Connect with us

avalanche news

NEWS: Avalanche Lose Rantanen To Upper Body Injury After Big Hit



Avalanche Rantanen

The Colorado Avalanche look like they’re about to lose to the Edmonton Oilers, but they’re probably a lot more concerned about the health of one of their star players.

Mikko Rantanen, the sixth leading scorer in the NHL, left Friday’s game with an upper body injury after taking a big hit from Mattias Ekholm and did not return. Nothing about the hit appeared to be dirty, but Rantanen wasn’t ready for contact when he received the puck at the defensive blueline. The hit was heavy, but a lot of the damage may have been done by the ice, as it appeared Rantanen’s head may have landed directly on it.

The Avalanche are currently just calling it an upper body injury, but Rantanen looked very wobbly heading to the bench. The ref had to help him so that he wouldn’t fall over before Colorado’s head trainer could come onto the ice and escort him to the locker room.

Losing Rantanen for any period of time would be a major problem for Colorado. He’s hit 40 goals and 100 points for the second consecutive season, and was on pace to shatter his career high in points before the end of the season. It’s hard to create offense in the NHL, but Rantanen makes scoring goals look a little too easy at times. When the playoffs roll around, having an elite scorer like that in your lineup can make a huge difference.

If Rantanen misses any time, you can expect Artturi Lehkonen or Valeri Nichushkin to take his spot on the top line. That leaves a hole on the second line, and one Colorado would have to fill. Nikolai Kovalenko appears close to returning from his knee injury, but he has no NHL experience. Brandon Duhaime has filled in admirably with spot duty on the second line, but he’s not an ideal fit. For Colorado’s sake, hopefully the injury to Rantanen isn’t too serious.

After the game, Jared Bednar said Rantanen will be under evaluation for “a while.” All signs point to a concussion, but the organization won’t come out and say that.

The Avalanche next play on Sunday, and if Rantanen is in concussion protocol, he likely will not be in the lineup. The next update on his status won’t be until Sunday morning, as the Avalanche are off on Saturday.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now.