COLORADO AVALANCHE

Hishon recalled, Cooke to have hearing and O'Reilly a Lady Byng finalist

By Drew Spevak
Avalanche/ NHL Insider
ESPNDenver.com

The Colorado Avalanche have recalled C Joey Hishon from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League. Hishon will take the roster spot of D Tyson Barrie who was injured in Game Three following a knee-on-knee collision with Minnesota Wild F Matt Cooke.

Hishon was drafted by the Avalanche 17th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Hishon will be available to enter the Avalanche lineup for Game Four and Head Coach Patrick Roy could choose to play him depending on how he performs in practice on Wednesday.

Roy announced on Tuesday that Ryan Wilson will take Tyson Barrie's place in Game Four with the defensive core, after being a healthy scratch for the first three games.

Matt Cooke to have in person hearing

Matt Cooke has been invited by the NHL to attend a hearing in person for his knee-on-knee hit on Barrie in Game Three. The hearing will take place in New York on Wednesday afternoon.

An in person hearing means that the league can suspend Cooke at least five games for the incident, and could receive a lengthy suspension given his history and having already been suspended six times.

Barrie will miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain.

Ryan O'Reilly named finalist for Lady Byng Award

Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly was named a finalist for the Lady Byng trophy, which is awarded to the player that is judged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. O'Reilly tallied a career high 64 points and was penalized for just one minor penalty this season.

Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers and Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks were the other two nominees.

Drew Spevak covers the Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rockies for ESPNDenver.com. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSpevak..

 

 

Wild get back in the series despite 45 save effort from Varlamov

By Drew Spevak
Avalanche/ NHL Insider
ESPNDenver.com

Semyon Varlamov put on an unbelievable show at the Xcel Energy Center in Game Three against the Minnesota Wild, stopping 45 shots but Mikael Granlund scored at 5:08 of overtime to cut the Avalanche lead in the series to 2-1.

Granlund got his first goal of the playoffs after spinning off a check attempt from Jan Hejda against the boards, he skated toward the front of the net and beat Varlamov with a wrist shot as the Avalanche goalie was tied up with defenseman Erik Johnson in front.

It was a rough and physical game from the very start as Minnesota tried to set the pace and play their brand of hockey to get back in this series and it worked. The Wild defense slowed down the fast skating Avalanche all night but clogging up the neutral zone and possessing the puck for long periods of time in the Avalanche defensive zone.

Penalties were a big story from this game as the two teams combined for 15 total. The one that everyone is talking about is the incident between Matt Cooke and Tyson Barrie. As Barrie was moving the puck out of his zone, Cooke came at him clearly sticking his knee out, and he caught Barrie with his left knee knocking him out of the game. Cooke was given a two-minute minor for kneeing, while Barrie was done for the game and it was announced after that he will miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain.

Patrick Roy said about the injury “ I think it was the play of the game. His knee on Tyson Barrie was without a doubt the play of the game. We lost our best offensive defenseman and I think it could have been a five-minute major. (Cooke) would be out of the game, plus I think it would have broken their momentum and we would have been on the power play.”

After struggling in the first two games of the series, Ilya Bryzgalov was benched in favor of rookie goaltender Darcy Kuemper who replaced Bryzgalov in Game Two. Kuemper made 22 saves but was never really tested because the defense for the Wild was so strong. Colorado was not able to maintain possession for long in the Wild zone and were unable to create many quality scoring chances, making Kuemper's job pretty easy.

The Wild made a couple of roster moves that really paid off in Game Three. Justin Fontaine and Dany Heatley replaced Kyle Brodziak and Stephane Veilleux on the third and fourth lines. Fontaine was paired with Cooke and Erik Haula in order to slow down Colorado's top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny and Nathan MacKinnon and the move paid off. The trio was shutout and only generated seven shots. Ryan Suter was the primary defenseman against them and played 31:56.

Both teams will get an extra day off with Game Four scheduled for Thursday night at 7:30. The extra rest should really benefit the Avalanche but now the question becomes, how does Colorado adjust. Without Barrie, Stefan Elliot will likely move into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first three games.

For Minnesota the question is, will Cooke be suspended. And if so, for how many games? Being a repeat offender he is likely to at least receive some sort of punishment especially given that he did not receive a major penalty for the kneeing incident.

THREE STARS OF THE GAME:

  1. Mikael Granlund – 1 goal

  2. Mikko Koivu – 23:14 TOI, 2 shots

  3. Semyon Varlamov – 45 saves

Drew Spevak covers the Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rockies for ESPNDenver.com. Follow him on Twitter @DrewSpevak for updates during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

 

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