Nathan Mackinnon will return to Avalanche practice after missing one game due to a lower body injury. Honestly the Avs got a little lucky with this injury. And sometimes it pays to be lucky rather than good. Nathan Mackinnon sustained the injury on January 31st against the Wild. And the two teams were scheduled to play again two days later. But there was no way Nate Dogg was going to be able to play with an injury that would have kept him out week to week. So the Avalanche played on without their star player and still won. Then COVID hit the Wild, and the Avs too. Ever since then the Avalanche haven’t played a game.
And it really does pay to be lucky sometimes. Cause if the Avalanche didn’t get hit by the COVID bug then they probably would have had to play 5 to 6 games without their best player. Maybe even more. All during a stretch when they would be playing the two best teams in the division. It was almost a blessing in disguise. Almost.
Sure the Avs are going to be getting Nathan Mackinnon back from injury earlier than expected. Devon Toews, Erik Johnson, and Pierre Edouard Bellemare might also be available to play in the next game. But they’re also going to be losing Gabriel Landeskog, Samuel Girard, and Tyson Jost to COVID protocols. The fact that these guys are on the COVID list doesn’t guarantee they have the Rona, it just means they are unavailable to play. And they might even be available to play in the Avs next game.
But it’s still a bad look for the NHL to have so many players and teams on the COVID list. As of now the NHL has already postponed more than 30 games. Somehow the league will have to fit all of those postponed games into an already shortened season. Which sounds like a pretty tall task if you ask me. The NHL has to figure their shit out and keep their players and staff safe from spreading COVID. Especially when there are players like Landeskog who has an infant daughter at home, or Kaapo Kakko who plays for the Rangers and has type one diabetes.
I’m no doctor so I have no idea how the league should handle controlling the spread of COVID. But I do know the league needs to get their shit together to protect their players from getting sick. Some people have suggested postponing the entire league two weeks and just picking up where they left off afterwards. Personally I think that just delays the problem at hand by two weeks. But what do I know, I’m not a doctor. There are plenty of other ideas floating around on how the league can keep everyone safe, which I discussed on this weeks podcast. Regardless of how many teams are on the COVID list the NHL continues to roll on and the Avalanche will be back in action soon.
The Avalanche are scheduled to return to game action on Valentines day. So to all the guys and gals that will be out to dinner and will have to miss the game, bummer my dudes. But for all the single people that will be able to watch, or if you’re in a sports centric relationship and watching the game was already your Valentines day plan, then you’ll get to watch Nate Dogg play. And hopefully the Man Rocket Landeskog, Tyson Jost, and Samuel Girard are healthy and available as well.