Forward Jack Skille practiced with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday morning for the first time since he suffered a concussion in a game against the Dallas Stars on Feb. 4.
“I skated Thursday through Sunday last week,” said Skille after practice. “Saturday and Sunday were good, hard days for me—did a lot of drills to stay with it, stay sharp. Obviously, it was a day off for everybody yesterday, so it felt good to skate today.”
With the 6-foot-1 forward ready to return to game action, head coach Patrick Roy shuffled his lines ahead of Colorado’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
“[Skille] cleared yesterday, or this morning, and he will be on a line with [Alex] Tanguay and [Nathan] MacKinnon,” said Roy. “You never know how those things can go or turn, but it is nice to have him back, and hopefully he will pick it up where he was before he got hurt.
“Mack loves to play with Tanguay, and we are going to have the speed of Skille on that line. I am curious to see how things are going to go.”
On top of that adjustment, Roy said he’ll have Matt Duchene centering a new line with Mikhail Grigorenko on the right wing and Jarome Iginla on the left.
“I just thought that it was time for him to go back as a center and try something else,” Roy said about moving Duchene back to center. “Let him skate a little more. Having him and Mack and Carl [Soderberg] one-two-three gives us a pretty solid middle.”
After playing on the right side since November, Duchene said thinks the change back to center could provide a spark.
“I think we've been, as a team, stale offensively in the last probably 20 games,” he said after practice on Tuesday. “I think if you look at our goals per game, it’s not very good. We haven’t been scoring the same, and maybe mixing something up will help.”
Goaltender Reto Berra also returned to the practice ice on Tuesday, joining his teammates for the first since he suffered an ankle injury on Dec. 27.
“We won’t make any decisions until he is cleared to play first of all, and secondly ready to play,” Roy said of making any roster changes with his netminders.
Roy also noted that Colorado’s plan is to scratch forward Chris Wagner as well as defensemen Nate Guenin and Zach Redmond for Wednesday’s match up against the Canadiens.