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Avs Injury Updates and Line Combos for Tonight

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Frustrated Avs coach

Avs head coach Jared Bednar updated the media as soon as he sat down, reading off a triage report of his increasingly lengthening list of injuries.

He seemed a bit annoyed and frustrated — and rightfully so…half his team is out with injuries — when, of course, the first question that was asked was about a medical update from injured star Nathan MacKinnon.

“K,” Bednar said when asked. “I’ll go through all the injuries. What I like to do is give you the update and we can touch on it at the beginning of every week, so we’re not answering injury questions every single day…I’ll just update everyone when whatever my first meeting with the media is that week and I’ll answer more questions about the inujured guys, but until then I’ll just kind of give you that week-to-week update, alright?”

Alright.

And then it was, decidedly, not great news with regards Bednar’s first week-to-week injury update. None of the players are day-to-day; they’re all “week-to-week,” according to Bednar.

Here’s the transcript:

“Francouz is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury,” Bednar began, as he read of his triage report. “He’s continuing his rehab and is working off the ice. He has not been on the ice again and I don’t when that’s going to change.”

“Johnson, upper body. Got hurt in the Minny game; he’s week-to-week.”

“We got Toews’ information: Not as good as what we’d have liked. It’s lower body and he’s week-to-week. It’s not a day-to-day thing. He’s not coming back here any time soon, or in the next couple of games.”

“Bellemare, same thing, lower body; he’s week-to-week.”

“Calvert is upper body and he’s also week-to-week.”

“And MacKinnon, he’s week-to-week, as well. It’s not going to be a situation where he’s back ready to play for us tomorrow.”

So there you have it. We at Colorado Hockey Now still believe, based on talks with sources, that MacKinnon will miss 1-2 weeks, and the same with Toews. Technically, that still fits into Bednar’s “week to week” prognoses. Even though Toews was put on injured reserve today, we’re hearing he’ll resume skating this weekend, and that a 7-10 day prognosis is still in play.

Forward Sheldon Dries will make his Avs season debut tonight, centering the fourth line. He said he’s going to bring “energy and grit tonight. That’s what got me here…I have a lot of heart, a lot grit. If I can come up with some pucks in the corners, that’s kind of my job.”

He also commented on the injuries: “It’s unfortunate…But it’s next-man-up mentality. Every guy in that room still knows what’s at hand and knows what job needs to be done. It is unfortunate, but we have a job to do.”

J.T. Compher, who’s filling in for MacKinnon on the top line says the injuries are nothing new for the team, equating it to part of the Avs culture.

Crystal Ball Bonus!

“I think we’ve had this as part of culture these past couple years,” he said. “We’ve dealt with injuries. We have guys that are capable of stepping up and guys that can fill in wherever in the lineup we need. It’s been this way for a few years and we just have to keep pushing in the right direction, keep playing as a team and pick those guys up that aren’t in the lineup.”

 

Tonight’s lines:

Landeskog – Compher – Rantanen

Saad – Kadri – Burakovsky

Nichushkin – Jost – Donskoi

O’Connor – Dries – Sherwood

D-pairs:

Byram – Makar

Timmins – Girard

Graves – MacDonald

Grubauer

 

Other news and notes:

  • J.T. Compher being promoted to the top line is a move that might interest a lot of people. “I’m not Nate,” Compher said. “But me and Gabe and Mikko are on the same page. I just need to play my game, support those guys and do whatever I can to help the team win.”
  • Defenseman Jacob MacDonald (no relation to me) grew up an Avs fan. I did a story on that last year and spoke with him and his peewee coach (who influenced his decision to become the Avalanche fan), which you can read here.
  • I asked him again how cool it is playing for his childhood favorite team, maybe for more games than originally expected: “That was one of the first things I thought of when I pulled the sweater over my head before warm-ups. It’s just a really cool feeling and words can’t really describe it. You’re living your dream and just being able to contribute and do everything I can to help this team win.”
  • You know, as bad as the injuries are — and the news sucks — it’s cool to see dreams come true for guys like MacDonald and to see young guys like Logan O’Connor and Kiefer Sherwood really stepping up to the plate.
  • That didn’t make you feel any better about the injury news, did it? No? Sorry.
  • Also the fact that we have to have a “week-to-week” injury update from a team’s head coach is never a good sign. It shouldn’t ever be a regular occurrence. Good indication we’ll be getting these updates for multiple weeks…
  • Spoke with a source that confirmed some news I had received shortly after the Colorado Eagles new uniforms were unveiled…Due to a last-minute change by the Avs, the Eagles new unis are very, uh, blue.

Puck drop at Ball Arena is set for 6:30 p.m. MT. The game won’t be broadcast on AltitudeTV if you’re a Comcast subscriber. It also won’t be broadcast on DirecTV due to blackout restrictions, given NBCSN has the territorial rights to tonight’s game.

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A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Scott has so far spent the early parts of his young career covering Colorado hockey — from the Avalanche to the Colorado Eagles to the DU Pioneers. His work can be found across sites such as NHL.com, TheAHL.com and SB Nation, among others. Scott currently resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, where he works as a Marketing Executive when he's not writing.

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Ricardo

Gut check time. It should be an interesting next few weeks. I wonder if the sports betting sites have odds on which AV will go down next?

hockeyhacker5

It’s funny to see Kiefer Sherwood called a “young guy” when he’s older than MacKinnon! I wondered why the Avs even picked him up, but now I’m happy they did. He’s done well. I was just hoping Bowers would get a shot. We already know Dries’ limitations, and he’s even older than Sherwood.

Jared Moss

At this rate the Avs have to make two teams every year one team to play for two weeks, than once they are all injured go to team B this is getting sad and exhausting. Comphr on the first line…. just yuck. And again how can kaut not crack the line up with half the team injured… scott why dont you press bednar next time you can get a question in, who cares about injury updates anymore upper or lower body woohoo that really helps… Also interesting why trade for pateryn to sit on the bench… looks like he purchased… Read more »

Jordan

Right?! Kaut and Bowers, not Dries and Jost, should be playing tonight

Joshua Canfield

I agree, for the most part. Compher on the 1st line? Might as well be Jost on the 1st. I think Kadri should move up to 1C. He plays on the 1st PP with Makar, Landy & Rantanen.

The injuries are just frustrating. It really just seems like bad luck. Hopefully Mack is back in 4-5 games so he can carry the team again.

I have a lot of faith in this team and Bednar but I see a really questionable 2 weeks ahead.

ricoflashback

Kadri would be five yards behind Mikko and Landy. Strictly an “in front of the net guy” with below average defensive skills.

Jordan

Wouldn’t be as worried if Kaut was on the 3rd line with Jost on 4th, and not Dries on 4th with Jost on 3rd

ricoflashback

I’d take Dries over Sherwood any day. Kaut should be playing, period.

Catatafish

Would have liked to see an experiment with Rants as center. He’s played some and could fit in well in a situation as this.

Joshua Canfield

That would be interesting. However, I think he’s settled in on the wing at the moment.

I’m really hopeful that Makar, Landy & Rants can carry this team the next two weeks. A couple nice showings from Grubi would help too. 🙄

Charlie Anderson

Seriously no Bowers? Still? No Kaut? What do you guys think is going on? When are these guys going to get a chance if not now? AD what’s going on with these guys and the FO?

ricoflashback

Great post. I’m a Jared Bednar fan but I don’t understand his roster moves at all. Not one bit.

Adrian Dater

I’ll ask about Bowers no later than tomorrow

Jared Moss

Dont forget kaut we wanna know what’s going on

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