Projecting The Colorado Avalanche Playoff Starting Lineup

The Colorado Avalanche have been rolling into the playoffs and still look to lock up the top spot in their division. As they have two games left and about a week for some of their players to heal up, their lineup is going to look a bit different than it does right now. Some of their injured players are expected to be ready by the time playoffs start, while others aren't.

Cale Makar will be good to go for the start of playoffs, while Josh Manson, Gabriel Landeskog, Artturi Lehkonen have all been skating and traveling with the team. Unfortunately, Manson appears to be the furthest of them away from the returning as he was still wearing a red non-contact jersey.

Lehkonen is the most likely to return from his finger injury, but there's a good shot Landeskog plays, even if it's not at 100%. I'm going to leave Manson off the starting lineup, but expect him to slot into the second pair once he's back and Jack Johnson to come out. Darren Helm will also be held off as there's still no timetable for his return after only playing 11 games this season. Here's the projected lines:

Valeri Nichushkin - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Gabriel Landeskog - J.T. Compher - Artturi Lehkonen
Alex Newhook - Evan Rodrigues - Logan O'Connor
Andrew Cogliano - Lars Eller - Matt Nieto

Devon Toews - Cale Makar
Sam Girard - Bowen Byram
Jack Johnson - Erik Johnson

Alexandar Georgiev
Pavel Fancouz

Photo credit: © Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports