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Evan’s NHL Daily: Ritchie Finals Bound, Rest Vs. Rust

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NHL Calum Ritchie avalanche

When it comes to the series between the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars, the theory of rest vs. rust is going to be tested. The Avalanche will have been off for a week by the time Game One begins, while the Stars will play just 48 hours after winning Game Seven against the Golden Knights. The Avalanche will certainly be the more rested team, but could they also be rusty? We already saw a similar scenario play out on Monday night in the NHL, and Colorado is hoping their Game One experience is a little better than what the Panthers went through.

In the OHL, it took four games, but the Oshawa Generals advanced to the OHL Finals, meaning that Calum Ritchie, who the Avalanche took in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft, will continue playing this Spring. Can he win a championship?

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

Colorado Hockey Now

Expect a lineup change for the Avalanche going into Game One, as practice seemed to indicate we may get our first playoff look at Chris Wagner.

By the time this posts, I might have already landed in Dallas. It’s an early flight out of Denver (5 AM), but I don’t mind it that much. Thanks to all that have contributed. It really does go a long way.

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Rusty Panthers

NHL players like some rest, but not too much at this time of the year. When things got out of hand in the second period, the Florida Panthers couldn’t put their game back together. That killed them.

On the flip side, you have the Boston Bruins, who played just 48 hours prior, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Seven. Guess they just stayed in a rhythm, getting goals from some unlikely sources.

The biggest one might have come from Colorado native, Brandon Carlo.

Carlo was in Boston earlier in the day celebrating the birth of his second son, Crew. Not a bad gift for the kid.

The Avalanche will look to regain that rhythm they had a week ago when they won four straight against Winnipeg. Florida couldn’t get it done, but that doesn’t mean the Avalanche will suffer from the same fate. They were real strong coming out of long breaks during the 2022 Cup run.

Ritchie Advances

The Oshawa Generals blew a 3-0 series lead, letting North Bay tied the series up, but ultimately, they got the job done. Oshawa won Game Seven 6-1, and will face the London Knights for a chance at the OHL title.

Calum Ritchie, the 27th pick in the NHL Draft last summer by the Avalanche, leads Oshawa with 25 points in 17 games. He’ll likely take over the lead for playoff scoring in this upcoming series, capping off a great D+1 year for him. Does that mean a taste of NHL action is in his future as early as next year? Who knows, but it’s been a very encouraging season for him.

National Hockey Now

The NHL Draft Lottery takes place on Tuesday. A big night for teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.

The New Jersey Devils will need a new coach, as Ottawa appears to have hired Travis Green.

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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