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Twitter Tuesday: Injury updates, Toronto mediascape and the largest animal Nikita Zadorov could fight

And the Avs mediocre defense, Brandon Saigeon and Tom Hunter (?)

NHL: OCT 18 Avalanche at Devils Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the 47th Tuesday of the calendar year, and to the eighth Twitter Tuesday here at MHH. I hope you’ve enjoyed these as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them and interacting with you all. Without further ado, let’s talk.

As far as I know, Mikko Rantanen has resumed skating on his own as of last week. He has not started skating with the team yet, however. But him even skating at all is a really good sign that he’s only a couple weeks away at this point. It’s believed to be an ankle injury for Rantanen, and was likely a high-ankle sprain. Given that information, his timetable to return, retroactive to the injury that took place on Oct. 21, is likely six to eight weeks. That said, he’s probably shooting for a second-week-of-December return, or somewhere around that time frame.

Gabe Landeskog, on the other hand, was spotted wearing a boot on his foot shortly after his mystery injury occurred. A walking boot is usually indicative of a broken bone in his foot. Given the general time frame of recovery from that injury, it’s reasonable to expect he’ll be back around the New Year — that is, last week of December or first week of January.

As impressive of a stat it is, it’s actually not a record for the Avs. As a matter of fact, Colorado did the same thing a little over a decade ago during the 2005-06 season.

David Aebischer, Peter Budaj, Vitali Kolesnik and Jose Theodore all recorded wins for the Avalanche that season.

Now five would be a record. But let’s all hope Colorado doesn’t have to use a fifth goaltender this season...

I’ve said it a few times and I’ll say it once more: the Avalanche are not a defense-first team and they aren’t built like one. That’s evidenced throughout the team’s top-four D-men and the players Joe Sakic has been building through the last few drafts.

Defense is not their strong suit, nor will it be as long as Sakic is steering the ship. It’s a high-octane, offense-first system, and the same goes for its defense.

However, the Avs are really not that bad as an overall defensive unit — believe it or not. They currently sit No. 14 in the league at goals-allowed per game (2.95). They’re tied for 10th at goals against (59). Colorado does allow a lot of those passes you alluded to and, subsequently, allow a lot of shots on goal, in which they've allowed the fifth-most in the league in that regard (33.4 shots allowed per game). The PK is also bottom-third in the league, and that could use some improvement.

All in all, the Avs are just a very mediocre defensive unit. Not terrible, not great, and it’s a good thing their offense is pretty solid.

Probably. It just comes with the territory — literally — of the Toronto marketplace. It’s a rabid, insatiable fan base in which its thirst for success and achievement will never be quenched unless its impossible expectations are ever tempered.

Anyway. Yes, I’m sure if Matthews were to ever take a puck or even a high-stick or a prolonged offensive side-ways glance to the face, TSN, SportsNet, Hockey Night in Canada, Coach’s Corner (too soon?) and * enter whatever other Canadian media outlet here * would report it as breaking news for the next week and a half while calling for suspensions from the player in question.

But I digress.

Rule 8.1. That’s all I’m going to say. It’s not the referees’ fault, it’s a flaw in the NHL’s rule book. Should the play have been stopped for safety concerns? Yes. But according to the rules, no.

Brandon Saigeon has struggled a bit in the ECHL so far. More than likely, that’s a product of him playing on one of the worst teams in the EC.

Saigeon has yet to record a goal, instead, notching just four assists in his 10-game showing to start the year. That’s tough for a guy who averaged over a point-per-game while playing in the OHL over the course his last two seasons in the Ontario league.

He was hyped in training camp but was never going to make the Avalanche roster, obviously, and was likely not going to make the Eagles roster either. Why? Well, 1) the Eagles bolstered their roster plenty through off-season signings to the point where there wouldn’t be room for a rookie, and 2) there’s a pecking order to follow. With guys like Ty Lewis, Travis Barron and Nick Henry having held positions on the team for longer tenure, the Avs are going to want to take harder looks at them this season, and not necessarily an 21-year-old rookie fresh out of major juniors.

He’ll get his chance, likely next season. Until then, it’s a waiting game. On a related note, I will be heading to Utah to check in on the Grizzlies later this month. I’ll be doing a feature on him, among others. Stay tuned!

Our very own Tom Hunter was a pretty popular guy in this week’s mailbag...

As far as the bad luck he’s projected on his two favorite teams, the other being the Toronto Maple Leafs, I’m not sure. Tom, if you’re reading this, please repent to what ever wrong-doings you’ve made against the hockey gods. That’s the only reasonable explanation as to why your teams have had it so rough.

I’m not sure what Tom’s fears are. But extrapolating info from his Twitter account, I can venture some wild guesses. Here are a few:

Tom is afraid of good-looking alternate jerseys, dance moms, bell peppers and onions and rowing machines, among other things I’m sure.

All love, Tom ;)

(**editor’s note: as someone who sits in the lobby of the dance studio every Monday evening while my 3 and 6 year old daughters have class, I can confirm that dance moms are indeed one of the most terrifying things in the world)

I’m hesitant to say “grizzly bear.” I mean, if Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) from the The Revenant or Timothy Treadwell, of “Grizzly Man” fame, couldn’t fend off the world’s most dangerous bear, I’m reluctant to say Z could. He’d certainly give it a good fight though.

Fact. Dwight Schrute is probably the only person that could take down a bear.

I would say Z would likely give a sea lion a run for its money. I could see him going the distance with a rhinoceros, too. A hippo might be tough. But to answer your question, I’d say the largest animal Z could defeat with his barehands is probably a crocodile or an alligator. I would pay good money to see this. Let’s make it happen @UFC.

More questions, comments or concerns? Hit me up on Twitter anytime @0ffScottFree. See you next Tuesday!