Avalanche Shut Down Due to COVID
The National Hockey League continues to have its season affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this time the Colorado Avalanche have been affected.
All of the Colorado Avalanche games through Feb. 11 have been postponed, and the league will look to make up these contests at a later date.
Colorado becomes the fifth different team in the NHL to have its season currently shut down due to COVID-19 and the seventh overall. This has become a huge problem for the league, and it is going to cause some huge problems if the league looks to reschedule all of these matchups.
The Buffalo Sabres, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, and the Vegas Golden Knights have also had their seasons put on pause due to the virus. There are still COVID-19 protocols in place throughout the league, but it doesn’t appear to have much of an impact.
Earlier this season, the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes were shut down, but these teams have returned to action. The hope is that the Avalanche will return to the ice shortly after Feb. 11, but the league is closing monitoring this situation.
At this point, there doesn’t appear to be a massive spread amongst the Avalanche, but the league is looking to stop the spread between teams. Tyson Jost and Gabriel Landeskog are both on the COVID-19 list, but no other players have been added.
The Avalanche played the Minnesota Wild three times last week, and that team currently has seven players on the list. If the Avalanche continue to turn up negative tests, then they will be able to soon.
At this point in time, there are at least 40 players from 11 different teams on the COVID-19 list, prompting the league to enforce additional protocols. Other leagues are dealing with the same situation as the country continues to struggle to slow the spread.
MacKinnon Out Indefinitely
When the Avalanche are ready to return to the ice, they will have to do so without their best player. Nathan MacKinnon is out of the lineup with a lower-body injury that will apparently sideline him for weeks.
The team has not given an exact timetable for his return but has stated that he will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. In a shortened season, having MacKinnon sidelined for an extended period of time could hurt the Avalanche in the playoff race.
The injury occurred during last Sunday’s loss against the Minnesota Wild, and MacKinnon was not in the lineup for the game on Tuesday night. MacKinnon finished as the runner-up for the Hart Trophy a season ago and was off to another great start in 2021.
Before his injury, MacKinnon led the team with 12 assists, and he is the player that really makes this team click on offense. The Avalanche have some players ready to step up, but it remains to be seen how this injury will affect the team.
Colorado has dealt with a number of injuries this season, but it was still leading the West Division before it was shut down.
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