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Grubauer rejoins Avalanche in St. Louis



Philipp Grubauer

LAS VEGAS – I may be in Las Vegas, where the Avs currently are not. But the phone works just fine, and via cellular technology can report: Philipp Grubauer has rejoined the Avalanche in St. Louis, where the team plays tomorrow in the finale of a four-game series there. He is not expected to start Monday’s game against the Blues, as he has yet to have a practice with the team since going on the NHL’s Covid list nearly two weeks ago.

The Avs won’t have a morning skate tomorrow in St. Louis, as it’s an afternoon game. Grubauer is unlikely to serve as the backup for tomorrow’s game either, because that would mean the chance of having to actually play. The team hasn’t made anything official, but here’s my hunch: I think we won’t see Grubauer in action again until this weekend, at home against San Jose, either Friday or Saturday.

But, could he start Wednesday here in Vegas against the Golden Knights? I suppose it’s certainly possible, but he’d need a vigorous practice Tuesday.

Mikko Rantanen is not with the team in St. Louis, and won’t be there tomorrow either. I would guess he’s also unlikely to play until this weekend at the earliest, as he remains on the NHL’s Covid list – though he did not test positive for the virus, the team said.

Joonas Donskoi is expected to join the team again Thursday in Denver.

There were no new Avs players on today’s NHL Covid list. The team did not practice today.

I am in Vegas because, well, there originally was supposed to be an Avs game here tomorrow, and Wednesday. The game tomorrow was postponed to May 10, but we’re still on for Wednesday.

Thanks to generous subscribers like YOU with the Avalanche Travel Tip Jar, I’ve already paid for my Airbnb (a studio apartment a block from the strip) and flight here. Want to chip in too? We’re always open. I’ll report back if there is anything to do in this town on off nights like tonight.

The flight here, by the way, was fairly terrifying. I’m pretty sure we had “severe” turbulence on the way out of Denver. I’ve flown about 1.5 million miles since covering the team since 1995, and that was probably in the top three of worst flights, comfort-wise. We were definitely rocking around pretty good for several minutes.

I’m not the total white knuckle flier I used to be, but I was starting to get a little sweat under the brow for this one. But that’s why they are paid professionals up in the cockpit.

To make the flight weirder, upon landing and a routine “get up from your seat and wait to deplane” moment, we were all told to get back in our seats, as the airline had to “escort” someone off the plane. That someone was a young guy, in the row right behind me. He put up no fuss at all. I don’t even know if he did anything wrong. I didn’t ask. I just was glad to get off the plane.

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