The Colorado Avalanche are deep in a battle with the Minnesota Wild for the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference. The teams trade off time in eighth overall almost nightly. That’s why it’s particularly bad timing for the team to have a significant injury.
Yet, they’ll be without star forward Matt Duchene on Friday due to a knee injury. Friday’s match against the Calgary Flames will be the first game that Duchene has missed this season.
No timeframe on his return has been announced. Coach Patrick Roy called Duchene day-to-day, but Roger Millions reports that the team could be without him for 7-to-10 days.
His 29 goals lead the team, as do his 56 points. That makes his absence pretty big for a team that has been playing well at the same time that the Wild have started to struggle.
They currently hold a one-point lead on the Wild for the last wild card spot after the Wild were felled by the New Jersey Devils 7-4 on Thursday.
In other Avs news, the team announced Friday that defenseman Chris Bigras has been cleared to return.
UPDATE: Chris Bigras has been cleared to return.
Matt Duchene (knee) will miss tonight's contest.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) March 18, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.