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Avs Practice Notebook: Thoughts on clinching, Martin Kaut and Cup team comparisons

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Avs coach Jared Bednar post-practice 4/23/21

It was a very brief post-practice media availability for coach Jared Bednar and co. this afternoon, after the Avs held a quick practice at Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

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  • The point was brought up that the Avs fourth line minutes varied quite a bit in Thursday. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare played 14:14, Martin Kaut was on for nearly eight minutes and Liam O’Brien turned in just 5:33 of ice time. The reason for this minutes-spread is simple, says Bednar: Special teams.
    • “Half the game was played in special teams. O’Brien doesn’t kill for us, Kauter hasn’t killed for us. Neither one of those guys are playing power play or penalty kill, so Bellemare picks up all those minutes from the penalty kills we had.”
  • Speaking of Kaut, Bednar said he thought “he was good…really good, actually.” He says he was hard on pucks, won all of his wall battles in the D-zone; he was responsible, good through the neutral zone and skated pretty well.
  • He said he planned on giving Kaut more minutes, and his lack of them wasn’t “an indictment against Kauter.” That’s just the way it goes sometimes (see first bullet point re: special teams)
  • Bednar says the goals have changed over the years, when asked about making the playoffs and if the team had a talk about clinching last night.
    • “Our guys have known for a little while that if we keep playing the way we’ve been playing that we’ll be able to get in.”
    • We have more of a long-term goal now,” he added.
  • Devan Dubnyk said the team had a little talk about it before the game last night and even a little bit before heading into the third period.
  • During his availability this afternoon, he joked that it was the “easiest playoff clinch I’ve ever had” after coming in and winning two games. “I don’t think I’ll have that ever again.”
  • Based on the quote tweets and comments, I think Avs fans are really coming around to their new goalie
  • Knew you would
  • Fun Fact: Tyson Jost used to shoot pucks on Devan Dubnyk when he was 13 while in Kelowna. The coach needed shooters and brought him out.
    • Dubnyk shared an anecdote about how Tyson Jost roofed a backhand goal on a breakaway against him in Minnesota and Jost joked with him after about how he used to do that all the time during those practices as a teenager.
    • “He was always a good young player to have out there and it’s fun to be playing with him now.”
  • Brandon Saad has been moved to the third line recently and is “having fun” playing there, adding that “Josty is doing a great job of playing with confidence and holding on to pucks and making plays out there.”
  • I asked Brandon Saad the same question I asked him before the season started and after training camp. That is: Having been on some good Chicago Blackhawks teams, does he think this Avs team has some of the same championship make-up?
    • He says the depth of this Avs team is very similar to the Chicago Cup teams. “Any given night a different line can strike and have success.”
    • He says the mentality has changed over the season, too. They’re playing a better “team game”; they’re better able to play in tight games and close them off, and they’ve grown as a group, which has a “good blend” of veteran players and young guys stepping in.
    • “Everyone’s excited here to get to playoff time and get to the real fun,” he finished.
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A graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, Scott has so far spent the early parts of his young career covering Colorado hockey — from the Avalanche to the Colorado Eagles to the DU Pioneers. His work can be found across sites such as NHL.com, TheAHL.com and SB Nation, among others. Scott currently resides in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, where he works as a Marketing Executive when he's not writing.

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Jared Moss

Dubnyk has always been a rival, and usually not a liked one, but I feel like hes gonna be the acquisition that no one thought of.. but will be the difference going forward, great character guy and has the emotion we need!! Go Avs go!

Matt Briggle

I had the same thoughts about Kaut watching that game. I thought he was in good position, won his puck battles, and kept the puck moving in the right direction when he got it. He had one play in the second that made me laugh. During a line change he had the puck in the Blues zone about top of the circle when he saw MacK charging towards him off the bench. I could see the little thought bubble appear over his head at that moment, “well, this is an easy decision. I give it to him and get my… Read more »

radiorethink

Fun fact: Avs are 23-4-3 in their last 30 games. It’s remarkable how consistent they’ve been. And as the quote from Saad points out, the scoring can come from anywhere. Such a good time for Avs fans. They can make it a 24-3-3 stretch with a W tomorrow afternoon.

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