Sven Andrighetto, who began the season as one of the Avalanche’s top left wings, will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season Wednesday when the Avalanche hosts the Dallas Stars at the Pepsi Center. Andrighetto is without a point in his last three games and seen his ice time decrease. He will be replaced by Gabriel Bourque, who will play in his seventh game of the season.
“‘Bourquey’ has been working real hard,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said the morning skate Wednesday. “He brings an element of grit and sandpaper to our lineup, some heaviness that I think we need against this team. I’ve talked with Andrighetto and I think he can get back to his roots a little bit here and give us a little bit more than what he’s given us lately.”
Andrighetto, 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds, isn’t nearly as physical as the 5-10, 206 Bourque.
Long commute. Goalie Semyon Varlamov skipped Tuesday’s practice because of an illness and isn’t available to back up Jonathan Bernier against the Stars, so the Avalanche made an emergency recall and flew in recently acquired Andrew Hammond from the East Coast.
Hammond, who was acquired from Ottawa on Nov. 4 in the three-team trade that centered around Matt Duchene, boarded a 7:30 a.m. ET flight Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., where the Belleview Senators — Ottawa’s American Hockey League affiliate — were preparing to play the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday. Hammond participated in the Avalanche’s morning skate 20 minutes after he arrived at the Pepsi Center.
Hammond, 29, has continued to play for the Belleview Senators since joining the Avalanche organization because Colorado’s AHL affiliate in San Antonio is back-logged with St. Louis Blues prospects. The Blues, who will take over the San Antonio Rampage next season as the Avalanche make the Loveland-based Colorado Eagles their AHL affiliate, have 22-year-old Ville Husso sharing starts with the Avs’ Spencer Martin in San Antonio.
Bednar is unsure if Hammond will stick with the Avs through Friday, when Colorado plays an afternoon affair at Minnesota. But Varlamov is feeling better, Bednar said.
“He’ll be at the rink tomorrow,” the coach said. “We have Hammond here right now, so if we decide that Varly’s not starting (Friday), then we may leave him back, so he gets rest. And if there’s a possibility he can start Saturday, we’ll look at that.”
— Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) November 22, 2017
Scratches: F Andrighetto, D Mironov, G Varlamov (illness). Injured: F Kamenev (arm), D Nemeth (lower-body), D Lindholm (jaw)