Avalanche Skate: Rantanen Progressing, Bednar Not Looking Ahead

Colorado Hockey Now

The Colorado Avalanche will play without Mikko Rantanen again on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild, but there were signs of progress.

Rantanen skated by himself for about 30 minutes today, mostly doing stick-handling and shooting work. When the rest of the Avalanche came on the ice for an optional practice, Rantanen stayed out for another 30 minutes. Some nice progress just a few days after taking that hit.

“He is feeling better,” Jared Bednar said after practice. “Next step, I’m not sure if it’ll be tomorrow morning, but I’d like him to join the group and get in with the group at least with non-contact.”

Miles Wood will also miss Tuesday’s game against the Wild with his lower-body injury. Just like they did with Nichushkin and Trenin, the Avalanche aren’t going to push someone with a lower-body injury if they can avoid it.

“We know how important these games are, but again, the most important thing is that everyone’s healthy going into the playoffs. We’ll be cautious with him,” Bednar said.

One of the reasons Bednar was so frustrated with his team on Sunday evening was because of how important that game was. He admitted that with the loss, the chances of getting first in the division are “basically gone.” However, that doesn’t mean he’s looking ahead to what appears to be a matchup with the Winnipeg Jets in round one.

“Where we finish, we finish,” he said. “We know all the opponents that we could possibly face and we’ll have plenty of time to get ready for them, even if it’s just a day or two.”

Other News And Notes

  • Bednar kind of hinted that it would be Alexandar Georgiev back in net on Tuesday, but he didn’t confirm anything. We’ll find out at morning skate. When asked, he did say he’d feel comfortable putting Justus Annunen into a playoff game if he needed to.
    • “Most important time of the year, cream rises to the top, so we should we everyone’s best performances.”
  • I know everyone is asking me about Nikolai Kovalenko, but he wasn’t at skate. I was told he skated with Toby Petersen last week because the Eagles didn’t have ice in Loveland. He’s still assigned to the Eagles for now, and they’ll be in Tucson this weekend. We’ll see if he travels with them.
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