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Captain’s Skate: EJ Still The Man, Manson Under Heavy Surveillance



avalanche josh manson

Well, I figured the day after Labor Day, more players would start trickling in. After all, the Colorado Avalanche had over two hours of the ice blocked off at Family Sports on Tuesday.

Turns out, they only needed one of those hours. And while there wasn’t much to report, there were a few things I found interesting, including one thing that could cause some concern heading into camp. Even with that, it’s probably too early to jump to any conclusions.

There were a few new additions on the ice, but for the most part, it’s still a relatively small group in town at the moment. With rookie camp starting in a little over a week, the slow trickle will continue. I’ll admit, the older I get, the tougher it is to tell exactly who is who. Hopefully the Avalanche put numbers on jerseys at camp like they did during Development Camp.

Here’s a list of who was present today…

Forwards: Ryan Johansen, Jonathan Drouin, Artturi Lehkonen, Andrew Cogliano, Logan O’Connor, Fredrik Olofsson, Ryan Sandelin, Cal Burke, Ondrej Pavel

Defense: Erik Johnson, Sam Girard, Kurtis MacDermid, Gianni Fairbrother

Goalie: Alexandar Georgiev

With so few players, it’s not exactly the most exciting stuff in the world, but you take what you can get. There’s only so much you can do with so few players on the ice. Certainly nothing that you can really analyze and take much from.

Before I get to the “interesting” stuff, here’s a video of Lehkonen, Cogliano, and O’Connor working a drill, and eventually scoring on Georgiev from a distance. And after that, a nice shot by Johansen to beat Georgiev.

Erik Johnson Still Leading

I figured Johnson was going to head out to Buffalo after Labor Day, but he was still there on Tuesday, wearing his full Sabres setup for the world to see. He’s not quite ready to leave Denver, I guess.

Even after the skate was done, he took some time to help Alexandar Georgiev get his timing down. Just goes to show what kind of a leader, and person, he is. It’ll be weird seeing him in another jersey this season, but he’ll always have a place in the hearts of Avalanche fans, simply because of little acts like this.

Josh Manson Still Being Heavily Watched

And now we get to the part that left me a little confused.

About halfway through the session, Josh Manson wandered out of the locker room. Not to join the group, but to skate on his own on the other rink. He didn’t go alone, though.

Manson was followed by four different people, one of which had an iPad and seemed to be tracking his movement. The Avalanche defenseman did some laps, and then came back to talk to them. After one of the laps, he complained of something bugging him on his hip, so someone helped him adjust something under his pads. That seemed to do the trick, as Manson said it felt much better after that.

Why is this somewhat concerning? Well, Manson had a tough 2022/23 campaign, and wasn’t really healthy after December. The fact that he’s being tracked so heavily already is a little strange, but it’s a little too early to jump to conclusions. After all, it should be noted he joined the rest of the group for conditioning afterwards, and from my eye, seemed to be moving just fine.

Is it a new tracking system he was testing out? Is it something to help whatever injury ailed him last year? I don’t really know, so I’m not going to say, but I just found it interesting. A healthy Manson is vital for the Avalanche, especially on a blueline that isn’t as deep as it was in prior years.

That’s all for today. I’ll probably head back tomorrow to check things out, and see if any new faces show up.

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