With three one-word answers, Jared Bednar offers more info on Nichushkin

Apr 26, 2023, 12:10 PM | Updated: 12:37 pm

Jared Bednar...

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was asked three questions about forward Valeri Nichushkin on Wednesday morning.

All three resulted in one-word answers.

But, through those answers, we got some more information on the curious case of Nichushkin.

The winger has missed the last two games against the Kraken for personal reasons, but a report surfaced on Tuesday that it had something to do with an “incident” at the team hotel in Seattle.

Bednar was asked if he had a timeline on Nichushkin coming back to the team and he said “no.” He was then asked if the Avalanche are in contact with him, to which Bednar replied “yeah.” Finally, Bednar was asked if it’s a legal situation surrounding Nichushkin, and the coach replied “no.”

So, there you have it. Nichushkin wasn’t at morning skate ahead of Game 5 with the Kraken, and Bednar wasn’t able to offer up any details on when or if he’ll return. It’s good to hear the team is in touch with Nichushkin, since no one knows where he is. He was spotted leaving the hotel with Avs security on Saturday afternoon.

And finally, given all the wild speculation flying around, it’s nice to know it’s not a legal situation with Nichushkin. That makes sense, given he left the state of Washington, but Bednar confirming it can hopefully stop some of the crazy rumors.

Meanwhile, the defending Stanley Cup champions are in an absolute battle with Seattle, with the series tied two games apiece. Cale Makar won’t be on the ice for Game 5, serving a one-game suspension.

“It’s not ideal not having the best D in the league,” said Nathan MacKinnon about battling tonight without Makar. “But we are focused on this one singular game and even without him we can still beat these guys.”

Without him and Nichushkin, the Avalanche will need someone (or multiple guys) to step up.

“We’ve been doing it all year,” said Devon Toews on the rocky road the Avs have been on. “It’s what made us great last year.”

There is no time left to leave anything on the shelf. It’s desperation time — and simply put, the best players need to be on the ice as much as possible.

Bednar already forewarned his top players would likely see more time on the ice. MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen both said they are ready, willing and able to accept that challenge.

For the first time in a long time, the Avs are feeling the sting of being the underdogs. They’ll have to get it done tonight with key guys like Nichushkin and Makar.



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