This morning, Jared Bednar informed media members about some of the team's injuries; the news isn't very positive. His stud defensive group began shaping up before two key members were injured. Those two are Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar and longest-tenured Avalanche Erik Johnson.
Cale Makar wore a high hit on a play deemed "incidental" by league officials against the Pittsburgh Penguins and then another against the Blues. In both instances, Makar passed initial concussion testing but went on to experience delayed side effects. Concussions are never good but can be even more dangerous when sustained numerous times in a short time frame. That's precisely what we are discussing here, as Makar had two concussions in about 11 days. Appropriately, he is now in concussion protocol and will not play against the Jets and Flames this weekend.
Two concussions in the span of 11 days for Cale Makar. Concerning news.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) February 21, 2023
We’ll talk to Jared Bednar later today. https://t.co/iz2IpVhCYG
Avalanche fans don't need to look very far to see how carefully head injuries must be monitored. The long-term effects of his injuries tainted young Defender Bowen Byram's early years in the league. Fortunately, he got the treatment and time he deserved to heal and is now one of Colorado's brightest young stars. I'm confident Cale Makar will receive the same care and patience from management, coaches, and teammates. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that, however.
Now the news about Erik ‘The Condor’ Johnson. He blocked a shot against the Florida Panthers and hasn't returned since. Bednar did confirm that Johnson broke his ankle and that he'd "possibly" miss the rest of the regular season.
Bednar said Erik Johnson is "possibly" done for the regular season.— Ryan Boulding (@rboulding) February 21, 2023
Johnson is no stranger to leg injuries that come as a result of blocked shots. He also broke his fibula in 2016, blocking a shot from Tyler Seguin. This is a brutal way for the last year of Erik Johnson's contract with the Avs to play out, but it does potentially give the Avalanche some more cap space to weaponize at this year's deadline. I'm sure there are no silver linings for EJ, who might consider calling it a career after this year. If he is to return for the playoffs, it would most likely be in the later rounds, and I honestly don’t know if that will even give him enough time to recover.
You have to watch this. Incredible moment for Stanley Cup Champion, Erik Johnson. pic.twitter.com/Uy7JJu9tv1— Jesse Montano (@jessemontano_) June 27, 2022