First, some great news from a day of practice, which is all the Avalanche will be doing until a opponent is ready to play them. Bowen Byram survived the lengthy Monday morning practice to take part in another team skate sans the non-contact sweater. Coach Bednar indicated that he is on track to likely be available for weekend or whenever the Avalanche play next.
As far as other roster news, Nazem Kadri emerged from the COVID protocol list as scheduled and joined the team at practice. Darren Helm did not as he was the latest to enter protocol. Ryan Murray was a participant at the skate too, although Bednar said he was doubtful for the weekend. Bednar also gave an update on Jacob MacDonald, the latest Avalanche player sidelined by a head shot, as feeling somewhat better but not ready to skate yet.
After the Colorado Avalanche saw two more games postponed due to issues the Dallas Stars are having, the NHL is starting to get cute and are now moving games in Canada due to current attendance restrictions. Protecting revenue is understandable but making teams who are (relatively) healthy, ready and able to play continue to sit idle is only going to create more problems later in an already compacted schedule. Make no mistake, the league isn’t going to do the Avalanche, or other teams, any favors down the road. There are many teams including the Avalanche who could play right now but are only scheduled for the weekend if they are lucky.
Outside the NHL, the World Junior Championship is ongoing but the latest bit of adversity has team USA in quarantine and a forfeit to Switzerland after two players tested positive for COVID. Oskar Olausson and team Sweden have two wins on the board thus far in the preliminary round. Olausson got Sweden’s first goal in their 6-3 win over Russia using his sweet shot on the power play.
Also in news outside the league, the Colorado Eagles have played four games since the Avalanche last saw action and are scheduled for two more in Iowa before any Avalanche return. The Eagles ran into a very hot team at the top of the standings in Stockton but fared better hosting San Jose at home. In the final game before their holiday break the Eagles blanked the Barracuda 5-0 which saw Justus Annunen get his first AHL shutout and goals from Jean-Luc Foudy, Sampo Ranta, Martin Kaut and Alex Beaucage.