Tyson Barrie left last night’s game against the San Jose Sharks with an upper-body injury after taking a late hit from Jason Demers in the first period and did not return.
Today, the Colorado Avalanche recalled Stefan Elliott from the Lake Erie Monsters to likely replace Barrie in the lineup.
While Avalanche officials say that Barrie is just “day-to-day” the fact that Elliott was called up isn’t a very encouraging sign. It’s very possible that Barrie suffered a concussion on the hit. If that’s the case, there’s no telling how long Barrie will be out of the lineup.
Barrie has been “Mr. Clutch” for the Avs this season. Five of his 13 goals have been game winning goals and he’s had a few late game goals that have tied things as well. His 38 points are second among Avalanche defensemen, one behind Erik Johnson and he has a plus/minus of +17, which leads all Avs defensemen.
Like Barrie, Elliott brings an offensive dimension to his game, but he’s been criticized for his defense. In 61 games with the Monsters, Elliott has 14 goals and 14 assists, but is a -16. Elliott spent some time with the Avs last season, appearing in 18 games; contributing one goal and four points.
The Avs defense has gone through a resurgence this season under Patrick Roy’s system so it’ll be interesting to see how Elliott does, knowing he’ll have a lot more freedom in the offensive zone. He certainly has the talent to be just as effective as Barrie. At least for a game, he’ll now have his chance.