Certainly not the greatest news this morning in Minnesota from Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, as the Avs prepare to play the first of four straight games against the Wild. Devon Toews, who has looked so good so far playing alongside Cale Makar, isn’t on the trip and could be out long-term with a lower-body injury, Bednar said.
“We’ll know more in a couple days,” Bednar said.
Devon Toews blocked a shot in the third period of Thursday’s win over San Jose and limped off the ice. Thing is, he returned to finish out the game. But, obviously, an MRI or other medical diagnosis revealed something. My guess is a fractured bone somewhere in the left leg.
Here come the injuries. Avs are averaging one a game right now, losing some key guys. Bednar had no further updates on the conditions of P.E. Bellemare, Pavel Francouz or Matt Calvert. In some of my reporting of late, I’ve heard that Francouz could be back sooner rather than later, meaning he shouldn’t be out long term.
Sam Girard will now play alongside Makar, and Conor Timmins is back in the top six. Here are your Avalanche lines, D pairs and goalie for tonight:
Notebook: Girard said “It’s sad” Toews is out, but that “we all gotta pick it up” without him. … So, Logan O’Connor wins the fourth-line job tonight, now that Bellemare is out. Tyson Jost will move to center now. … It appears certain that Hunter Miska will start Sunday’s game against the Wild. … Come on out to Blake Street Tavern tonight and hang with me and fellow Avs fans, for an Avs-Wild watch party. I’m not on this trip, as the economics of back-to-backs didn’t look so good, and we still don’t have locker-room access as media. So, I’ll be at BST. I’ll raffle off a couple of signed copies of my Avs-Wings book “Blood Feud” to those who can answer a couple of real tough Avs trivia questions from me. It’ll be safely socially distanced, of course, but we can still shout to each other. BST is so big that, even at 25-percent in-room capacity, that means 225 people can fit in. Hope to see you there. Mrs. Dater and the boy, Tommy, will be there too.