Darryl Sutter was interviewed by media members ahead of the Colorado Avalanche coming to Calgary to meet the Flames in a much-anticipated matchup. Sutter is well known for his golden quotes. A couple of those quotes have been about the Colorado Avalanche. This week's Mile High Hockey Lab features a conversation about where the Avalanche should aim to end up in the standings and is hosted by Adrian Hernandez, with Jackie Kay, Evan Liu, and Jacob Weindling making up our panel of writers.
Last season Sutter mentioned that playing the Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs would be "a waste of eight days." This time, his quote revolves around whether an injury-riddled and struggling Avalanche team has what it takes to return to the playoffs and repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Here is the clip:
With Calgary set to face Colorado Wednesday night, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter believes the defending champs will go far in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/0pfuPxSFjg— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 17, 2023
In this week's Mile High Hockey Lab episode, we also discussed the most likely outcome for this squad. Before hearing the comments from Sutter, our very own Jackie Kay saw things very similarly. The entire panel agrees that taking on the whole division doesn't seem likely, and aiming for third in the division is reasonable.
Colorado's consecutive and high-scoring victories over the Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings naturally spurred on talks of this Avalanche team returning to their old form. Jacob Weindling thinks that Colorado is missing one essential piece to the truth of that statement. That piece is captain Gabe Landeskog.
Jacob Weindling (@Jakeweindling) says the Avs won’t be back until Gabe Landeskog returns. He mentions that the captains return allows this team to roll at minimum three dangerous lines. It’s all about depth in the second half of the season. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/T5IvHuQ6Tq— Mile High Hockey Lab (@MHH_LAB) January 18, 2023
This leads our conversation into recent injury status updates again, courtesy of Jackie Kay. Starting with Landy, he is not in Colorado, according to Jared Bednar but receiving treatment elsewhere. Is it possible he's working with the same world-renowned establishment that Bo Byram recently visited? It's possible.
On the positive side, it sounds like defensemen Josh Manson and Bo Byram should return after the all-star break. Manson made the trip to Calgary, but it's still unclear whether he will return to the lineup against the Flames. Maybe later on in the road trip against the Kraken? Jackie broke it down for us.
Jackie (@tigervixxxen) also gave us some injury information and expected return timeline for Josh Manson. He’s making the trip but she doesn’t see him cracking the lineup until the weekend if at all. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/7r6m0Exxlu— Mile High Hockey Lab (@MHH_LAB) January 18, 2023
We then circled back to why we don't believe we've seen enough to say the Avalanche are "back." Whatever that means. Editor Evan Liu gave more context to a tweet sent out during Colorado's win over the Detroit Red Wings. To paraphrase, the Avalanche must consistently show this effort and success against more formidable opponents to be considered as dangerous as last year's cup-winning club.
Editor Evan (@LLou1e) sounded off on his previous comments about the Avs returning to old form.— Mile High Hockey Lab (@MHH_LAB) January 18, 2023
He’s not convinced that the Avalanche are the “Avs of old” just yet. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/gmPsL8BKrp
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