How the Colorado Avalanche Became the Worst Team in Hockey in 2019

By Nick FaraonePublished Mar 05, 2020 12:17:08Colorado Avalanche goalie Mikael Granlund was one of the NHL’s most exciting players when he returned from an ACL tear that nearly derailed his season.

He won a Stanley Cup in his rookie year, led the league in goals and finished second in assists.

But then came the ACL injury.

The first-round pick in 2019 and a three-time All-Star in his first two seasons, Granlund tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of his left knee during the Avalanche’s season opener against the Nashville Predators on Oct. 18, 2019.

He was removed from the game the next night and underwent surgery.

His recovery is still a work in progress.

But he has been able to play again this year, and has started to improve as a playmaker and leader on the ice.

He’s been a dominant player in his 10-year career, leading the Avalanche to the playoffs five times, the Calder Cup in 2017, the Stanley Cup the past two seasons and the Vezina Trophy in 2018.

Granlund is one of only four goalies in NHL history to score 50 goals and 100 assists in their first 10 seasons of professional hockey, according to NHL.com.

He also has a .917 save percentage and a 3.23 goals-against average.

Gronlund will return to the Avalanche for their opening-round series against the New York Islanders at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday (7 p.m.

ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

He will be replaced by Alex Stalock, who will be recalled from the Colorado penalty kill, the team announced Monday.

The Avalanche have lost six of their past nine games.

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