The loss of Clark creates an opportunity for veteran Karlis Skrastins, who has been a healthy scratch in recent games. Skrastins set an NHL record for consecutive games played by a defenseman last season, but lost his regular job when Kurt Sauer returned from injury.
When you get benched for a guy who's still probably dealing with post-concussion syndrome, you know you're not exactly making a big impact on the team. But,
Skrastins said he never got down over the demotion.
"Whether I play or don't play, I just try to approach each game the same way," Skrastins said. "It's too bad for Clark. If I (take) his place, then I'll just play hard and do my best."
At least he's got a good attitude.
It does make you wonder, though, about what the team is going to do now. Part of the reason why they survived the loss of the Three Esses was stronger defense. Now that the defense is weaker (Clark's constant shot-blocking is useful and will be missed), and only Ryan Smyth is returning to the lineup (he's never been a point-a-game player like the Avs need), it's kind of difficult to see how the Avs are going to keep winning games.
I guess I'll just have to be cautiously optimistic, Skrastins not withstanding.