It seems only fair to show you this before you’ve had breakfast. So: wanna see something gross?
The Colorado Avalanche were my preseason pick to win the Stanley Cup, and it would be cowardly to change that now. But also no one reads our hockey blogs so I can just switch my pick later if things go south and no one would be the wiser. What were we talking about? Oh, yes, Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen fucked up his leg last night, and while there was no immediate update from the team, it looked really awful and it’s probable the Avs are going to be without one of their top weapons for a long while.
Non-contact injuries tend to be the worst, and in his first shift of the second period, Rantanen’s leg suddenly turned, as if a rubber band inside snapped. There are no rubber bands in human legs, but there are other soft, stretchy things, so ugh.
Rantanen immediately went down, though he was able to hobble to the dressing room. He was quickly declared out for the game with, in hockey parlance, a lower-body injury, and the Avs went on to lose to the Blues 3-1, their first regulation loss of the season.
Rantanen is scheduled to get an MRI today, but for however long he’s out, he’ll be sorely missed. The all-star right wing has tallied five goals and seven assists in nine games, as the Avs have surged to a 7-1-1 start. That said, there aren’t very many other teams so well-equipped to lose a player of Rantanen’s caliber: a top line featuring Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and me would still be pretty fearsome.
The Avalanche are the clear class of the Central, but it’s early, and if Rantanen is out for an extended period (to emphasize: there’s no prognosis yet, but also to emphasize: his leg turned around) that could bring them back to the pack, which features the defending champion Blues, the underachieving-so-far Stars, the still-dangerous Predators, and the who-the-hell-knows Jets. Colorado and I both hope we see Rantanen back soon, and that his foot is facing the right way.