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Game 57: Ducks At Avalanche, Preview And Open Thread

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After getting me all hot and bothered with the prospects that Ryan Smyth and Paul Stastny could be back sooner than expected (seriously, don't touch my keyboard), Adrian Dater goes and ruins it with this little update:

Stastny did not skate with the team this morning because of a groin injury, coach Joel Quenneville said. Smyth skated, but is not sufficiently recovered from a fractured ankle to play tonight. Quenneville said he hopes Smyth will be able to play Thursday against St. Louis at the Pepsi Center.

Quenneville said Stastny has recovered from an appendectomy, but now is bothered by a groin injury.

Seriously?  No, seriously?

At this point I think the entire Avalanche medical staff, including the trainers and even the equipment guys, should be fired.  And not just fired, but forced to skate around on the ice completely naked for two hours before being shoved down by Scott Parker and then booted out of the arena by Cody McLeod.  And then fired.  

Has anyone ever heard of stretching?  Ice skating is particularly dangerous to the groin muscles because the legs can go in opposite directions very easily and with little resistance.  That's why it's important to be as flexible (and strong) as possible.  How many groin injuries have the Avalanche suffered this year?  I don't know for sure, but I want to say almost all of them have occurred in practice.  Not a game, not a game, practice.  Since Stastny hasn't played any games in a while, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he overdid it in practice---while rehabbing his post-surgical, sore abdominal muscles.  Christ on a bicycle that's just ridiculous.

Anyway, the Avs are playing the Anaheim Ducks tonight, a team on a four-game winning streak that includes beating Detroit.  I'm not really that worried, considering how strong Colorado has played of late, and how great Jose Theodore has been, but I suppose a meltdown could happen any second.  I'll just try not to think about it.

Stastny, Smyth and Sakic, please get healthy.  And hire your own trainers.

ESPN preview.

OFF-TOPIC ADDENDUM:  The new platform for all SB Nation blogs (including this one) can now be seen over at Athleticsnation.com, the SBN flagship.  I'm very pleased with the features and the functionality of the new platform, and can't wait until Mile High Hockey has undergone the switch.  It's coming soon.  I'll keep everyone posted.