Colorado Avalanche Players May be Close to Returning

DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 02: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche plays the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center on February 02, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 02: Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche plays the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center on February 02, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche are a heavily injured team. However, they will hopefully get players back soon, even in the next game.

The Colorado Avalanche are the walking wounded right now. It’s not funny except you have to laugh or you’ll cry.

Right now, eight players are out of the lineup, if you include Nathan MacKinnon and Colin Wilson. We have no official word on MacKinnon, and Wilson has been out since late October.

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If you count both MacKinnon and Wilson, that’s 40% of our opening night roster. If you omit both, that’s still 30%. Come on!

Anyway, the Avalanche have been finding ways to win despite their depleted roster. Technically, MacKinnon missed only a little more than a period, not even a whole game. Official word is there’s no official word on his status, but hopefully it’s not too bad.

Besides those two, here are the other injured players:

  • Nazem Kadri, out since February 9
  • Matt Calvert, out since February 15
  • Philipp Grubauer, out since February 15
  • Mikko Rantanen, out since February 17
  • Andre Burakovsky, out since February 28
  • Cale Makar, out since February 29

Oy vey, that’s not just 30% of our lineup — that’s an integral aspect of our lineup. And if you count MacKinnon among those wounded, you might as well book your mid-April tee time.

The situation is dire, but there’s hope beyond MacKinnon’s magical healing. Some players may be close to returning. Indeed, the coaching staff intimated we may be getting some guys back.

I should hope so. The Avalanche reassigned Martin Kaut and Sheldon Dries to the Eagles. That leaves Colorado with 10 for-sure healthy forwards.

The Colorado Avalanche didn’t hold practice today. So, it’s hard to know what’s going on. However, the players on IR have been working with skills coach Shawn Allard:

According to DNVR’s Evan Rawal, four skaters and Grubauer were participants in the full, no-contact practice. They were Makar, Kadri, Rantanen, and Calvert.

Burakovsky apparently worked on his own without Allard:

So, this Burakvosky situation is so weird. No telling what’s going on with him. He played February 21 against the Ducks. He sat out the away Kings game and home Sabres game before playing in the away Hurricanes games. He’s now missed six straight games.

He’s been listed as day-to-day since his injury. But now it looks like he’s the furthest out from returning.

And it’s not like the Avs like to let the public in on what’s going on with their players. Someone give them the nuke codes — you’ll never get them back.

Anyway, like I said, some forwards must be returning since the Avalanche reassigned two forwards. The hope is that MacKinnon will play tomorrow. Ideally, so will Rantanen. I’d really like to see him work any residual rust off.

Kadri has been out the longest. On February 23, he attended the Avalanche Charity Brunch sporting a boot. That was two weeks ago, and he was skating in the above video.

Maybe Calvert is close to returning. I mean, I love me some Matty Calvs, but the other skaters are a wee bit more important to the elite level of the team. Come playoffs, though, I definitely want our Daddy Bulldog on the ice.

I also want the likes of Rantanen and Kadri to get back into fighting form before the playoffs begin. The Avs only have 13 more games.

Cale Makar. Man, oh man, I want him back in the worst way. However, Colorado did not send Kevin Connauton back to the Eagles. Sure, it’s possible for both him and Mark Barberio to sit as Makar takes his rightful place in the lineup. However, you’d think Connauton would have gone back to Loveland, then.

Maybe they want to see how Makar does in morning skate tomorrow?

The injury situation with the Colorado Avalanche is far from ideal. However, at the time of writing, the team was in their perpetual state of being two points out of Best in the West with a game in hand.

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We’ve got 13 games to get healthy and peak going into the playoffs. Hopefully that begins tomorrow night with returning skaters against the New York Rangers.