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Practice Report: Cumiskey Out Indefinitely

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
After Friday’s practice at Family Sports Center, Avalanche head coach Tony Granato relayed the news that defenseman Kyle Cumiskey will be out indefinitely after suffering a shoulder injury last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Cumiskey hit the boards hard at the 1:52 mark of the opening frame – a play which resulted in Toronto’s first goal – and did not return. The Avs were then forced to play nearly the entire game with only five blueliners.

“It’s the same type of situation that Jonesy (David Jones) is in,” said Granato. “He’s pretty sore today. We’re not expecting him back any time soon.

“He fell, crashed into the boards and came off and his shoulder was bothering him. It was obviously significant enough that the trainer said he was out for the game. Then this morning they said he’s out indefinitely.”

The injury leaves Colorado with six healthy defensemen, as Adam Foote (triceps) is still not ready to return.

McCormick Pleased With Return
Forward Cody McCormick returned to the Avalanche lineup last night after missing 15 games with a foot injury suffered on Dec. 21 at Florida.

“You never want to watch from the stands, because that gets old. You want to be out there helping the team,” said McCormick. “It felt good to get back out there and try to get my timing down.”

The Avalanche had a spirited practice Friday, and McCormick attributes that largely to Thursday’s loss to Toronto.

“After a game like that you want to get back to practice,” said McCormick. “You want to play the way you practice and last night I don’t think we were as intense as we should have been away from the puck. That’s what we wanted to work on in practice today.”

Budaj to Start
Peter Budaj will be back between the pipes on Saturday when the Avalanche hosts the Anaheim Ducks in a 1:00 p.m. tilt at Pepsi Center. Budaj has started 35 of Colorado’s 49 games this season.

The netminder holds a 4-1-3 career record against the Ducks, with his only blemish coming earlier this season in a 4-1 loss on Nov. 24 in Anaheim.

To jump back into the win column against Anaheim, the Avs need to get back to basics.

“We had a meeting this morning to talk about what went wrong last night. It was a disappointing loss, but we need to learn and move on,” said forward Marek Svatos. “Tomorrow we need to play simple and very smart in our zone. When we play simple defensively, our offense is much better too. Anaheim is a good team, so we have to be really careful and make sure we’re better in our own zone.”

January Coming to a Close
The Avs will wrap up the January portion of their schedule tomorrow afternoon against the Ducks.

Ryan Smyth has been Colorado’s leading point-getter thus far in the first month of 2009, producing 12 points (4g/8a) in 12 contests. He’s followed closely by Wojtek Wolski (4g/6a) and Milan Hejduk (4g/5a) in the points department. Those three players are tied with Chris Stewart and Cody McLeod for the team lead in goals scored during January.

Stewart, a rookie with a total of 24 NHL games under his belt, has totaled seven points (4g/3a) in 12 January games and leads the team with 24 penalty minutes this month. McLeod has added two helpers to go along with his four goals, giving the Binscarth, Manitoba native 13 points (11g/2a) in 49 games overall this season. During his rookie campaign of 2007-08, McLeod totaled nine points (4g/5a) in 49 contests.
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