News coming out of the Family Sports Center in Centennial, Colorado where the Colorado Avalanche hold their practices is that Alex Tanguay will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing hip surgery tomorrow.
Tanguay, 34, had suited up for the Avalanche in only 16 games this season after suffering the initial injury on November 2nd in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Tanguay was listed as having a knee injury, but his hip was also an issue, apparently, and he was out for 36 consecutive games before returning to the Avs lineup against the Florida Panthers on January 24th.
In the first 13 games of the season leading up to the initial injury, the Avalanche had a record of 12-1, with the sole loss coming to the Detroit Red Wings. Tanguay played well in those games and was normally on the wing of a line that also featured Paul Stastny and captain Gabe Landeskog.
In his 16 games this season, Tanguay was able to produce 11 points (4G, 7A). Tanguay was especially useful on the power play for
the Avs. Tanguay played at one of the point positions for the Avs when they had the extra attacker, and brought great vision to the power play unit that started out on fire to start the season.
Tanguay is a great player. He has some of the best hands in the league and has amazing vision. However, the Avs have already shown that they can continue to produce on the ice without him. He had only played in 16 games to this point in the season. The Avs have, therefore, played 42 games without him in the lineup. In games where Tanguay was in the lineup this season, the Avs have a record of 15-1.
If you take away those games, they still boast a record of 22-15-5. That’s not nearly as outstanding as their record looks overall now, but it’s better than they were last year. The Avs have the talent up front to replace Tanguay and continue to score.
The problem with losing Tanguay now is that he is one of the key veterans that this team has. Tanguay was one of only three Avs forwards on the current roster over the age of 30, with the others being Max Talbot and PA Parenteau. In order to keep up their success, the Avs will have to rely on their youth that has brought them to this place.
Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene, and Gabe Landeskog are going to have to be the anchors of this team. These four players, all 23-years-old and younger, will now be the ones that will be counted on to carry the bulk of the offense for this team.
Something to keep in mind is that the NHL trade deadline is quickly approaching. March 5th is coming closer and closer, and now the Avs may be in the market for a veteran forward to step into the role that Tanguay had been filling for this young Avs squad. Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy now have some turbulence, in their first season at the helm of the franchise, to deal with.
How they handle it may determine if the Avs dream season runs deep into the playoffs, or if they are one-and-done in the first round like they were in 2010, the last time the franchise was in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.