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.

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.

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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.