DENVER (KDVR) – The Colorado Avalanche have been plagued with injuries this season, but the team continues to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of its locker room.
“Health is a big factor in having success,” head coach Jared Bednar said after practice Monday.
The Avalanche defense suffered two more losses with injuries to Cale Makar and Erik Johnson last week. The organization also called up goaltender Jonas Johansson after Pavel Francouz suffered a lower-body injury.
Bednar said after the team’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday that Johnson will be out for “weeks” and that he has no definite timeline for his return. He also confirmed Makar will miss the game against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
As if the injuries aren’t bad enough, the schedule is not ideal for a team playing guys like Devon Toews, Sam Girard and Bowen Byram a lot more minutes under these difficult circumstances. Bednar usually keeps a calm demeanor even under pressure situations but he was vocal about his disdain for the upcoming schedule.
“Yeah, I hate it. I mean every back-to-back the team’s waiting on us, resting. I find it odd that that’s the best scheduling we can come up with is that we’re gonna go to Minny (Minnesota) now and they’re sitting there waiting on us and then Edmonton will be sitting and resting waiting on us to come back off the road from St. Louis and the same thing the next weekend. Seems strange to me that that’s the best they could do.
“I have no problem with playing back-to-backs. I don’t like playing a rested team every time on a back-to-back, especially against three teams that we’re fighting with,” Bednar said after the loss to the Lightning Tuesday night.
The Avs face off against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. They head to St. Louis to face the Blues on Saturday at noon at the Enterprise Center then back to Denver to play the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday at 1 p.m.