Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is officially listed as day-to-day, the club announced Wednesday.
“Hopefully it’s not that serious and we can get him back in the lineup here soon,” coach Jared Bednar said. “It depends what you classify as serious. Every game without him is not good, but hopefully he can get healthy and get back in and join us here soon.”
MacKinnon went down on Tuesday as his Avalanche faced off against the Vancouver Canucks. Colorado lost the game and lost the NHL’s second-best point producer in the process, with MacKinnon clutching his shoulder after an Alexander Edler hit.
The 22-year-old has 61 points in 49 points, putting him just behind the league-leading Nikita Kucherov.
MacKinnon had 19 points over the course of Colorado’s 10-game winning streak and has been instrumental in the team’s fortunes this season, to say the very least.
The Avalanche are sixth in the Central Division with 58 points, which points them a point behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card slot. They’re not by any means positioned for sure playoff success, but their standing has improved since last year’s debacle. And MacKinnon has been receiving major accolades for that, even garnering attention as a possible league MVP.
But Colorado is also 0-2-1 since the aforementioned 10-game winning streak was snapped, so things may be taking a turn for the less than ideal. That puts extra emphasis on the MacKinnon injury, which means the Avalanche are collectively crossing their fingers.
“He’s such a valuable piece to our team as everybody knows,” Bednar said. “We’re just a different team with him in the lineup. He’s been healthy and playing well for us. You know it just becomes more difficult to win when he’s not in there. For him to miss a game or two, or three…when you see him leave the ice…if it’s long term it’s a little scary for your team.”
There may be some good news on the horizon, however, with goalie Semyon Varlamov set to return. He may be back during the team’s six-game road trip, which ends against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. In Varlamov’s absence, Jonathan Bernier’s been holding the fort for 10 consecutive starts.