Through all of the Avalanche injury mess this season, the one constant had been John-Michael Liles.
The Michigan State product played all 65 of Colorado's games heading into Tuesday, and produced 42 points — including a career-best 36 assists — from his spot on the blue line, while teammate after teammate had fallen to various ailments all around him.
Then, after a hard hit from Minnesota's Brad Staubitz along the end boards in the first period Tuesday, Liles was gone too. The team announced in the second period that he had suffered a leg injury and would not return, after playing just a little more than two minutes in the game.
"I think it was a quad injury, a leg injury. We'll know more in the morning. He wasn't able to return," said Avalanche coach Joe Sacco, who also said his team did not miss a beat on defense despite the loss. "I thought we played very well. The guys picked up the slack and it was a pretty solid game for us."