EDMONTON, ALBERTA – What a happy bunch players of the Colorado Avalanche looked in warmups before Game 1 of their second-round series Saturday night. Everybody from the last few games was present and accounted for, and even Vladislav Namestnikov was out there. Matt Calvert, in the warmup, did a Lambeau Leap into either Ian Cole or P.E. Bellemare (I can’t say for sure which one it was, but that’s a thing they all do) and all just seemed right on point for the Avs as they headed back to the dressing room.
Then, the lineup sheet comes out and Matt Calvert’s name is nowhere to be found. What happened from the time of that Lambeau Leap to the time of the opening puck drop? How could a hearty warrior like Calvert suddenly be “unfit to play”, as the Avs officially declared? A few minutes after that, with the Avs already down 2-1, Erik Johnson blocked a shot and limped badly off the ice, missing the rest of the period.
Johnson, a true warrior of a player, was back on the ice to start the second. Good news! A few minutes after that, No. 1 goalie Philipp Grubauer needed help off the ice, unable to put any weight on his left leg whatsoever. His season looks done, folks. He’s had hip-groin problems at times this season, and while we don’t – and won’t – know exactly what is wrong with him, the video doesn’t lie. He pulled or tore something.