Erik Johnson's knee injury a brutal blow to Avs' post-season hopes

The Avalanche got unfortunate news Monday when they confirmed key defenseman Erik Johnson could be sidelined anywhere between three weeks and two months after knee surgery.
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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, who was a late cut from the NHL All-Star Game due to injury, will miss the next three-to-eight weeks after having knee surgery, the team announced Monday.

Before being pulled from the all-star game in Columbus, the 26-year-old was enjoying a career year on offense, setting a personal best in goals (12) in just 47 games when his previous high was 10 goals in 79 games.

The seven-year veteran was leading all Avs players in average time on ice (24:25) and blocked shots (107), and his absence from an already-thin Colorado defense is a brutal blow to a team trying to claw back into the Western Conference playoff race.

That three-to-eight-week window for Johnson's return is somewhat wide, and with the trade market unlikely to bring the Avs any high-impact blueliner to replace what he brings, the speed (or lack thereof) with which he heals may dictate whether Colorado misses the post-season one year after posting the conference's second-best record.

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