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Avs lose another center: Mitchell out for Game 1 vs. Wild

Apr 17, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers Getty Images

Good thing Colorado has such a wealth of talent down the middle — it’ll need it.

On Thursday, the Avs announced that valuable third-line center John Mitchell would miss their series opener against Minnesota with a concussion. The injury puts Mitchell on the shelf alongside another top-three center, Matt Duchene, who has been ruled out for at least the first two games of the series with a knee injury.

As mentioned, though, Colorado has good depth down the middle.

Paul Stastny and Ryan O’Reilly will man the No. 1 and 2 spots, while Max Talbot and Brad Malone appear primed to play in the bottom six. Likely Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon also has experience playing the middle, and briefly replaced Duchene there earlier this season.

All that said, losing Mitchell will still hurt.

The 29-year-old had a very good season in Colorado, scoring a career-high 32 points while averaging over 16 minutes per night. He finished third on the team in faceoff winning percentage (50) and was fantastic against Minnesota this season, scoring six points in five games.

Mitchell is also a valuable member of the Avs’ penalty kill, averaging nearly two shorthanded minutes per game.

 

  1. lordfletcher - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    Trying not to be a homer but I really like the Wilds chances with Duchene out.

    Wild in 6

    • purpleguy - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      So much depends upon Bryz — maybe as long as there are no bears in the large universe of the Avs arena all will be fine.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      With both Duchene and Mitchell out, the Avs lose a big chunk of offense, energy, and intangibles. As has already been stated, much of this hinges on goaltending. Wild need to find a way through Varly and Breezy needs to stay sharp. If he forgets how to use his glove hand like he did against Nashville, it’s gonna be a short series.

  2. mp1131211 - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Sorry, still being a homer. Wild force a game 6. That said, go wild!

  3. dolphincult - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    bryzgalov, really? c’mon man.

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