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Jost, Wilson Among Avs Returning To Practice

Colorado prepares for three preseason games in three days

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--It was a good news, bad news kind of day for the Colorado Avalanche.

The good news for the Avs on Friday was that several players that were dealing with minor injuries took part in a full practice and are expected to play in at least one of the team's next three preseason games. The bad news was that two of the club's young defensemen are now on the shelf. 

The more serious of the two ailments is the one that Sergei Boikov suffered in Colorado's Thursday night preseason win over the Dallas Stars. Boikov has a dislocated shoulder and is out indefinitely, according to head coach Jared Bednar. 

Boikov got hurt moments after scoring his first goal of the preseason. He was chasing the puck back into a corner in the Avs zone when he was hit hard by Dallas' Remi Elie, lost his balance and fell awkwardly into the boards. He gingerly left the ice holding his arm and went straight to the locker room.

Bednar did not give a timetable on when Boikov could return.

The Avalanche's other injury came to Anton Lindholm, but the young Swedish blueliner shouldn't miss that much time. He took a shot off his skate during the club's morning skate on Friday and ended up being scratched for the evening's contest that he was originally scheduled to play in. 

"It's tender for him to put his skate on," Bednar said of Lindholm. "He's working out in the gym today, and hopefully he'll get on the ice tomorrow for us." 

Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar talks about club

On the bright side for the Avs, a slew of players returned to the ice. Colin Wilson took part in his first team practice since being acquired in a trade with the Nashville Predators on July 1, and rookie Tyson Jost skated with his teammates for the first time in a week.

"I thought all of those guys coming back in were good," Bednar said. "They spent a couple days skating and conditioning on the ice with some of our development coaches. [Jost], (Blake) Comeau, Wilson, (Tyson) Barrie, all full practice, contact. I think they all made it through fine. I didn't notice any problems."

Bednar said he expects each player to play in at least one preseason contest this weekend, which features three games in three days.

Jost was out with a minor groin injury that started irritating him at the San Jose Prospect Showcase that took place Sept. 9-12. He then aggravated it last Friday when training camp began, and the annoyance got to the point where he couldn't finish the on-ice session, forcing him to leave midway through the skating test.

"It's pretty unfortunate with what happened there. It's tough, especially when it's in training camp and I'm a first-year guy and I want to make an impression," Jost said. "It's a good thing it is just minor. [Avalanche assistant athletic trainer Scott Woodward] did a great job with me to rehab this past week and get me back on the ice. I've been skating on my own the past three days and getting my conditioning back, so I felt really good out there. It's exciting to get back on the ice."

Video: Tyson Jost returns to Avalanche practice

Wilson had been skating on his own or taking part in on-ice drills with the team's development coaches for much of the past week as he was getting healed from a minor summer injury. The center/left wing said the club's training staff noted it would be wise for him to take it easy early in training camp instead of pushing through and having the ailment become a bigger issue later in the season.

"It's obviously not ideal (to miss early practice), but I would rather miss the week now than during the season," Wilson said after Friday's session at Family Sports Center.

Wilson noted it shouldn't take him too long to get back up to game speed and be ready for the preseason since he last skated competitively in June when the Predators were in the Stanley Cup Final.

"It comes back pretty quick when you don't have that much time off," Wilson said. "It was good to get out there. Have bodies to take away time and space so you can start reading and reacting and feel confident for my first preseason game."

Video: Colin Wilson takes first practice with new team

Bednar's early impressions of Wilson have been overwhelmingly positive and his expectations of him are growing.

"I think he's a guy that has played checking roles before. He's put up good numbers," Bednar said. "We expect all our players to be 200-foot players, and I think he is a guy that fits right into that. I really like his character and his work ethic. His detail and tenacity in practice I think has helped drive our group. That is good. I like his leadership."

The Avalanche begins its three-in-three weekend with back-to-back games against the Minnesota Wild before playing at the Dallas Stars on Monday. Every healthy Avs player will dress for at least one game in the trio of outings, and Bednar said some players might play two nights in a row depending on how they performed in the first contest.

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier will make his preseason debut on Saturday in Minnesota and will also play Monday at Dallas. Semyon Varlamov, who made 21 saves on Thursday against the Stars, will start Sunday's contest at home against the Wild.

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