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Colorado Avalanche: News From Around the NHL October 24th, 2014

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Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Varly is healed, Avs are saved!

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov says he's healed from a groin injury and will start Friday night against Vancouver.

In a video on the team's website, Varlamov told reporters after practice Thursday that he feels good.

The Leafs were across the street when Ottawa was attacked two days ago. They heard the gunfire from their hotel rooms.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had come to Ottawa two days ago to play a hockey game. But on Wednesday, some awoke to the sounds of gunfire. Randy Carlyle, the team’s head coach, had his mid-morning walk interrupted by an announcement to evacuate a nearby mall and find a safe space. Players spent the day huddled inside a hotel room and peering out the window, watching the events unfold like it was some television show.

“It was kind of surreal,” Carlyle said. “It was so close. I was actually in the mall walking when they came across the PA and said there was an evacuation in place and for people to evacuate. I went into the hotel and saw what was going on. It was a lot closer than you thought about.”

The Leafs were staying at The Westin Ottawa Hotel, which is across the street from the War Memorial where Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot dead on Wednesday morning. None of the players witnessed the incident, but several said they could hear gunshots.

Kane is recovering and should be able to skate shortly.

“Evander Kane is progressing quite well, to the point where we have an expectation here in the next few days that he’ll be back on IR (injured reserve) skates,” Paul Maurice. “Non main group skates, so nobody runs into a guy.

“But he’ll be back on the ice sometime this week and then after that it’s as much about strength and healing time.”

Kane has been off for two weeks after hurting his knee in a collision with linemate Mark Scheifele in Winnipeg’s season opener and first win, 6-2 over the Arizona Coyotes. They then went on a four-game slide they only reversed with their second win Tuesday night, their first at home, 3-1 against the still winless Carolina Hurricanes.

Tavares is impressed by McDavid.

New York Islanders captain John Tavares really doesn’t envy the kind of gruelling year Connor McDavid is going through.

But he does envy the team that will ultimately land the hockey prodigy from Newmarket, who is currently captain of the Erie Otters.

“The way he changes gears, I’ve never seen anyone like that,” says Tavares. “I skated with him a little bit this summer. You think he’s at top speed, and then he hits the neutral zone and he has the puck and he just turns it up another gear. You really never see the way he brings speed.”

“And he’s got exceptional vision, a way of seeing the play before it actually happens. Those two things are really what make him such a special player.”

Perhaps it takes one to know one. Tavares, like McDavid, got “exceptional status” to play in the OHL at 15, a year younger than the norm. Both played for Team Canada at the world juniors two younger than most of their teammates and opponents.