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?”
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.
“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.”
Landeskog – Compher – Rantanen
Saad – Kadri – Burakovsky
Nichushkin – Jost – Donskoi
O’Connor – Dries – Sherwood
Byram – Makar
Timmins – Girard
Graves – MacDonald
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.