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A Jonathan Drouin Return Appears Imminent For Avalanche



avalanche drouin

It does appear as though the Colorado Avalanche will get a big boost to their lineup on Monday night.

Jonathan Drouin, who hasn’t been able to dress in the postseason due to an injury he suffered during the final game of the regular season, took to the ice on Monday during morning skate wearing the same jersey as the rest of the top powerplay unit. That would seem to indicate that he’ll be back in the lineup when the Avalanche host the Stars for Game Four, but Jared Bednar wasn’t ready to commit just yet.

“We’ll see when we get here tonight,” Bednar said when I asked if Drouin will return on Monday.

That’s about what I expected to hear, but if they can get him back, what kind of boost can he provide?

“He’s a good player. Really good player,” he said. “We’ve missed him while he’s been out. Has the ability to move around our lineup and help with the skill portion of it, the skating portion of it. He’s become a really trusted defensive player for us. He brings a lot to the table.”

Bednar later confirmed that he’s considered a game-time decision. However, I would bet on him playing. He was off the ice early and in the locker room with everyone else who is playing. The 29 year old winger wasn’t made available to the media after morning skate, but we were told he would speak after the game. So yeah, that sounds like a guy who is probably in, but we won’t know for sure until tonight.

His return could provide a big boost the powerplay, which has gone cold the last two games. Artturi Lehkonen moved down to the second unit, bumping Zach Parise off the powerplay completely. Drouin spent the majority of the year on the top powerplay unit and fit in well in that bumper spot.

If Drouin does return, I have to imagine it would be either Joel Kiviranta and Brandon Duhaime coming out of the lineup. Both got off at about the same time after skate, so we’ll see during warmups who would come out.

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