The Avalanche are 4-0 on their season-opening road trip. Though they were outskated for a good part of their last contest against the Montreal Canadiens, Colorado found a way to win and came away with a 6-5 shootout victory. The bit of news that puts a damper on the team's early success is that top forward Peter Mueller has not played in two games.
Mueller missed all of last season after suffering ongoing concussion-related symptoms and the fear is that this current time off is somehow related. The Avs have been very vague about the reason for Mueller's absence, which is typical of the team.
A bit of worrying news was disclosed by The Denver Post's Adrian Dater yesterday, who noted that the Avalanche have recently had conversations with Boston-based doctor Robert Cantu. Cantu is a concussion specialist who helped to treat Mueller while he was out last season.
But with the bad, there is also some good news. Mueller is still on the road trip with the team and has been skating, so the cause of his absence isn't severe enough to keep him off the ice altogether. He is currently listed as day-to-day on the injury report.
Joakim Lindstrom, who was signed by the Avs in the offseason after he led the Swedish Elite League in scoring last season, has two goals in two games in relief of Mueller and has played very well.
The Avalanche are notoriously silent when it comes to disclosing injures, so Mueller really could be out for any number of reasons which may or may not be concussion related. However, if he were to be out long term, it would be a blow to Colorado and very disheartening for a player who hasn't been able to play a regular season game in more than a year.
Mueller was drafted eighth overall in 2006 by the Phoenix Coyotes, and has scored 48 goals and 127 points through 225 NHL games played. He impressed Avalanche fans by scoring 20 points in 15 games after coming over from Phoenix via a trade in 2010.