The Avalanche practice without two of their best defensemen
Oct 31, 2023, 12:30 PM
(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
The Colorado Avalanche took the ice for practice on Tuesday without two key players.
Noticeably absent from the jump were superstar Cale Makar and fellow defenseman Bowen Byram. The Avs recalled defenseman Caleb Jones and forward Riley Tufte from the Eagles, so it was clear something was up.
Makar is the biggest concern, as he’s a top-3 player on Earth and took a nasty spill into the boards against the Sabres on Sunday. He had a little help from Buffalo winger Kyle Okposo and then lost an edge, as his legs twisted awkwardly.
Makar went to the locker room, but miraculously returned for the third period. Still, on Tuesday, head coach Jared Bednar said Makar isn’t feeling quite right. He called him “banged up,” but it doesn’t sound like a long-term issue.
Cale Makar and Bowen Byram are both banged up, Jared Bednar said. He expects at least one to play tomorrow. #Avs
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) October 31, 2023
As for Byram, he’s played in all eight games this year, averaging 18:39 of ice time per contest. But the fact Bednar said at least one could play tomorrow, if not both, is encouraging.
Because it’s hockey, they tend to be pretty secretive about injuries. It’ll likely just be a game or two if Makar or Byram isn’t out there on Wednesday night against the Blues at Ball Arena.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche started the year 6-0-0 before stumbling with back-to-back 4-0 losses against the Penguins and Sabres. They’ll look to get things back on track versus St. Louis, and we’ll see which defensemen are ultimately on the ice.