It has been weeks since the Avalanche had a healthy roster but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Val Nichushkin, who had ankle surgery in late October is due to return to lineup as soon as tomorrow. Coach Bednar told us today today “there is a chance he could play tomorrow.” Nichushkin has been skating on his own until yesterday, when he finally joined the team for a practice. Today he was taking some physical hits, so it seems very likely that he could return.
Darren Helm has been skating in a non contact sweater, has been skating with the team the last two days as well. Helm had core surgery and was struggling to get back to the team this year. But he has made huge strides in his progress this last week as he went from light skating to aggressive skating.
Bednar opened the conference today by saying, “Lehkonen is close. He is following a protocol. He should be getting close. He is getting better. He doesn’t seem to have any issues right now.” When we asked if that was a concussion protocol, Bednar shook his head yes for all of us. The concussion happened at the first Boston game on Saturday last week. We can probably expect seven to ten days total for Artturi Lehkonen to be out, but that could be longer as well.
On Martin Kaut being sent down Bednar said “we are sending him down, because some of the other guys I like what they are doing more so than what I have seen from him recently. And he has his message and I am not gonna share it with you (laughing). Martin Kaut played some good games for us. He played 18 games, ok? And I’ll give you this as an example, but out those 18 games we saw some really good play from him from a small chunk of games. And there might be some of the guys that are here and playing here Cogliano, O’Connor-is is once they find that game, it’s very small fluctuations from there.” He was not being consistent in his game is what he was basically saying. I honestly think we may not see Kaut back for some time.