Maybe the Avs best player thus far, Nichushkin’s status still questionable

Nov 3, 2022, 12:26 PM
Valeri Nichushkin...
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Avalanche are off to a bit of a slow start defending their Stanley Cup championship.

And while it’s nothing to panic about, at 4-4-1 the season hasn’t exactly gotten off to a raucous start.

Hopefully, that changes on Friday and Saturday when Colorado is finally back in action. The reason for the long break is a logical one, as the team is currently in Finland. They’re set to play the Blue Jackets twice as part of the NHL’s Global Series.

But will forward Valeri Nichushkin be back on the ice? He’s missed the last two games, both losses, with a “lower-body injury.” Hockey head coaches are rarely going to tell you what’s actually going on with a player, but this update from head coach Jared Bednar on Thursday wasn’t particularly encouraging.

Hopeful is a good thing, but it would have been much more encouraging to hear Bednar say he’s good to go. A setback might have happened. In just seven games, Nichushkin has seven goals and 12 points. The goals lead the Avs, the points are tied with superstar Nathan Mackinnon, who’s played all nine contests for Colorado.

With captain Gabriel Landeskog out for at least another couple of months after knee surgery, and Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky in different sweaters, the Avs desperately need Nichushkin back. In one of the games he missed against the Devils, they lost 1-0. A shutout is shocking for this high-powered offense.

Again, nine points through nine games isn’t the end of the world. The Avalanche have plenty of time to string together a bunch of wins. But Nichushkin will help that in a big way, and right now, his return still feels iffy.



Mikko Rantanen...
Mike Evans

Avs are setting the standard for what other Denver sports team should be

On a Denver sports scene that is littered with poor play, poor coaching, poor ownership and poor culture, the defending Stanley Cup champs stand as a beacon on the hill
4 days ago
Mikko Rantanen...
Will Petersen

The best player in the NHL last week was Avs forward Mikko Rantanen

In just two games, Rantanen put up a ridiculous seven points, earning him No. 1 NHL Star of the Week honors as the Avs secured two wins
13 days ago
Shane Bowers...
Will Petersen

After waiting five years for NHL debut, Shane Bowers got hurt just 1:46 in

Bowers took a nasty shot into the boards and immediately grabbed his wrist; Jared Bednar didn't have an update after the game, but it didn't look good
16 days ago
Peter McNab...
Will Petersen

Avs honor Peter McNab with many tributes in first game since his passing

The Avs remembered McNab with several nice touches, including flowers on press row, a video tribute and a "moment of appreciation"
17 days ago
Valeri Nichushkin...
Will Petersen

More brutal Avs news as Nichushkin gets surgery and will miss a month

Nichushkin, who signed a massive contract this offseason, was off to an excellent start; he scored seven goals in just seven games and had 12 points
19 days ago
Nathan MacKinnon...
Will Petersen

Nathan MacKinnon takes home an honor for his dazzling play in Finland

MacKinnon had a ridiculous seven assists in just two games against Columbus, with the Avs earning wins by final scores of 6-3 and 5-1
20 days ago
Maybe the Avs best player thus far, Nichushkin’s status still questionable