Avalanche

Sucking food from straw days are over for Anton Lindholm

Greetings from the media room of the Pepsi Center, where the Avalanche just finished up their morning skate in preparation for tonight's Central Division matchup against the hot Winnipeg Jets.

Anton Lindholm will play his first game since taking a puck to the jaw in a game at Philadelphia earlier this month. For the first two weeks, Lindholm had to have rubber bands close his jaw shut and could only eat food through a straw.

"It's hard to keep up, calorie-wise," Lindholm said. "I had some shakes that contain, like, 1,500 calories, but they're not very good."

When Lindholm could finally eat regular food, after the rubber bands were taken out, he opted for a personal favorite: Chicken and mashed potatoes. Being of Scandinavian descent, salmon also was high on Lindholm's personal menu.

Lindholm will be paired with Tyson Barrie against the Jets, while Duncan Siemens, newly recalled from San Antonio, will be the healthy scratch. Lindholm will wear a facial shield, similar to an NFL quarterback's mask, but doesn't believe he'll face any "limitations" because of it.

"I feel like I'm in good shape. I had a few weeks to work out hard, on and off the ice. My kind of game is blocking -shots, on PK and 5-on-5, so getting that first block out of the way and just keeping in mind that I blocked a couple hundred pucks before that, is key," he said.

To make room for Lindholm, the Avs sent down Chris Bigras and Andrei Mironov. Jared Bednar said that, while Bigras started the season well, skating with the puck effectively and being mobile, things had "slipped" a bit recently. He wants Bigras to go back down to San Antonio, play a lot of minutes, and get some of that confidence back that he seemed to have at the start of the year. Same for Mironov, though his situation is a little different. He was not expected to be a top-6 player all season. Bednar said Mironov has "done a good job" this season, but needs more ice time, the kind he can't afford to give at this level just yet.

These should be the lines and D pairings of the Avs. Remember, Semyon Varlamov makes his return in goal. Colin Wilson, by the way, remains out with a lower-body injury, believed to be a hip issue.

Andrighetto-MacKinnon-Rantanen

Jost-Kerfoot-Compher

Nieto-Soderberg-Comeau

Bourque-Toninato-Yakupov

DEFENSE

Girard-Johnson

Zadorov-Barberio

Lindholm-Barrie

GOALIE

Varlamov

Bernier



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