Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Avalanche players, Connor Bedard downplay Josh Manson’s slash in lead up to potentially spicy rematch

Maybe the Blackhawks won’t get the retribution some of them appeared to be seeking a few days ago, after all.

Colorado defenseman Josh Manson was listed as doubtful with a lower-body injury for Monday night’s clash with Chicago at Ball Arena. Manson slashed Chicago phenom Connor Bedard on the wrist away from the play when the two teams met this past Thursday at United Center, and a couple of Bedard’s teammates had harsh words about the incident in the aftermath.

“Watching the play, I don’t think it was really that bad,” Avs forward Ross Colton said. “I think that’s just social media nowadays. Everyone blows everything out of proportion. So I don’t expect (any retribution), no.”

The slash came in the third period of a game that was already out of reach. Bedard had taken a whack at Avs defenseman Bo Byram with his stick away from the play earlier in the contest, so Manson’s motivation might have been a little payback. Manson didn’t skate Monday morning and wasn’t available to the media.

Three of Bedard’s teammates spoke out against Manson’s slash to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. Reese Johnson, who fought Chris Wagner earlier in the game, called it a “greasy” move.

Bedard met with the media after Chicago’s morning skate in Denver and downplayed the incident. Byram did as well.

“I don’t want to make any headlines,” Byram said. “Everyone is just out playing hard. Connor is really good player and teams are going to go after him. That definitely wasn’t our purpose last game to go after Connor, but he’s a good player and teams are going to play him hard. There was nothing personal personal about it. We were just playing hockey and playing hard having fun. That’s what makes hockey so great is the little battles within the game.

“I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal in our locker room. If it is in theirs, I’m sure we’ll hear about it on the ice tonight or something.”

The Avs are the NHL’s best home team with a 23-6-0 record at Ball Arena. The Blackhawks have lost 21 in a row away from home, and 14 of 15 overall.

Colorado had little trouble with Chicago last week at United Center, authoring one of its most complete efforts of the season in a 5-0 win. In the day or two after that game, it seemed like a spicy rematch was brewing.

It’s possible that Manson’s absence and the Blackhawks having a few days to cool off has defused the situation. Avs coach Jared Bednar said it was “unlikely” that his team will face any blowback from the play.

“I’m sure (Bedard) is a competitive guy,” Byram said. “He doesn’t like losing. There’s going to be times everybody just shows their emotion on the ice. I think that’s a good thing. So yeah, not a huge deal for us in our locker room.”

Want more Avalanche news? Sign up for the Avalanche Insider to get all our NHL analysis.

Popular Articles