Just back from morning skate here in Denver.
Johan Hedberg will get the start in goal against the Avalanche. He is 4-2 with a .762 save percentage against Colorado lifetime. Ondrej Pavelec is 0-2 against them.
Slava Kozlov will be the healthy scratch. After sitting for five games, he has played the past two.
Other notes that might be of interest. A couple of former Thrashers were in the building – one on the ice and one in the stands.
Darren Haydar, who played 20 games with the Thrashers over two seasons, was called up by Colorado Tuesday. The forward was the leading scorer for Lake Erie in the NHL.
Also, former Thrasher Ken Klee was in the stands watching the team skate. He is out of hockey, living in Denver and coaching youth, I’m told.
I talked to Hedberg about the Kari Lehtonen trade, to get his reaction to the fact that Lehtonen was moved due to the team’s confidence in Hedberg and Ondrej Pavelec. I also wanted to get an idea where the team is now that the Ilya Kovalchuk contract and the three goaltender situations have been resolved – two things that have hung over the franchise, more or less, all season.
Here is some of what he said:
“That’s great to hear those comments. I knew it was going to come down to this sooner or later, to move one of us in some manner. With the season going, I’ve been trying to do my best to show my teammates and everybody that I want to be here. It was up to Don[Waddell] to make the decision on what he wants to do. It’s a great move of confidence for me and Pavs.
“I think it will be a great situation for Kari. It will be a positive for him to get a change of scenery and a new environment to work with. Hopefully, it’s going to work out for the best for everybody.
“I think for us as a team, all these things have been happening very quickly. It’s a huge adjustment for this organization, this franchise. As a group it brings us closer together, but it’s up to us though. We have to do it, inside this room. We can’t wait for Kovy to come in and score four or five goals. Or Kari to come back and stand on his head. Right now, it’s us. It puts more pressure on us but it’s also something that, hopefully, is going to make us pull harder together.”
Let me get this posted. I need to run out and buy a coat (forgot it at home, huge rookie mistake with Minneapolis and Chicago up next).