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NEWS: Jonathan Drouin To Miss First Round Series Against Jets



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Prior to the Colorado Avalanche stepping on the ice for practice on Saturday afternoon, they were hit with a crushing blow.

Jonathan Drouin, coming off the best season of his NHL career, will miss the first round series against the Winnipeg Jets due to a lower-body injury. Drouin suffered the injury towards the end of the second period in Colorado’s final game of the season against the Edmonton Oilers. 

While forechecking, Drouin seemed to slip behind the Oilers defenseman and immediately got up in pain. He went straight to the bench and immediately to the locker room. The fact that the Avalanche were so quick to announce that he would miss the entire series against the Jets tells me that the injury must be pretty serious. They’re typically pretty coy about injuries at this time of year.

It’s a huge blow to Colorado’s chances against the Jets. Drouin has been playing on the top line for almost the entire second half of the season, and registered a career-high 56 points with the Avalanche. In addition to playing top line minutes at even strength, he’s also been a regular member of the top powerplay unit. Replacing him will not be easy.

He came to Colorado to turn his career around, and he’s done exactly that, buying into everything the coaching staff has been selling and working hard to make sure he doesn’t waste this opportunity. Reuniting him with MacKinnon is one thing, but Drouin has succeeded away from the superstar as well. He deserves all the credit for his turnaround.

Most of all, I just feel terrible for Drouin. You run the risk of getting injured any time you step on the ice in hockey, but to get hurt in a pretty meaningless game on a nothing play is awful. Like everyone else on the team, he was looking forward to showing what he can do in the playoffs. He won’t get that opportunity now, at least against the Jets. There will now be even more questions as to why the Avalanche decided not to rest anyone in that final game with this news.

With the injury, the Avalanche have decided to recall veteran center Chris Wagner. A very safe move that won’t replace any of the offense Drouin brings, and really won’t excite many, but it’s someone with experience. Nikolai Kovalenko has played two games with the Colorado Eagles since returning from a knee injury, but obviously did not get the call. To me, it would make sense to see what he has with a skilled player going down, but they’re going the safe route.

For now.

This news broke right as I was taking off on a plane to Winnipeg for Game One, so we’ll have more updates as the series goes on. A tough break for the Avalanche, and a really tough break for Drouin.

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