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Landeskog Set to Return Tuesday against Toronto

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche will have its captain in the lineup for its first road game of the season.

Colorado head coach Patrick Roy confirmed after Sunday's practice at South Suburban Family Sports Center that Gabriel Landeskog would play on Tuesday night in Toronto.

"Yes, Gabe is playing in [Toronto] on Tuesday," Roy said.

Landeskog had missed Friday's game against Nashville after suffering a minor leg injury early in the third period of Wednesday's season-opening contest against the Anaheim Ducks.

However, Roy said on Friday that Landeskog, who was listed as day-to-day, had already felt better from the injury and was already planning on bringing him on the upcoming three-game road trip.

“I know [Landeskog] came to the bench at some point [Wednesday] and talked to Matty (Avalanche head athletic trainer Matt Sokolowski) about the legs—something was wrong with his leg—but he kept going," Roy said after Friday's morning skate. "This morning (Friday) he already mentioned he’s feeling so much better. I think it’s very positive."

The injury didn't seem too serious as Landeskog said he felt "good enough to finish the game" against the Ducks.

However, he also wanted to be out on the ice to enjoy a 6-1 season opening win with his teammates.

"To be honest with you, it was the first game of the season and we were playing so well so I wanted to be out there for the end of that game," he said. "I was happy that I did. It was a pleasure to be out there."

Landeskog finished the season opener with three shots in 16:07 of ice time and played 4:22 in the final period.

The winger had been rehabbing the last few days and said the club aided on the side of caution with the injury occurring so early in the season.

"We just wanted to make sure that we were on the safe side with this one," Landeskog said. "So early in the season, there is no point to risking anything now. It was just a minor little thing so we made sure we took care of it right away."


Defenseman Ryan Wilson seems to be on schedule to make his season debut sometime over the next three games after being out with a minor knee injury for the last three weeks.

Ryan Wilson

Roy had said previously that he hoped Wilson, who had missed all the preseason, would be back in time for Saturday's game at Washington.

Wilson had been skating by himself before practice last week and finally took drills with his teammates at morning skate on Friday at Pepsi Center.

Sunday's practice, though, was the first real test to see if Wilson was on track to return to the lineup soon.

"I think I felt pretty good," Wilson said. "A little rusty but that will come; it's from missing so much time."

With Wilson's knee looking to be good to go, the next step for the blueliner is to get in shape for NHL action. He last played on Sept. 15 during the team's Burgundy/White Game intra-squad scrimmage at the Air Fore Academy.

"We just took it slow," Wilson said. "Pretty much two weeks of doing nothing takes out a lot of your conditioning, so right now I think it is a matter of getting back to somewhat of game-shape and work my way from there."


Wilson's return to the lineup likely means the Avalanche will have to reassign one player to Lake Erie since the club is already at its maximum 23-man roster.

With the Colorado currently carrying eight active defensemen, the likely candidates to be sent to the American Hockey League would be Nate Guenin, Nick Holden and Matt Hunwick. Guenin has played the first two games of the season while Holden and Hunwick have been healthy scratches.

However, expect all three players to get a close look from the organization as team president and governor Josh Kroenke and executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic will also be on the road trip.

"We will have a decision to make. Right now there is no rush," Roy said. "He (Wilson) needs to get his game-shape back before playing. The [defensive] guys are doing well and that allows us to take our time on [Wilson coming back]."


-Roy said that Semyon Varlamov would get the start in net on Tuesday at Toronto and is scheduled for Saturday's game in Washington as well. Jean-Sebastien Giguere is scheduled to play on Thursday at Boston.

-The Avs are 2-0-0 to begin a season for the first time since 2009-10 and for only the third time since moving to Denver (2001-02 was the other).

-The Avalanche’s nine goals so far this year are its most through two games since moving to Denver…The previous high was eight goals through the first two games in 2001-02 and 2009-10.

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