Today’s media availability — all four minutes of it — was short and sweet. Some very good news came out of today’s Zoom session, though: Nathan MacKinnon confirmed that he’s healthy and ready to go.
“I’ll definitely be playing,” the Avs star forward said Saturday morning. “I feel good; I feel ready to go…I feel really, really good coming back. I feel like I haven’t had any rust or anything, so I’m excited to start and get in a rhythm here and start playing every other day again.”
Avs head coach Jared Bednar initially said the prognosis on MacKinnon’s lower-body injury was believed to be “week-to-week,” though Colorado Hockey Now knew it’d be more day-to-day.
In addition to MacKinnon returning much sooner than anticipated, Devon Toews, who took a puck to the foot, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who appeared to suffer a pretty bad knee injury, should all be back on the ice Sunday night against the Vegas Golden Knights — again, much sooner than their initially “week-to-week” diagnoses.
Matt Calvert, who is believed to be dealing with concussion-related symptoms, is expected to be back on the ice sometime in the coming week. He’s in quarantine right now after traveling outside of the state/country to seek some sort of treatment/medical advice.
Defenseman Ryan Graves was also made available to the media and said he’s been “pretty critical and honest” with himself about his performance so far this season, which Bednar — and fans on Twitter — agree has been pretty lackluster.
“I think there’s been some ups and downs in my season so far,” he said. “(I’ve done) a lot of reflecting on what can improve and playing to my strengths; simplicity and playing strong on defense and working on the penalty kill and things like that. Just concentrating on what brings me success and not trying to do too much.”
Others news and notes:
- MacKinnon on being on a cereal box: “It’s cool, man. I’m not sure how it’s selling, but people seem to like it. It’s not like a Wheaties thing or anything, but it’s cool, for sure.”
- If you haven’t had the chance to read AD’s story on MacKinnon Krunch, give it a read.
- If MacKinnon continues to play the way he has over the last couple of years, I’d say a Wheaties sponsorship isn’t too farfetched of an idea.
- Speaking of MacKinnon and sponsorships…he’s now officially a Gatorade athlete.
- In other not-related-to-MacKinnon news: Tyson Jost has been among the elite in the defensive forward category.
The Avs will hit the ice in Vegas on Sunday for the first of a four-game set against the Golden Knights. The team will stay in Nevada for the next week, playing the third of four games at Lake Tahoe on Feb. 20, before returning home to finish up the Vegas series on Monday, Feb. 22.