Malinski potentially hurt in Eagles loss


When I said that the Colorado Eagles needed this win tonight, I wasn’t joking. They went into their rival’s barn in Tucson to play the Roadrunners and had to push through them. Games against the Roadrunners have always been physical and full of penalties. This was no different. The two teams amassed 13 penalties between the two of them. If the Eagles could pull a win off, they could pull into a tie in the standings with Tucson, if not chaos. Sam Malinski was potentially hurt as well and that did not help. Here are my takeaways from the 4–3 loss against the Roadrunners.


— Sam Malinski did not play beyond the first period in the game. This will be a significant loss on the blue line for the Eagles and possibly for the Colorado Avalanche as well. About halfway through the first frame, Malinski laid a massive hit in the corner. He seemed fine after that, but never returned to the game after the intermission. Malinski provides a spark on the backend and the power play despite his rookie status. He has five goals and 20 assists in 45 games played with the Eagles this season.

— The power play continues to suffer. As the Eagles could not convert the three opportunities they had tonight, it would have made the difference in the game. The power play has been a topic of conversation. Colorado has not converted in their last 25 chances in the eight games. Even strength scoring has been falling short with a 5–3–1–1 record in their last ten games.

The physical game tonight highlighted the absence of Matthew Stienburg and Jason Polin. Both the forwards, who did not play because of upper-body injuries, play a very physical brand of hockey. Polin can spark the offense into the zone and Stienburg is a third line grinder. Both know how to lay a shoulder into a man and let someone know they are there to take the puck away.



With the loss, Colorado now falls to fifth in the standings and will start the playoffs on the road. In the Pacific Division, the home team’s arena hosts the entire first round. There is no travel. So if the Eagles lose that advantage, this will be huge. Injuries are piling up at the worst possible time. Starting goalie Trent Miner has no expected return date and Dalton Smith (another grinder) is expecting a baby. Tanner Kero, a top-six forward, is out with an upper-body injury and has no expected return date either. The Eagles will battle the Roadrunners again tomorrow night at 8pm.

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