The Colorado Avalanche have to play the waiting game while they go through the COVID protocol. However, they can put that time to good use.
The Colorado Avalanche are on hiatus because of potential exposure to COVID. Three players — Tyson Jost, Gabriel Landeskog, and, most recently, Sam Girard — have been placed into the COVID protocol. This means that they may have tested positive, or they may simply have been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive.
While in the COVID protocol, those three players are supposed to self-isolate. The rest of the team, too, has to maintain strict social distancing. Not only are they not allowed to skate or work out in public, but they’re supposed to stay home as much as possible.
The Avalanche will have to stay in this protocol until February 11. Their next game is on Valentine’s Day, three days later. So, they’ll have only a couple days when they can practice. Of course, they can work out at whatever home gyms they have available. Hopefully, the last hiatus inspired them all to develop home gyms.
This fact is unfortunate because the team they’re playing is Vegas. The Golden Knights are a good team, and they could pose a challenge for a hot Avs team. After all this time off, the Avs aren’t going to be a hot club.
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The one silver lining to this cloud is, of course, that the time off gives Colorado the chance to get healthy. Before this COVID hiatus, Avalanche players had been starting to drop like proverbial flies. Indeed, backup goalie Pavel Franouz has been put on long-term injured reserve. That situation does create a problem for a team that now has only one NHL-caliber goalie.
Matt Calvert is also out indefinitely. He’s had a recurrence of his concussion symptoms. He might not be back any time soon, if at ll.
Erik Johnson also left a game in which he fell hard to the ice on his face and arm. He’s missed a couple games, and he’s listed week-to-week.
Then you get to the biggest name on that list — Nathan MacKinnon. Our superstar suffered a lower-body injury. However, he’s apparently on the mend, and he could even play in the February 14 game against the Knights. That would be a big boon for the team, obviously.
So, this hiatus can have some benefit for the injured Colorado Avalanche. If they can overcome the rust, they have a good chance of getting back on the right track again.