It's looking more and more as though the Colorado Avalanche will rely on organizational depth heading into the postseason.
Brandon Saad could be out another three weeks. On the fourth line, Matt Calvert and Logan O’Connor have missed significant time. There’s no public timetable for the return of defensemen Bowen Byram and Ryan Graves.
Blue liner Samuel Girard will miss two weeks with a lower body injury, “give or take,” according to coach Jared Bednar. The regular season ends May 13.
Kyle Burroughs and Dan Renouf filled in on defense Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. What Conor Timmins did didn’t qualify as filling in.
The 22-year-old, 2017 second-round Colorado draft pick has spent 24 games with the Avalanche this season. The current stretch of seven has been his best.
“He has that type of ability,” Bednar said. “We haven’t seen a lot of flashes of it through his first few (call-ups), but I think right now he just looks like a more confident player.
“He’s been around us enough. He knows we need him to play well with these guys that we have out injured, and he’s hungry to do that. So good for him for making the most of the opportunity.”
Timmins put a hard, clean pass in front of Nathan MacKinnon during a second-period 4-on-4 Saturday. MacKinnon redirected it in to tie the game at 1.
In the third period Timmins played catch with Devon Toews, who took a shot that was tipped by Mikko Rantanen for the eventual game-winner. That netted Timmins another assist and his first career multipoint game.
“He’s been playing well,” defenseman Patrik Nemeth said. “It’s good for us, we need him out there.”
Timmins’ career took a nightmarish turn when a concussion wiped out his 2018-19 season.
“I missed the game a lot. So whenever I get into the rink, I try to enjoy myself first of all,” Timmins said April 27, before his call-up heated up.
“I think I still have a long ways to go in terms of my development and I’m excited about that. It’s definitely gratifying to see where I am now and my journey over the last three years.”
Bednar praised Timmins’ recent play with the Colorado Eagles (AHL), where he has a goal and three assists through six games. The coach noted Timmins’ puck movement in Denver had improved.
“I think I’ve just been more sure of myself on the ice,” Timmins said Saturday.
“I’ve been simplifying my game, trying to make clean exits and I think that’s led to my offense.”