ST. PAUL, Minn. — Normally, coaches make decisions when they step into lineups, but John Worley can thank Marco Rossi for giving him a chance to shine in overtime in Sunday’s wild exhibition opener against a split version of the Colorado Avalanche.
It took the Athletics coach five minutes to convince Kirill Kaprizov to come out of the game after the All-Star star put in another grueling shift in the third period after being nailed by a shot by linemate Freddie Gaudreau. Even in meaningless games like Sunday’s, Kaprizov was unhappy that he had already scored, assisted on a power-play goal by Callen Addison, and had five shots to spare.
Three-on-three overtime is usually “Kaprizov Time” during his four OT wins in his first two seasons in the NHL. But with Kaprizov preparing at the back, coach Dean Evason started Rossi alongside Kaprizov’s line-mate Ryan Hartman in extra time.
It was a long shift for both forwards and shortly after Hartmann chased an Evs player off the bench at the attacking blue line, the fresh Matt Dumba dropped a through ball to Rossi.