jake Oettinger and one of the best nonchalant saves you’ll ever see.

National Hockey Now

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Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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