Avalanche dealing with heavy COVID-19 issues – Metro US

Avalanche dealing with heavy COVID-19 issues

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avalanche
NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche announced Sunday that they have had 11 players test positive for COVID-19 since Dec. 16.

On Sunday, the Avalanche activated goaltender Darcy Kuemper and defensemen Cale Makar and Devon Toews from the COVID-19 list.

That leaves five Colorado players on the list: forwards Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri and Logan O’Connor; defenseman Kurtis MacDermid; and goalie Pavel Francouz.

“We had a bunch of guys come off protocol the last three days, including three today,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said as the team resumed practice after the NHL’s holiday break. “I’m sure now, at this point, the whole league is going through this and in a way, we’re probably a little bit fortunate that we’ve had so many guys at once and we were able to pause for a little bit over (Christmas).

“Hopefully, we can come out of the next week or so healthy and get our lineup back together. Seems like the whole season since we haven’t had it.”

The NHL extended the break on both sides due to league-wide coronavirus issues.

Colorado last played on Dec. 16 when it dropped a 5-2 decision against the Nashville Predators.

The Avalanche are slated to return to the ice Wednesday against the visiting Dallas Stars. The two teams will meet again Friday in Dallas.

Forward Gabe Landeskog also is slated to return Wednesday from a lower-body injury. He ranks third on the Avalanche in scoring with 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists).

Makar is second on the squad with 13 goals and fourth with 26 points, while Toews had 20 points (four goals, 16 assists). Kuemper is 13-5 with a 2.77 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.

Rantanen has a team-best 14 goals and ranks second with 30 points, and Kadri leads Colorado with 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists). O’Connor has 12 points (five goals, seven assists), MacDermid has one assist, while Francouz (4.11 GA) has appeared in just one game.

The Avalanche are forecasting that MacDermid and Kadri will rejoin the team before the first game with the Stars. O’Connor and Rantanen have chances at being back for the rematch.

–Field Level Media

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