Rookie defenseman Bowen Byram
will miss his second consecutive game Wednesday when the Avalanche play the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center to close out the four-game road trip.
Byram, who has an upper-body injury, was a surprise scratch Monday before the Avalanche’s 6-2 loss to the Sharks after coach Jared Bednar
said in the morning there wouldn’t be any lineup changes.
Here’s my NHL.com RECAP.
The Avalanche blew a 2-0 lead.
Defenseman Cale Makar
didn’t play in Arizona on Saturday and returned to Denver for treatment for his upper-body injury. Forward Matt Calvert
also has an upper-body injury.
As for Byram:
“He won’t play tomorrow for us,” Bednar said Tuesday afternoon. “I would still consider him day to day. I don’t have an exact time frame; it’s just going to be a day-to-day thing. We’ll see how he’s progressed, check in with him every day and then will try to get more firm timelines on those guys, probably when we get back to Denver.”
The Avalanche played Dan Renouf
and Conor Timmins
on the blue line without Makar and Byram, and Logan O’Connor
was in the lineup in place of Calvert on Monday.
Bednar said he didn’t think fatigue was a factor for goalie Philipp Grubauer,
who allowed five goals on 26 shots against the Sharks.
Grubauer has started 16 of the Avalanche’s 19 games and is expected to start again Wednesday. He’ll play once when they play the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and Saturday at Ball Arena.
Grubauer limited opponents to two goals or fewer in 13 of his first 16 starts before he gave up five goals on 24 shots in a 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 24. He bounced back with 23 saves on Saturday in the Avalanche’s 6-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes.
“I’m pretty happy with his workload,” Bednar said. “He’s handled it pretty well to this point. I think the one game where we probably saw a little bit of a drop-off, which was a little bit similar to last night, was the Minnesota game, so we gave him the two days’ rest, played (Hunter) Miska
in Arizona (on Friday) and then Grubi came back with a great performance for us (on Saturday). Arizona was a much better team the second night.
“We haven’t been skating on the off days, so I feel pretty good about where his workload is right now. We’re just going to have to keep monitoring it and give him days off. It wasn’t his best performance last night, but we hung him out to dry again just like we did at the end of the Minnesota game.
“I thought he was having a great game if you take it even through 40 minutes. It’s a 2-2 hockey game, we made some mistakes and the Sharks were starting to gain a little steam as the second period went on. We also had our chances to extend our 2-0 lead both late in the first period and early in the second, and we didn’t do that. It kind of cost us. We just fell asleep on some defensive plays.”