With Landeskog out 4-6 weeks, Avs’ playoff hopes look bleak

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The odds were already against the Colorado Avalanche in their push to make the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now they’re going to need to try to make up ground without their captain.

The Avs announced that Gabriel Landeskog is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury.

Colorado’s final game of the 2018-19 season takes place on April 6, so Landeskog would need to recover faster than the lower end of that injury window to play again during the regular season. As you can see from The Push for the Playoffs, the Avalanche are currently ranked 10th in the West with 70 points, leaving them four behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild-card spot.

Landeskog isn’t on the same level as the Avalanche’s dynamic duo of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, but the sturdy Swede nonetheless brings a useful mix of skill and physicality to the table. Landeskog already collected a career-high of 69 points in 68 games this season, so this is a huge loss for the top-heavy Avalanche.

Rantanen saw Landeskog get injured in a collision with Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop.

“I was right behind him when it happened,” Rantanen said, via NHL.com. “I think Bishop kind of tackled him behind the net, and that’s where he got hurt. I hope it’s nothing serious and we get our captain back in the lineup.”

It didn’t look like an enormous bump, but sometimes innocuous-looking hits can cause injuries, or aggravate previous ones. No doubt, this really hurts the Avalanche.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.