Good news from Avalanche practice today: Bo Byram was back in a regular jersey, which means he was able to take contact. This, a day after a practice in which he wore the red non-contact jersey.
“That’s where he’s getting to with his recovery here. He’s done a lot of work off the ice and in the gym. Coming out yesterday, he was non-contact jersey, felt great. Today, contact. He could be a possibility for us (to play) on Jan. 2nd,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said.
It wouldn’t be an Avalanche day without some bad medical news, though: Darren Helm has joined the Covid protocol list, the team said.
But, wait, there’s more good news: Veteran Ryan Murray, out the last several weeks with a lower-body injury, has also shed the non-contact sweater. Sounds like we might actually have a, gulp, fully healthy team in a few days (though Pavel Francouz can’t return until Jan. 5).
Bednar said Murray would be doubtful to return Jan. 2, but it sounds like it might not be far beyond that.
Nazem Kadri and Kurtis MacDermid were back on the ice too, after spending time on the Covid list.
Geez, if only we had some games for this team to play, right?
“Yesterday, we had a really good practice, 5-on-5. Today, some small-area games and fun competition was a good idea, we thought,” Jared Bednar said. “We get a little more serious again, day after tomorrow. Tomorrow will be an optional skate that I would say will be very lightly attended…we’ll come out of the optional tomorrow and have a real good practice and then we’ll taper down a little bit before playing Anaheim (Jan. 2) at 1 o’clock.”
Bednar said Jacob MacDonald is working out in a gym, but still not feeling 100 percent, not well enough to skate yet.
Terry Frei contributed to this report