Colorado Avalanche Season Plagued by Injuries


Caleb Pickett, Staff Writer

The Colorado Avalanche are coming off an amazing season with a Stanley Cup championship. They started hot this year but injuries have plagued the Avs this season losing a lot of key players that helped them win the past years.

This season has not been very healthy the Avalanche are 4th in their division(central division) but this is based on the number of injuries they have had this season most notably their star player Nathan Mackinnon who took a shot from Philadelphia Flyers forward on December 8th he left the game with an upper-body injury and the time table for when he will return is 4 weeks. Mackinnon is a huge piece to the Av’s success over recent years having him out is huge “[He’s] a guy that plays 25 (minutes) a night and in every situation, so you have to juggle everything,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said after the game. “Do the best you can. You’ve just got to keep grinding and find guys that contribute. .. Guys are going to have to step up. It’s going to be a challenge. It’s been a challenge for us and seems to be getting worse at this point.” Coach is referring to the fact that the Avs have a total of 7 players right now that are out with injury, 3 of them being starters. That doesn’t even include the injuries they had to start the season.

Valeri Nichushkin had scored seven goals in seven games when an ankle injury beckoned. No youngster on the roster has a higher ceiling than second-year defenseman but Bowen Byram, ascending toward it is a challenge when sidelined for what reaches the one-month mark on Monday. Evan Rodrigues chose Colorado in free agency, signing a one-year deal for a prove-it season, and he was finding his stride as a versatile power play and penalty kill option when he went down. Gabriel Landeskog is Gabriel Landeskog and he went down at the beginning of December.

That covers half of the Avalanche’s current injuries.

Against the Boston Bruins, a top competitor in the NHL “I think it affects us, of course,” Mikko Rantanen said. “We’ve been doing a good job stepping up always, with a couple of injuries. But then you have seven guys out from your starting — what your lineup usually is — it’s hard. Especially against a team like (Boston).”

Even with all the injuries, the Avalanche have shown they are still a championship contender and they are not in the business of making excuses Avs player Rantanen told reporters “like I said, no excuses. Injuries happen in sports.” So the Avs are looking at the future hoping to get these players back as fast as possible but for now, they will have to just keep fighting for every point they can in the standings.