Coming out of its perfect two-game road trip with wins over the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings, the Avalanche had to feel pretty good about themselves.
Sure, they picked up four important points, but they also did it without their leading scorer in Matt Duchene and two very important pieces to the team puzzle in Alex Tanguay and Ryan Wilson.
After Monday’s practice, the team’s first since Saturday night’s win over the Kings, head coach Patrick Roy gave a little insight into the status of his three injured players. Duchene (oblique), Tanguay (knee) and Wilson (back) all continue to battle their injuries and none of them figures to play Wednesday night against the St.Louis Blues.
Roy did say that Duchene had been practicing, but was wearing a no-contact jersey and that he would be surprised if Duchene suited up Wednesday night.
The head coach also said that he doesn’t expected either Tanguay or Wilson back into the lineup until at least the week of December 9th. If the Avalanche can remain healthy otherwise, they’ll get a huge boost in the second week of December by getting those two back and being back at full strength.
Roy also announced the goaltending schedule for the week: Semyon Varlamov will get the start Wednesday night against the Blues and Saturday night, the second of an away-and-home with the Minnesota Wild. J.S. Giguere will get the start Friday night in Minneapolis.
The schedule is going to get tougher for the Avalanche and though they’ve done a good job so far, they have a big statement game Wednesday night and they’ll have to do it without Duchene.
On Wednesday night, it’s time to step up.