Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon Returns To Practice

by Ryan Boulding @rboulding /

CENTENNIAL, Colo.--Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon returned to practice on Monday after missing Sunday's on-ice session.

"I didn't skate yesterday, just had a maintenance day," MacKinnon said. "If we were playing today, I think I would have been able to skate. Just got some treatment from our trainers. I feel better today. I feel back to myself, so happy about that."

The Avalanche's leading point scorer had a scary moment early in the second period of Saturday's game against Vancouver when he fell on the ice and went into the boards at full speed.

Video: MacKinnon on how he's feeling and his game

"I was skating as fast as I could, just lost an edge and slid in. I kind of spun, and it sucked. I couldn't breathe," MacKinnon said. "I hit most of my lower back and my neck was a little sore. Actually, my abs are really sore, just from like clenching. It's weird.

"It was scary."

The 21-year-old admitted that he expected his body to hurt more from the impact.

"I was a little tight, but honestly I thought it would be worse," he said. "I thought it would be more locked up, but I feel pretty good."

Colorado has played 13 games so far through 28 days of November, so rest comes at a premium for the squad. With a day off from practice and nowhere to be afterward, MacKinnon said he used the time to heal up.

"I think most of [recovery] is what you do at home. I've learned that quickly over my three years, try to take care of yourself," he said. "I just laid on the couch all day. I didn't leave the house, just making sure I'd feel good today. You don't get much rest, especially with the schedule in November here. It's been crazy. Every game is huge. We're trying to push for the playoffs today, and I think everybody's pretty mature in taking care of themselves, for sure."

While MacKinnon returned to skating with the team, captain Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) and defenseman Erik Johnson (sick) both missed Monday's practice.

Video: Coach Jared Bednar gives an update on the Avs

"Landy, we don't really have anything new to report other than that he's still I guess considered day-to-day for me. He's having good days and bad days right now, so he won't play tomorrow," head coach Jared Bednar said in his injury update. "Johnson wasn't feeling well last night. He's sick, so he [took] the day off. I don't want him around the guys when he's sick. I think he's probably got the same thing [Rene Bourque] had the other day and whatnot. It's been going through our team a little bit, but we've contained it and it's only been a 24-hour thing. So he should be able to go tomorrow.

"We're lucky right now it's one guy at a time, and it's hitting us on practice days, so that's a good thing."

Landeskog has been out of the lineup since finishing the game against the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 15.

Bednar also provided an update on the goaltending situation, as netminder Semyon Varlamov returned to practice on Sunday after missing Saturday's game with an upper-body injury.

"Varly is good to go, but [Calvin Pickard] will start," Bednar said.

The Avs will focus on getting back to an even record on Tuesday when they take on the visiting Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center.

"It will be nice if we can win tomorrow to get--I know it's not technically .500, but it is in our minds," MacKinnon said, reflecting on Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks. "9-10-1 is better than 9-11, so I guess we're happy we got a point. We obviously wanted to get the win, but we have another chance tomorrow night. We need to come out strong."

View More