This is getting silly. Already without Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri, Matt Calvert, Andre Burakovsky Colin Wilson and Cale Makar, the Colorado Avalanche lost superstar Nathan MacKinnon.
MacKinnon left Monday night’s game in Los Angeles with a lower body injury and his status is now uncertain going forward. It sounds as though the injury is not serious, but that it could definitely keep him out of game action for a few games - particularly with the condensed schedule.
With a comfortable eight game lead over Dallas, the Avalanche don’t have to worry about losing home ice advantage in the first round so right now all they really have to play for is the top seed in the West. At this point, it’s better to err on the side of health and rest guys when possible.
The last time these two teams met, Igor Shesterkin put on a clinic in his first NHL start, backstopping the Rangers to a 5-3 victory.
With all the injuries, Avalanche have recalled Martin Kaut on an emergency basis. He didn't play Monday night, but it sounds as though he will draw into the lineup against the Rangers. This would be his ninth game of the season, bringing him within one of burning the first year of his entry-level contract.
Nathan MacKinnon and Vlad Namestnikov were not on the ice today - not even with the injured guys.
Some good new has come, as Cale Makar appears to be back in the lineup tonight after missing the last five games.
Lines didn’t come out after practice, but it’ll be some combination of the following 12 forwards (the line up from Monday plus Kaut). Defense is intact, but they might have to run seven guys.
Gabriel Landeskog - ??? - ???
Tyson Jost - JT Compher - Joonas Donskoi
Valeri Nichushkin - PE Bellemare - Matt Nieto
Sheldon Dries - Vladislav Kamenev - Logan O’Connor
Ryan Graves - Cale Makar
Samuel Girard - Erik Johnson
Ian Cole - Nikita Zadorov
Mark Barberio - Kevin Connauton
NEW YORK RANGERS
New York comes into tonight's game having won a 4-2 decision in Dallas last night. with a hot February, the Rangers put themselves into the playoff picture, and now sit only three points out of an Eastern Conference Wild Card spot.
Mika Zibanejad has turned into a legitimate NHL star. He has 40 goals and 74 points in only 54 games and is having a breakthrough season reminiscent of what we saw from Mikko Rantanen a couple years ago.
Phil Di Giuseppe - Mika Zibanejad - Pavel Buchnevich
Artemi Panarin - Ryan Strome - Jesper Fast
Brett Howden - Filip Chytil - Kaapo Kakko
Brendan Lemieux - Greg McKegg - Julien Gauthier
Brendan Smith - Jacob Trouba
Marc Staal - Anthony DeAngelo
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
Who cares who’s starting this one (It’s going to be Francouz vs Georgiev), this is the goalie news we really care about:
Larry Walker, soon-to-be baseball Hall of Famer, will be listed as the Avalanche's official emergency goaltender Sunday in Denver when they host Vegas. Growing up in B.C., he dreamed of playing in net in the NHL.— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) March 10, 2020