While the Avalanche have been led by a dominant trio in the first half of the season, they need to add some secondary scoring if they want to take a step forward before the playoffs, argues Jared Clinton of The Hockey News. Colorado has some promising young prospects on the horizon that they shouldn’t be dealing from but with some injuries between the pipes starting to occur, this could be an opportunity to deal Semyon Varlamov for some scoring help. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov has also been available at varying times over the last couple of years and could yield a forward in return. The Avs went into play tonight with just a two-point cushion on the last playoff spot so getting some scoring help may be something they want to do before next month’s trade deadline.
More from the Western Conference:
- The Flames are expected to have goaltender David Rittich back between the pipes on Saturday, notes Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson. He has missed the last two games due to a lower-body injury. The 26-year-old has been a key player for them in the first half of the year as he has taken away some starts from veteran Mike Smith and has posted stellar numbers with a .920 SV% along with a 2.39 GAA.
- Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is not making progress from the concussion he sustained last month, head coach Jeremy Colliton told Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times. That’s certainly not an encouraging sign for a player whose recent concussion history is quite significant. Chicago will stick with rookie Collin Delia and veteran Cam Ward for the time being although this may cause them to delay any potential plans of looking to move Ward (provided the pending UFA waives his NMC) until closer to the trade deadline.
- Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers suffered an upper-body injury in Friday’s game against Pittsburgh, the team announced. The injury occurred in the first period and while he tried to come back for a shift, it didn’t go over well. The 22-year-old is quietly on pace for his first career 30-goal campaign and if he’s out for any significant period of time, that would be a big blow to Winnipeg’s attack.