Morning skates are usually pretty boring for any team, not just the Colorado Avalanche.
That was not the case on Monday.
The big news, of course, was Avalanche Captain Gabriel Landeskog coming out and skating with the team for the first time in months. He still looked ginger, but it’s a sign of some progress.
Landeskog joining the team is really the only news that could overshadow Cale Makar leaving skate early. Makar, who didn’t take any shifts in the final 11 minutes of the game Saturday, took morning skate, but didn’t last very long. About halfway through practice, he stopped to chat with head coach Jared Bednar, then went over and chatted with the trainers. Moments later, he left the ice.
He will not play on Monday night against the Blackhawks.
“Tweaked something in the Detroit game,” Bednar said. “Felt good after. Yesterday, sore. Sore again today. Lower-body. Not going to risk it and have it drag on, so he’ll be out today. Day-to-day. Nothing too serious, but serious enough that we’re going to keep him out.”
Makar was named second star of the week by the NHL on Monday morning, almost at the exact same time he left the ice.
There was, however, some other good news on the injury front. Erik Johnson stuck around and skated with the team for the entirety of morning skate. He will not play tonight, but he’s getting closer.
“He’s doing well,” Bednar said. “He’s going to be with the main group now, for good. Doesn’t mean he won’t do a little extra, before and after. Working his way back to a return, hopefully sooner rather than later.”
With Makar out and Erik Johnson not quite ready to return, Kurtis MacDermid will step back into the lineup. The gigantic defenseman has not played since sliding hard into the boards on March 7 against San Jose.
Look for Alexandar Georgiev to start in net.
- Darren Helm was not at morning skate because he was sick.
- Josh Manson update: “Making progress, hopefully get him on the ice soon.” The team had hoped to get him back in the lineup by the end of March, but that timeline looks a little tight at the moment.
- Pavel Francouz update: “Still grinding in the gym and off-ice.” Not a huge update there.