Avs lose another key player, Bednar thinks hit that hurt Lehkonen was dirty
Dec 5, 2022, 11:13 AM
(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
The defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche can’t catch a break.
Seemingly every week they lose another key player, with forward Artturi Lehkonen the latest to go down after a questionable play in Boston against the Bruins.
Late in the first period on Saturday night, Lehkonen was in front of the Boston net, when Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy body-slammed him to the ice. Not only was it an extremely aggressive and unnecessary, but it appears to have come right at or after the whistle. The scoring threat was clearly over. Take a look.
Here’s the play pic.twitter.com/SNSKKCJ3qZ
— Blake Wheeler (@blakewheeler08) December 4, 2022
Lehkonen left the game with an “upper-body” injury for the Avs and did not return. He wasn’t on the ice in Philadelphia today, as Colorado will face the Flyers tonight. After morning skate, head coach Jared Bednar was brief when addressing what happened, but was clear about his thoughts on the play. He didn’t like it.
Artturi Lehkonen is day-to-day. I asked Jared Bednar if he thought the Charlie McAvoy play that that injured Lehkonen was dirty.
Because of the takedown itself or just because it was after the whistle?
— Bennett Durando (@BennettDurando) December 5, 2022
The Avalanche host the Bruins on Wednesday night, so hopefully someone looks to take some revenge on McAvoy. It doesn’t have to be anything dirty, but some hard, legal hits or even a fight would do the trick. Meanwhile, Lehkonen is the 10th member of the Avs injured this year.
That’s an insane number, and includes critical players like Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, Bo Byram and Josh Manson.
Colorado is currently 13-8-1, with 27 points, good for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They’ll finish much higher than that in the standings when it’s all said and done, but the injuries are starting to catch up with them.
The Avs will look to avoid a 1-3 road trip by hopefully taking some anger out on the Flyers in about six hours.