The Avalanche announced that defenseman Stefan Elliott has been recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters. It could just be precautionary, but given Patrick Roy's propensity to go with a shortened roster rather than dip into the AHL pool, this move doesn't look good for Tyson Barrie. No official word has been released about Barrie's condition, but the nasty (and unfortunate, not dirty) hit to the head he took in the first period of last night's game against the Sharks sent him out of the game.
Elliott has been okay for the Monsters. He's potted 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points in 61 games. Regardless, he's the logical choice as the top offensive defensman on the team. Had Matt Hunwick not been injured, he may have gotten the call instead simply due to NHL experience, both in regular season and playoffs.
This is a good opportunity for Elliott, and while we never want to see it come as a result of an injury, it's important that he make the most of it. Elliott can be an impact player, especially on the power play, and his playing style is similar to Barrie. One thing that Elliott has that could definitely help, especially with the man advantage, is his sneaky ability to thread the needle, hitting twine with lots of bodies between him and the net.
Hard to feel good for Elliott right now, though. Losing Barrie is a big blow to the Avalanche's hopes of taking the division and, possibly, the Western Conference on Sunday. He's been a juggernaut for Colorado's offense from the blueline and as clutch of a player as they've had in years. Here's to hoping it's a short stint for Stefan.