The Colorado Avalanche Lose Multiple Forwards

By CJ Carlson

Colorado Avalanche Report

It’s not a great day to be a fan of the Colorado Avalanche, as the team suffering multiple blows too their lineup thanks to untimely injuries. Colorado was competing in a rough game against the St. Louis Blues when two forwards on their lineup, Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Cogliano, were missing in this game.

According to their head coach Jared Bednar, the injuries aren’t great. He immediately ruled them both out of the lineup until further notice, though he did mention that Cogliano will be day-to-day. 

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Lehkonen had a scary crash straight into the boards against the Seattle Kraken. The injury was immediately thought to be very severe due to the nature at which his head slammed into the sides. He was instantly ruled out for the rest of that game, and it has since been announced that he’ll miss the next several weeks.

The only good news is that it’s not currently thought to be a head or neck injury for Lehkonen. It’s been reported that the injury is on his upper body. 

When it comes to Cogliano, nobody is quite sure what the injury might be. It wasn’t shown when he was down on the ice, with the team simply listing him on the injury report with an undisclosed injury that will keep him day-to-day. The hope is that he’ll be able to return fairly quickly, but we aren’t quite sure how severe the injury is, and how much it’s limiting him. 

Now, these aren’t just two random players that aren’t even getting onto the ice. These are two very crucial players to the Avalanche roster at this point in the season. Lehkonen had career highs across the board in 2022 with Colorado. He knocked in 21 goals and 30 assists over the span of just 64 games.

On top of that, it was the first time in his entire career that he was relied upon to play over 20 minutes a night. All in all, the team clearly found something in Lehkonen and had no problem extending that faith to give him more minutes than he ever had before.

When it comes to Cogliano, he’s a 36-year-old forward who’s been consistently on the line for Colorado. He’s usually listed on the fourth line but does get a ridiculous amount of time on the penalty kill. He’s the second most used forward on Colorado’s roster on the penalty kill, trailing only Logan O’Connor.

He’s played just 11 games so far in 2023 and has recorded three assists. What’s concerning is that he missed a few games in the season opener because he had suffered two fractured vertebrae in his neck. Here’s to hoping that this absence has nothing to do with previous pain from that incredibly serious injury.

Since losing both of these forwards, Colorado has decided to take the initiative and start making some roster moves to fill the void. They had recalled forward Riley Tufte alongside the defenseman Caleb Jones. Jones had his rights picked up by the Avalanche last season and was recalled to the team once before. However, he didn’t get onto the ice in his last recall. This time around, he might be hoping for a bit of a different outcome.

He’s shown some promise down in the AHL, and clearly it was enough to be a good depth piece in an injured position. As for Tufte, he had just been demoted down to the minors earlier in the week. It didn’t really cost them anything to just bring him right back up, as there was a second roster spot already open. 

The Avalanche recently just fell down to 8-5-0 on the season after getting stomped 8-2 by the Blues. Unfortunately, there was definitely some leadership and talent missing from the ice in that matchup. Their season isn’t lost in just one game though, they will have a quick turnaround to face the Seattle Kraken, then the Anaheim Ducks, and the Dallas Stars in their next three games.

It’s not an easy stretch of matchups for a team missing two important forwards on the rotation, so they’ll be looking to get a better rhythm moving forward. Otherwise, three more losses could thrust them down to .500 on the season. This team just feels far too talented anyways for them to continue dropping games in the absence of Lehkonen and Cogliano. 

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