ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Avs have done it all season and will now have to do it again.
Every time a player went down with an injury, their teammates stepped up their games to help the Avalanche continue to find ways to win.
Colorado will have to do it in the postseason this time after defenseman Tyson Barrie hurt his knee Monday night and might miss the remainder of the playoffs. Barrie led all Avs defensemen in goals during the season with 13 and was second in scoring with 38 points.
"This is what we have been doing all year, finding ways to win when we lose important players," Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said. "When we lost Matt Duchene, everybody thought we would struggle, but our guys picked it up and found a way to win. Expect to do the same this time. It's not the time of year where you feel sorry for yourself."
Roy said after Colorado's loss in Game 3 to the Wild that Barrie is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, and he revealed Tuesday that Ryan Wilson would replace him in the lineup for Thursday's Game 4.
Wilson only played 28 games this year after dealing with knee and back injuries early in the season. He has played in 227 career games and four playoff contests during the 2009-10 campaign.
Roy said he doesn't expect Wilson to replace Barrie's offensive abilities, and he just wants him to play his type of game.
"We just want Willy to be Willy," Roy said. "He's capable of being physical, finishing his checks, strong in front of the net, competing to protect the front of the net. Just play his game. Obviously, it's not the year that he wanted to have, start with an injury, but it’s a good opportunity for him now and to take advantage of it."
Wilson played in the Avs' final six games of the season but mostly as a forward to help the team cope with the losses of Cody McLeod and Duchene to injuries. He had been a healthy scratch in the 17 games previously.
Barrie was hurt early in the second period of Game 3 when he collided with Minnesota's Matt Cooke near the Wild's bench. Barrie remained on the ice for several moments, but he was eventually able to make it to the Colorado bench on his own power. Cooke was given a two-minute penalty for kneeing on the play and is scheduled to have an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.
HISHON CALLED UP
Colorado recalled Joey Hishon from the Lake Erie Monsters Tuesday, and the forward is expected to be with team for practice on Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center. This is Hishon's first NHL call-up.
Roy said he hasn't seen Hishon play other than on video and will make a decision on if Hishon will suit up for Game 4 after practice. If he does dress for Thursday night he could see time on the power play to help replace the void left by Barrie, who helped quarterback a unit at the point for much of the season.
"I'm curious to see him tomorrow at practice, how he feels with the pace of our practice, and see if I feel if he is capable of helping us," Roy said. "We'll see if under pressure on the power play if he can make a decision with the puck. If I feel that he's ready then we might give a shot at him, but if I don't feel then I won't play him."
Hishon was selected by the Avalanche in the first round of 2010 NHL Entry Draft but didn't play his first professional game until last season because of a head injury. He played 50 games this year with Lake Erie and tallied 24 points. Four of his 10 goals came on the power play.