The Department of Player Safety is having a hearing for Colorado Avalanche defender Jacob MacDonald. MacDonald laid a late elbow on Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Hartman, following Colorado’s 8-3 loss on Wednesday.
Colorado’s Jacob MacDonald will have a hearing today for an Illegal Check to the Head on Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 8, 2021
Jacob MacDonald Receives Hearing for Elbowing
The incident took place after Hartman threw the puck in front of the net. Late on the backcheck, MacDonald attempted to finish his check on Hartman, well after Hartman got the puck off his stick. While Hartman was making a slight spin to face the net, MacDonald delivered a vicious elbow to the head.
As a result, Hartman flew to the ice like a ton of bricks and collapsed. MacDonald would receive no penalty on the play, as the referees let the play continue. It wasn’t until after the game that MacDonald would face a hearing.
Jacob MacDonald has played the role of a depth defenceman for the Avalanche. The stay-at-home defender has contributed one goal and six assists in 20 games for the Avalanche. Another one of Sakic’s diamonds in the rough, MacDonald has provided 3.8 GAR (goals above replacement) and has totalled a value of 3.5 DEF (total defensive value). (Stats via Evolving-Hockey).
Colorado Potentially Down Another Defender
Colorado’s already dealing with the absence of rookie defenceman Bowen Byram, along with veteran Erik Johnson. Heading into Wednesday night’s game, the team had placed Kyle Burroughs alongside MacDonald on the bottom defensive pairing. If MacDonald receives a suspension, the Avalanche must call another defenceman from the Taxi Squad.
While Burroughs has provided an assist in two games for the club, the Avalanche needs to either get healthy quickly or look to make a move at the deadline. The team currently sits at the top of the Honda West division with 56 points. Before Wednesday night’s 8-3 defeat to the Wild, Colorado had posted a record of 13-0-2 in their last 15 games.
With the trade deadline around the corner, the Avalanche should look for some minor upgrades due to the injuries of Byram, Johnson, and backup goaltender Pavel Francouz. An ideal move for the team would be the addition of a backup behind starter Phillipp Grubauer. Despite their injury concerns, the Avalanche looks like a Stanley Cup contender for yet another season.
Embed from Getty Images