Nathan MacKinnon and Blake Comeau, two of the Avalanche’s top-six forwards who been shelved with injuries, participated in an optional practice Thursday with regular sweaters. Both appeared to be cleared to return to the lineup, but only Comeau will travel with the team to Winnipeg and play against the Jets on Friday. MacKinnon, the Hart Trophy candidate who will miss his eighth straight game with a shoulder injury Friday, is “questionable” to play Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers at the Pepsi Center, coach Jared Bednar said. “We’ll know more on Saturday but he’s not making the trip to Winnipeg,” Bednar said of MacKinnon. “Can’t wait to get him back. We need him. He’s getting close.” MacKinnon is tied with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for 11th in NHL scoring with 61 points. When MacKinnon was injured Jan. 30 at Vancouver, he was second in league scoring behind Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov. The Avs have gone 4-3 in MacKinnon’s absence but the team has struggled in reaching that mark.
Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon close to returning, but won’t play Friday at Winnipeg
Denver Post | Feb 15