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Avs could be without veterans Hejda, Mitchell to start Wild series

Apr 14, 2014, 2:54 PM EST

Jan Hejda Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche are a young team with little postseason experience, so today’s news regarding injured defenseman Jan Hejda and forward John Mitchell could loom large.

Hejda, the team’s second-leading blueliner in TOI per game (22:20), left Sunday’s game versus Anaheim with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. When asked about the 35-year-old’s condition, Avs head coach Patrick Roy wasn’t exactly brimming with optimism.

“We’ll see more in the next few days,” Roy said, per the Denver Post. “I hope he’ll be OK to play against Minny, but we’ll see.”

Mitchell, a versatile penalty killer that scored a career-high 32 points this season, has been been diagnosed with a concussion after sitting out this weekend’s games against the Sharks and Ducks. The 29-year-old is unlikely to be ready for the start of the series against Minnesota, and that’ll be a big blow given Mitchell averages over 16 minutes per game — including nearly two minutes of shorthanded — and has playoff experience, having gone to the Eastern Conference finals with the Rangers in ’12.

The Avalanche were already without leading scorer and Canadian Olympian Matt Duchene, who’s out for another couple of weeks with a knee injury, and held offensive defenseman Tyson Barrie out of Sunday’s game following this huge hit from San Jose’s Jason Demers the night before:

  1. esracerx46 - Apr 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    If the wild get good goaltending I would not be shocked to see them win the series.

    • trbowman - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Yeah, me neither. Except they won’t. It’s Ilya Bryzgalov. Nuff said.

      Avs in 5

      • strictlythedanks - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        foolish fool

  2. esracerx46 - Apr 14, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    It looks to be a war of attrition in the central. Chicago hopefully will be getting Kane and Toews back. St.Louis and Colorado are both hurting as well.

    • jimmydeedub - Apr 14, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      And the Wild aren’t? Everyone is hurting come playoff time.

  3. purpleguy - Apr 14, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    If Bryz falls on his rear-end like he did Sunday, the Avs’ injuries aren’t going to matter all that much.

  4. bballnut50 - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    But he will continue to play like he has, bye-bye Aves

  5. mrhyperpants - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Too many games in a season. Over done for the nhl money gravy train. Come play off time everyone’s out with injuries.

  6. favrewillplay4ever - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Only difference is that the Wild can sustain oat defensive injuries with the best defenseman in the league playing so many minutes.

    Wake me up when Colorado is on their 4th goalie of the year.

  7. mp1131211 - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:55 AM

    Oat defensive injuries?

  8. mp1131211 - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:57 AM

    Wild sweep series. Bryz lets in 2 goals. Suter gets second hat trick. And Pominville and co score endlessly on that Avs punk goalie. Calling it now. No applause please, just money. Thanks.

    • mackattack29 - Apr 15, 2014 at 7:27 AM

      Lol I’m guessing no matter who wins it’s going to 7 and because of that I’m guessing the avs will win because of home ice.

  9. clarke16 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    There are many reasons on both sides of the ledger why either team could lose. As always–it’ll come down to goaltending. Ramp me up some Bryziac and wait for *Wha* to start going *Whaaaaa… Whaaaaaaaaa… Whaaaaaaaaaa… Whiny little biitch… ;)

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