Just as the big guns are returning to the line-up, a stalwart defenseman will exit the line-up. The Avalanche are expecting to see Paul Statsny (Wes), Ryan Smyth (Dennis) and Joe Sakic (Dennis) in the line-up before the week is out, but now they will be without defenseman Brett Clark (Don) indefinitely.
Clark suffered a separated shoulder on Tuesday night against Anaheim and a report that the Sherpa had read indicated that he could be out of the line-up for the rest of the season. A huge blow to the Avalanche and a pretty substantial blow to the blueline players on Don's pool team.
Clark has 21 points (5G, 16A) in 57 games for the Avalanche, which ranks him 43rd amongst defensemen. Where Clark will be missed the most will be in the Avs line-up, because he ranks 2nd in the NHL in blocked shots and leads the team in ice-time.