March 28, 2023
NHL Buzz: Toews out for Avalanche with undisclosed injury

NHL Buzz: Toews out for Avalanche with undisclosed injury

Colorado Avalanche

Devon Toews will not play for the Avalanche against the Seattle Kraken on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ALT2, ROOT-NW, ESPN+, SN NOW) due to an undisclosed injury.

The defenseman was injured in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

“I think he’ll be out tonight and possibly tomorrow (against the Vegas Golden Knights),” Avalanche manager Jared Bednar said. “It hurts a bit, but that’s good news. Should be short term.”

Toews, who has three assists in four games this season, had a career-high NHL 57 points (13 goals, 44 assists) in 66 games last season and led the NHL with a plus-52 rating.

Forward Dryden Hunt will make his Avalanche debut a day after the forward was released from waivers by the New York Rangers.

Hunt, who will play in the fourth row, has scored in three games with Rangers this season. He was a healthy scratch in New York’s 3-1 opening win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 11, but has played in each of the last three games.

“It would be nice to help out any way you can,” Hunt said. “Obviously this team is quite highly qualified. You won’t see much powerplay time I don’t think. Anywhere you can get involved, on the PK or in different areas, that’s a pretty big responsibility for guys like me.”

Hunt has 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 168 NHL games with the Florida Panthers, Arizona Coyotes and Rangers. – Ryan Boulding

Winnipeg Jets

Nikolai Ehlers was placed on injured reserve by the Jets on Friday, retroactive to Oct. 18, due to an undisclosed injury.

The forward has not played in the last two games since a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on October 17.

He joined the Jets for morning skating at Ball Arena in Denver before earning a 4-3 overtime win on Wednesday and leaving early. Ehlers also missed a 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.

Ehlers has three assists this season. Last season he had 55 points (28 goals, 27 assists) in 62 games.

Winnipeg remembered forward Dominik Toninato from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Coach Rick Bowness is expected back when the Jets play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, SNO, SNW, SNP, ESPN+, SN NOW). He has not been with the team since testing positive for COVID-19 on October 14.

Pittsburgh penguins

Jake Guentzel will be away with the Penguins for five games while he’s being evaluated for an upper-body injury, coach Mike Sullivan said.

The forward, who did not practice Friday, walked out of a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday after being hit in the ear by a shot from the Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang at 6:51 of the third period. That came after Guentzel suffered a high-shoulder hit from a Los Angeles forward Brendan Lemieux at 4:20.

Güntzel, left winger in the first row, has collected five points (three goals, two assists) in four games. He led the Penguins with 40 goals in 76 games last season.

“[Guentzel] is a great player, does a lot for us”, captain Sydney Crosby said. “Not an easy guy to replace. So when you get hurt you have to find ways to make up for the guys you lose and what they bring. I think we’re going to try to do that together. “

The journey begins Saturday (7 p.m. ET; BSOH, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, SN NOW) against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Danton Heinen replaced Guentzel on a line with Crosby in the middle and on the right wing Rickard Rackel in practice Friday. Rakell took Guentzel’s spot in the top powerplay unit.

“No matter what our line combinations look like, [Heinen] is a guy I think is always a topic of conversation [to move up in the lineup]’ Sullivan said.

Brock McGinn was raised from the fourth line to the left wing of the third instead of Heinen. Teddy Bluegerin a non-contact jersey, returned to his usual place in the middle of the fourth row.

Blueger falls into everyday life because of an upper body injury. If Guentzel and Blueger can’t play on Saturday, Pittsburgh could field seven defenders.– Wes Crosby

Toronto Maple Leafs

Austin Matthews didn’t practice Friday but will likely play for the Maple Leafs with the Jets on Saturday (7:00 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, SNO, SNW, SNP, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The center took a counter check Jamie Benn in the first period, a 3-2 overtime win against the Stars on Thursday and blocked a shot Wyatt Johnston with your foot later in the game. He stayed in the game, played 26:46 and continued to assist Nicholas Robertson‘s overtime goal.

“We give them these days [off] He played a lot of minutes yesterday throughout the season and was obviously a little knocked out too, so it was pretty easy to give him something,” said coach Sheldon Keefe. “He was in there doing his job, in the gym doing his thing and getting ready for tomorrow.”

Wayne Simmondsrecalled from the American Hockey League from Toronto on Sunday, will make his season debut against the Jets, playing on the right wing in-line with the left wing Pierre Engvall and center David fight. Nicolas Aube Kubel will be a healthy scratch.

“I don’t want him sitting too long,” Keefe said. “We have the flexibility to get guys in and out. I thought Wayne would have a good camp with us. …Having Wayne up here and being flexible with our roster, I think it’s important to include him.”

Simmonds had 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) and 96 penalty minutes in 72 games with the Maple Leafs last season. – Dave McCarthy

Chicago Blackhawks

Jake McCabe will make his season debut when the Blackhawks play the Detroit Red Wings on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, BSDETX, ESPN+, SN NOW).

The 29-year-old defenseman, who was activated from injured reserve, has been running with the Blackhawks since training camp began after undergoing cervical spine surgery during the offseason.

“You have to take some time for those little areas to get all the swelling out, especially on a defender,” said Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson. “If you go back for a puck and get crushed from behind and your neck twisted the wrong way, you have to make sure you’re 100 percent sane. I think he was cleared for full contact last week or so before we left for the [season opening] Trip. But really, the date was set for today so he’s really fully cleared and ready for full game contact.

McCabe had 22 points (four goals, eight assists) in 75 games for Chicago last season. – Tracey Myers

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