Connect with us

avalanche news

Is Girard In Or Out For The Avalanche? We May Have Our Answer



avalanche girard

You’re not going to get any concrete information out of Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar when the playoffs roll around. The second Colorado finished their regular season, he went into lockdown mode. That’s not going to change until training camp starts next year.

However, if you read the tea leaves and pay attention to certain things, you can get an idea of what’s going on.

The biggest question for the Avalanche entering Game Three is whether or not Sam Girard can return from his concussion. He’s been practicing with the team for a week now in a full contact jersey, and yesterday, Bednar confirmed that it’s really up to Girard at this point when he’s going to return.

Bednar was asked about Girard’s status for Game Three, but as expected, he didn’t say much.

“He had a good skate this morning. We’ll see about tonight when we get to the rink,” he said.

Girard wore a PP2 jersey for morning skate, but was the extra defenseman during the rushes the Avalanche ran. I could sense a bit of misdirection there, but the big answer is usually when you get into the locker room. Scratches usually stay out on the ice late and get some extra work in. That’s what Girard did after morning skate of Game Two, and it was a clear indication he wasn’t ready to go.

That was not the case Friday morning.

Girard was one of the first players off the ice, and by the time the media got into the locker room, he was already gone. Caleb Jones, who has held his own filling in for Girard, was the last defenseman off the ice.

Does this mean Girard is definitely in? Not at all. Teams play mind games all the time in the playoffs. If we showed up to the game tonight and Jones was the one playing, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. However, based on what I saw, my hunch is that Girard will return.

The coaching staff would certainly welcome it. In order to load up their top four, the Avalanche have moved Sean Walker to his off-side to get him more minutes. That means the third pair has comprised of two left-handed shots, with Jones playing his off-side. That’s not ideal, and we know Bednar prefers to have everyone play their strong side, if possible. A Girard return would make that happen, with Walker moving back to the third pair to play with Jack Johnson.

Devon Toews and Cale Makar were the only two Avalanche defenseman to average more time-on-ice per game than Girard this season.

We’ll find out tonight whether or not my theory is correct. If it isn’t, the mind games definitely worked on me.

Other News And Notes

  • Justus Annunen is feeling well enough to dress tonight, and he’ll backup Alexandar Georgiev. Arvid Holm was recalled this morning and will serve as the emergency goaltender. The Eagles play in an elimination game tonight and need Ivan Prosvetov.
  • The Avalanche players are looking forward to getting back in front of their home crowd to feed off their energy.
    • “It gets really loud and we’re happy to have the fans as loud as we do and as passionate as they are,” Mikko Rantanen said. “I think it’s an advantage it should be, like every home game. They probably felt the same way in Winnipeg.”
  • Winnipeg went with the towels to complete the whiteout, and it looks like Ball Arena will go with the laser watches for tonight.

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

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now.