Avs forward Valeri Nichushkin remains out for third straight day
Dec 7, 2023, 11:41 AM
The Colorado Avalanche will be without top-6 forward Valeri Nichushkin for a second straight game on Thursday night.
He missed Tuesday’s contest with the Ducks and remains out with an illness, head coach Jared Bednar told reporters after morning skate.
Originally, Bednar expected Nichushkin to play against Anaheim, so clearly he’s sicker than the team initially realized. He’s been good for Colorado this season, registering 21 points in 24 games, netting 10 goals and adding 11 assists.
Elsewhere, superstar center Nathan MacKinnon should be good to go tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. He took a puck off the ankle late in the Ducks game, but Bednar expects him to be out there.
Cale Makar will return from a two-game absence, and Andrew Cogliano will return to the lineup as well. After a brief scare with defenseman Bowen Byram — missing the third period against Anaheim — he’ll be back too.
This means the Avalanche are nearly back to full-strength, other than Nichushkin’s illness. It’s nice to see for a team that battled injuries all last season while trying to defend their Stanley Cup and has been dinged up this year.
Still, Colorado is 16-7-2 and sits atop the Central Division with 34 points. They’re second in the Western Conference, trailing only the Vegas Golden Knights with 39 points.
The Avs are in the midst of their longest homestand of the season, a five game stretch that will also feature the Flyers, Flames and Sabres.