The Colorado Avalanche announced today that Mikko Rantanen is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Rantanen suffered the injury in Monday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.
— Ben "Avalanche are a scary hockey team" Jones (@BenJonesNow) October 22, 2019
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said the week-to-week timeline felt like the “best-case scenario.” Initial reports speculated that the injury could cost Rantanen somewhere between 4-6 weeks. Bednar added Rantanen will be re-evaluated after receiving treatment. We can expect another update early next week.
While today’s update brought good news, the injury still leaves a huge hole in Colorado’s offense. Rantanen was off to a red-hot start to the season, scoring five times and adding seven assists in nine games. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog will have to carry the load without Rantanen. The pair still managed a 66.67 GF% in just under 100 5v5 minutes without Rantanen in 2018-19. They can remain productive regardless of who’s skating on their right wing.
How the injury affects Colorado’s lineup in the short-term remains to be seen. Andre Burakovsky and Joonas Donskoi are the leading candidates to replace Rantanen in the interim. They each took shifts in Rantanen’s spot after the injury on Monday, and Donskoi took some first-line rushes in practice on Wednesday. It looks like Colin Wilson might be receiving a top-six promotion thanks to the injury’s trickledown effect, but it’s worth noting @J.T. Compher was absent from Wednesday’s practice. We should have a better idea of what Colorado’s makeshift lineup will be after practice on Thursday.