It was an optional practice at Ball Arena this morning, and Bo Byram was one of the Avalanche players who took the option to participate. Though he wore a blood-orange sweater, signifying other players couldn’t engage in contact against him, Byram skated hard and long at the practice.
Not on the ice was Cale Makar, and his status remains as mysterious as the plot of an Agatha Christie novel. Makar, coach Jared Bednar said, skated hard last weekend and there seemed to be optimism of an imminent return. Now? While not a cone of silence, the Avs maintain they just don’t know when he’ll return.
Makar did not skate today at all, the second straight day he hasn’t. Yet, Bednar said, he skated on his own on days this week, presumably on Monday and Tuesday.
Asked about Makar, Bednar said that, essentially, Makar skates on days he’s feeling up to it and the medical staff thinks he can. Apparently, that wasn’t the case today.
It sure sounds like it might be a concussion with Makar, doesn’t it? Yet, the Avs won’t say anything more than “upper-body” to describe his status. I’ve asked people close to Makar, too, and they’re remaining tight-lipped. Makar is not on the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol list.
As for Byram, Bednar said he thinks he’ll be the next player to return, from the current injured list. That’s obviously good news – even though the Avs’ defense has been very, very stingy of late. They’ve gone 14 straight games allowing 30 shots or fewer.
Bednar said the other shorter-term injured guys – Conor Timmins, J.T. Compher – skated on their own before practice. I talked with a source close to Timmins today, in fact, and he/she said Timmins is going to be fine. Ergo, nothing long-term and presumably not a concussion.
Here’s some video of Bo Byram skating today: