Same song, second verse. The Colorado Avalanche are injured to hell and back.
With seven names out of the lineup, the team that calls Ball Arena home has been renamed the Colorado Avaleagels - simply due to the fact there are so many AHL-caliber players in the side right now. Let’s see how they’ve performed so far.
Martin Kaut (11 GP, 1G, 1A)
Kaut has played the most out of the AHLers this season with the Avs. In 11 games, he’s only got one goal and an assist. While he started on the bottom six, he has climbed up to be an integral part of the second line on the right side for the injured Valeri Nichushkin.
While Kaut hasn’t been a huge point-getter, he has been noticeable in his play. The NHL Global Series game in Finland were the ones where he stood out the most with his average ice time of 9:22. His 11 games are the most he’s played in an NHL season before. Hopefully, he can continue to play a little longer despite being injured Monday night against the St. Louis Blues.
Sampo Ranta (3GP, 0G, 0A)
Ranta is one of the more recent call-ups from the Eagles but has not recorded a point yet. Averaging only 5:42 of ice time in those three games, he has fallen into the trap of Jared Bednar limiting ice time for the fourth line in close games.
Ranta hasn’t been terrible but also hasn’t been super noticeable. Depending on how long it takes for players to recover from injuries, Ranta will continue to play and get more experience at the NHL level.
Mikhail Maltsev (5GP, 0G, 0A)
Maltsev arguably was the most prominent call-up from the Eagles once the injuries started to pile up. Averaging 6:36 of ice time, they have been good games where Maltsev has chased the puck, created the pressure to force turnovers, and some chances for the fourth line.
While Maltsev is down with the Eagles right now, he may earn his shot back in the team should Jared Bednar want to continue to give guys experience and rotate this thin squad around.
Jayson Megna (5GP, 0G, 0A)
Megna has the exact same stat line as his counterpart in Maltsev, being the most recent call-up to take his spot in the lineup. One of the big benefits Megna has in his 5:58 average ice time this season is his faceoff capability.
In every game except against the Carolina Hurricanes and Seattle Kraken, he won over half of his faceoffs. In a team that struggled in the faceoff dot all of last year, it’s a promising sign he could keep his spot in the team for the distant future.
Shane Bowers (1GP, OG, 0A)
The anticipation for Bowers to make his NHL debut and see how he performed was sky-high. However, it quickly came crashing back down to Earth as he was injured with just 1:46 of ice time.
His two shifts before his upper-body injury were promising, however. The pressure he put on the forecheck and getting a golden chance to score on his first shift. He is out for the next few weeks but will surely be on the Avalanche’s radar for a call-up once again.
Andreas Englund (1GP, 0G, 0A)
Englund is the lite version of Kurtis MacDermid: big and strong. Funny enough, he’s in for the injured MacDermid. In his first game Monday night, he wasn’t bad at all. He skated well, threw a few hits, and ultimately didn’t mess up big time.
While he is far from NHL-caliber, he is suitable for now. The more he plays, the more likely he’ll get better and more ice time than the 10:27 he got against the Blues.