Before I start, an ACL tear is never something that you should take lightly and I know that. It's only been just about the required length of time to heal completely and the Avs never seem to play players until they are at 100% health.
That said, I think that it's time for Sacco to bite the bullet and put in his big man from earlier in the season, my boy David Jones. According to Dater's blog from last night's game, the guy has been skating hard in practices for weeks now. That's a sign in my eyes that the good doctor is ready and waiting to get put back out there. This isn't just a case of the president of the Jones fanclub (newsletter coming soon!) wanting to see him back on the ice as soon as possible, it's become a case of necessity in the past few nights.
The best talent of this team is depleting quickly through
Sharks cheap sho injuries. Hejduk may be out depending on how bad that (jaw?) injury he sustained was. Stoa got banged up and may miss time. Mueller and Porter still have no set return date. Even the defense is starting to get worn down, Foote getting banged up tonight being the most recent example. Joe Sacco is being forced to - as he was tonight - put together patchwork lines with minimal chemistry and much less goal scoring potential. When 4 potential top 6 forwards are out, I believe it's time to take action and put Dr. Jones back in. If there is no Jones on the bench and Duchene or O RLY goes down, which seems an inevitability at this point, what are we left with?
Coming into these playoffs, the Avalanche were a team that was just happy to be there, being told they were going to get swept and being told that this was the best possible ending to this magical season they've put together. Well, all of a sudden the Avalanche are up in the series 2-1 with another win all but sealing it by stealing home-ice from the reeling Sharks. Suddenly these Avs may be thinking 2006 Oilers, who beat these same Sharks en route to a Stanley Cup finals appearance. These Avs may be thinking 2nd round and beyond.
If the Avalanche really have a hope and a drive to make the NHL turn it's head this post-season and give the Avalanche the first of what looks like it will be many deep cup runs in the foreseeable future, they're going to have to show their grit; to show that grit, they're going to have to play through injury.
It starts with putting Jones back on the ice. If he's not out there for game 4 in the Can, I will be very disappointed in Joe Sacco.