Colorado Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog IS BACK!!!

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog participated in a full practice with a no-contact jersey on, giving us hope he’ll soon be back.

Ok, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog isn’t fully back yet. However, he was a full participant in today’s practice, albeit in a red no-contact jersey.

This development is a huge improvement over what we’d initially been told when Dallas goalie Ben Bishop flattened him against the boards. Landeskog was later seen with his arm in a sling, and the official word was that he’d miss pretty much the rest of the regular season.

Now, we have this:

Here are some better shots:

Gabe had been skating on his own before practices, but as far as I know, this is the first time he’s participated in a full practice since the injury 2 1/2 weeks ago. It doesn’t surprise me, though — you can’t keep our Viking captain down that easily.

Landeskog wasn’t just participating in skating — here he is shooting, too:

And being his usual dramatic presence at the practice. In fact, just before that, he was hassling Tyson Jost by tickling the youngster’s ear.

Now, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves here, except we all totally want to get ahead of ourselves. Having Landeskog back would be one of the biggest boons to this team. Not only is he one of our best players, he’s the heart and soul of the Avs:

Getting Gabe back would also take some of the sting out of Mikko Rantanen getting injured in the other Dallas game, two weeks to the day after the Bishop Smash one. He left that game and didn’t return, nor did he play in either Chicago game. He was not on the ice at today’s practice, and the team confirms he will not play tomorrow against Vegas.

Gabe probably also won’t play tomorrow against Vegas. I mean, it’s not unheard of for Jared Bednar to play a player after just a no-contact practice and a morning skate. However, we really shouldn’t get our hopes up.

On the bright side, two other players, Matthew Nieto and Mark Barberio, practiced in full-contact jerseys today. Nieto will definitely be in the lineup tomorrow, likely on the fourth line with Andrew Agozzino and Gabriel Bourque since those were his practice mates today. Bednar hasn’t decided if he’ll slot Barberio in tomorrow.

The return of Nieto is likely the reason the Colorado Avalanche sent AJ Greer back to Loveland, though it doesn’t explain why they called him up in the first place. The return of Barberio means we probably won’t be seeing Ryan “4:11 of Ice Time” Graves again.

Finally, our Third Star of the Week (for the entire NHL), Philipp Grubauer, will be starting tomorrow against the Knights.

Boy, even if Gabriel Landeskog doesn’t play in tomorrow’s game, if he could be available for that all-important Friday game against the Arizona Coyotes, that would be huge for the Colorado Avalanche.

Side note: A hearty congratulations to MHS contributor Callie who received a signed stick from her favorite player, JT Compher. These players are all really nice guys, and they go out of their way to treat loyal fans well.