The Colorado Avalanche have only lost two games so far in their run to the Stanley Cup Final, a feat made even more impressive by the storm of injuries the team has been forced to endure. Defenseman Samuel Girard was knocked out for the rest of the playoffs against St. Louis, and star center Nazem Kadri is not expected to return for the rest of the playoffs either as he recovers from surgery on his thumb. Now, you can add another name to that list. Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano is out “for now,” according to coach Jared Bednar. (as relayed by The Denver Gazette’s Vinny Benedetto) Bednar adds that Cogliano’s injury is a “similar situation” to Kadri’s.
Cogliano, 34, was traded to the Avalanche at the deadline from the San Jose Sharks and has played a valuable, albeit limited role for the Avalanche. Cogliano has been a bottom-sixer and penalty-killing specialist for the team, and while the Avalanche’s penalty kill hasn’t been great (75.7% through 14 playoff games) he has helped the team rank third in goals against per game in this postseason with 2.86, tied with the Carolina Hurricanes. Cogliano hasn’t produced a ton of offense, with only three points in these playoffs, but when he has produced it’s been at important moments, like when he registered the lone assist on J.T. Compher’s game-winning tally in Game Three against the Oilers.
While Bednar did not reveal the full extent of the injury beyond the comments we previously mentioned, The Athletic’s Eric Stephens did note that Cogliano looked as though he “couldn’t even move his hand” during the presentation of the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl. With Cogliano out, perhaps fellow mid-season trade acquisition Nico Sturm draws back into the lineup. Sturm has played in seven of the Avalanche’s playoff games so far and was a reliable defensive forward during his time with the Minnesota Wild. Overall, while this injury is an unfortunate one for both Cogliano and the Avalanche, it’s also an injury that the team should have the necessary depth to overcome.