Connect with us

Evan's Daily

Evan’s NHL Daily: Avalanche Draft Pick Saves The Day, Maurice’s Pep Talk



nhl Calvin pickard

At one point in time, Calvin Pickard was supposed to be the goaltender of the future for the Colorado Avalanche. Drafted in the second round back in the 2010 NHL Draft, his future looked bright. After his first two seasons, where he played in 36 games, the numbers were stellar. Then, that 2016-17 season happened, and everything kind of took a turn.

Well, it’s been a long road back to the NHL, but on Tuesday night, the Edmonton Oilers turned to Pickard in a game they needed to win to even up the series. Almost 10 years after making his NHL debut, he delivered.

Out East, the Boston Bruins were able to tie their series up with the Florida Panthers, but the talk of the town was Paul Maurice’s, uh, pep talk to his team that got them going for a little bit.

Colorado practiced before heading to Dallas, and Nathan MacKinnon was blunt about how he played in Game Four. Some have asked about my thoughts on the Nichushkin situation, and I’m taking a few days to gather those thoughts. I think it’s okay to feel a lot of different emotions about the situation, because that’s human. I know I’ve got a few, and I’ll write them down in the coming days.

I’m currently sitting at the airport ready to board another flight to Dallas for Game Five. Is this the last road trip of the season? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Thank you for all the support through the playoffs!


Colorado Hockey Now

A look back at Game Four, where the Avalanche no-showed the first period and didn’t get much from Cale Makar.

If you didn’t think Nathan MacKinnon played well in Game Four, guess what? He agrees with you.


Pickard Saves The Day

It took almost 10 years and more than a handful of NHL teams, but Calvin Pickard got his first playoff start on Tuesday night. I don’t think that will be his last.

Pickard stopped 19 of the 21 shots the Vancouver Canucks sent his way, helping the Oilers come away with the 3-2 win to tie the series up at two. The former Avalanche draft pick, who was a very popular guy in the locker room, has spent a large portion of the last decade playing in the AHL, so for him to come up and save the day in an NHL playoff game is a big story. Congratulations to him. The Oilers weren’t getting a lot of help from Stuart Skinner, so I can’t imagine they take Pickard out of the net now.

Maurice Lets Expletives Fly

Sometimes, an NHL coach just needs to not overthink it and let it rip. That’s what Paul Maurice did on Tuesday night, giving his team a pep talk before they went out and scored a goal. Maurice described his pep talk after the game.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, that wasn’t enough, as Jeremy Swayman made a bit stop at the buzzer to give the Bruins the win. The series will now head back to Boston, who need another win to stay alive this postseason.

National Hockey Now

Some potential young NHL Trade targets for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Marc Bergevin is being considered for another NHL GM job.

Remember Kiefer Sherwood? He had a bit of a breakout year in Nashville, and may have earned himself another contract.

He returned to the KHL last year mid-season, but Ilya Kovalchuk is apparently ready to hang up the skates.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Glendon Gulliver

From Dan Kingerski Pittsburgh Hockey Now

“The Athletic ($): Pierre LeBrun immediately contradicts some of the quick-triggered reporters who wrote that the Colorado Avalanche should cut ties with suspended Valeri Nichuskin. Since he’s in the player’s program, even Stage 3, a team can’t.
I’m surprised by the public shaming of a player losing his battle with personal demons. I thought we moved past that long ago.”


I heard a different perspective yesterday and not that I’m going down that rabbit hole because frankly I look at it like an HR matter and it’s none of my business but I thought it interesting that it wasn’t black vs white – stop the public shaming of someone struggling vs Val is selfish and weak and let’s everyone down. This person’s thought was the NHL doesn’t have a formal drug testing program and you enter the program because you realize you have a problem and want help or the team wants you to enter if your substance abuse affects… Read more »

Glendon Gulliver

Several different issues you have presented. It is usually an HR issue, as employee assistance programs tend to be an offshoot of HR. It is also an CBA issue. The NHL does have a formal drug testing program. The different sports have different policies and concentrate on different substances. As far as compassion goes, I think the issue is about getting the person treatment and forgoing all the hatred. Once the player returns, he may have burned his bridges with the team. That can be expected. That said, any attempts to trade or get rid of a player has to… Read more »


Meh. The empathy card was used on the first strike. Time to move on.


To your point: I like Val. But, he’s left us in the lurch 2 years in a row. He’s gotta go get sorted out elsewhere. Hopefully he saved a lot of his earnings and can live comfortably under less pressure.

Tough luck on another botched season. See y’all next year

Boom Boom Beck

If Sakic picks up Nishuskin’s contact in November, then he’s even dumber than he looks already.

Glendon Gulliver

Sakic would not be “picking” up Nichushkin’s contract. He is already under contract.


“Pick up Nichushkin’s contract”?? Do you know he’s under contract, even if/when he applies for reinstatement? There is no option of “pick it up”. It’s figuring how to mitigate the big cap hit if/when they move on.

Joshua Canfield

Not sure you understand Nichushkin’s current situation. Take a look at the Cap Friendly page for him, My understanding is the Avs cannot terminate his contract while he’s actively in the NHL Player Assistance Program. They would have to wait until he reapplies after his 6 month suspension. (So, mid-November). At which point the Avs could trade Nichushkin or they could buy him out. Buying him out would be a really difficult thing to do since he’ll be starting his 3rd year into his 8 year contract. That contract was signed on Jull 11, 2022. That means his cap… Read more »

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.