The team lost more than the game as coach Jared Bednar announced afterwards that forward Colin Wilson will be out “week to week” with a shoulder injury.
Wilson was hurt on an unlucky play midway through the third period. He was following behind the play when Blackhawks forward Andreas Martinsen lost an edge and took Wilson legs out from under him. Wilson landed awkwardly, suffering a left shoulder injury in the process.
It was simple bad luck, but incredibly bad news for the Avalanche.
Wilson has been having a good season playing up and down the lineup for the Avs. He sits sixth on the team with eight goals and has been a key part of the team’s second power play unit.
Bednar didn’t have a specific timeline for recovery, but noted that Wilson was going to be re-evaluated sometime over the next few days.
Before they took off to Arizona last night, the team recalled Sheldon Dries - who had jsut been returned to the AHL earlier in the day. Dries will replace Wilson tonight, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if A.J. Greer is up for a longer look with the team after the Christmas break. He would be a more suitable long-term replacement in the role Wilson has been playing.
While the injury is bad news for an Avalanche team that has struggled through the month of December, this could be the opportunity A.J. Greer has been looking for - and the opportunity many Avs fans have been waiting for him to get. Greer is having a breakout season in the AHL with 21 points through his first 21 games with the Eagles.
Greer played a very limited role when he was up in the NHL earlier this month. Averaging a little over five minutes of ice time in his four games, the 22-year old wasn’t given much of an opportunity to prove himself.
The loss of Wilson might create an opportunity for regular playing time that could help Greer establish himself as an every day NHLer.