The Colorado Avalanche announced Friday afternoon that they will be without Gabriel Landeskog for four to six weeks. The team’s captain left Thursday’s game against the Dallas Stars with what is being described as an upper-body injury.
Named an All-Star this season, Landeskog is one of the team’s most valuable players so this news is heartbreaking for a team that is right in the thick of the Wild Card race in the Western Conference.
Midway through the third period, Landeskog was hit into the boards by Stars goalie Ben Bishop. He went into the boards awkwardly while reaching for the puck and instantly grabbed his right arm. The team isn’t elaborating beyond “upper-body” but it looks as though it is likely an elbow injury given how he reacted to the hit.
Landeskog is having a career year on the best line in the NHL. He has 33 goals and 69 points through 68 games so far this season. Though his production has cooled off over the second half of the season, he remains one of the most valuable players to the team - both on and off the ice.
The Avalanche remain outside of a playoff spot heading into the season’s home stretch. Seventy points puts them four points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final playoff spot in the West.
Even the optimistic diagnosis of four weeks would put Landeskog out for the remainder of the regular season so if the team is going to make a push over the final 14 games, they will have to do so without their second best player.
With Landeskog out, we are likely to see A.J. Greer recalled from the AHL.