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Avalanche Notebook: Mikko Rantanen, Burakovsky back at practice, Kaut hurt



Mikko Rantanen Avalanche center nhl

Mikko Rantanen was out there in a regular jersey today, at the Avalanche practice at Ball Arena. So, there’s some decent news on a day following an overtime home loss to Columbus, which we’ll discuss more in this post.

After practice, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar was optimistic about Rantanen, Devon Toews and Andre Burakovsky, who all practiced in regular colored-jerseys.

“Mikko, Burky, Toews all got through practice OK as of now,” Bednar said. “If they are good in the morning, they should be playing for us in Columbus.”

He added, though, that winger Martin Kaut would be out a while with an injury stemming from the loss to the Blue Jackets.

“‘Kauter’ is going to be out week to week,” Bednar said. “Hurt his shoulder going into the boards on that one play when he skated off in the D zone.”

Bednar, on what the return of Toews could do to his defensive lineup: “I think it just gets our D where we wanted it to be. Bo’s been great. Cale out, especially now to be able to add Toews in, then hopefully Cale can get back in the lineup soon, it kind of slots those top 4 guys where they can be. I like the pairings of EJ and Jack Johnson, or Murr back there to play a little bit more of a shutdown role. All 7,8 of our guys there will be able to move the puck, defend. I like the group back there. I think it’s the strength of our team when we get them all in. Hopefully, we can get them all in there soon and slot them and find some partners that are playing well together.”

So, about last night:

  • I didn’t like the way the team played, especially after taking a 2-0 lead. Yeah, getting a point, after being down 4-2 late, was a good thing – and the Avs have J.T. Compher and Bo Byram to thank for that. But I thought the Avs looked sloppy and sluggish after what I thought was a good start, and didn’t play well defensively too much of the night.
  • It was another disastrous overtime for this team. Columbus scores on its only shot, 1:12 into the OT. OTs just haven’t gone too well for this team in the Jared Bednar era.
  • Jonas Johansson made 32 saves, but let’s face it, he wasn’t very good last night either. The Boone Jenner goal that made it 4-2 in the third was a particularly bad goal for JJ to allow.
  • The Avs just can’t be blowing games in which they lead 2-0 with three minutes to go in the second period. They stopped skating after getting the lead, sat back and paid for it – again. Then, they turned it on again when desperate, but you can’t win playing like that. Has to be consistent effort/game plan throughout.
  • Gabe Landeskog: “I thought we were good for the first 37 minutes, we’re up 2-0 and have a power play that I thought we had some really good looks on, but we just couldn’t score. After that, they come back and [have] a little bit of O-zone time in our zone and they score to make it a one-goal game. Still felt fine going into the third. I mean those are close games, we’re used to playing those and comfortable playing in those, but they just came out harder than we did in the third. Obviously, they get some bounces, we make some mistakes and combined that’s not a good combination. We find a way to tie it up and bring it into OT, but not enough.”
  • Bo Byram: “I think everyone can agree it’s great to score goals but at the end of the day you want to win hockey games. I thought we were lucky to get a point out of that one tonight. Kind of just echo what Gabe said, I think we we’re kind of in the driver’s seat there and then we just came out in the third and like he said, bounces, turnovers, everything combined we end up in a hole. You never want to be in that position late in the third period. You’re not going to score two goals with two minutes left every game.”
    On Avs’ Defense In The Third Period: “Bounces, getting beat, turnovers. Like we said it just kind of all piles on each other. I think when you’re playing at your best you can have a bounce or two go against you, but you can recover from it or whatever it might be, so I think it’s something that we will definitely look at and watch obviously and get ready to play these guys again in a couple days.”
  • Byram recorded his first career multi-goal game (2g/1a) and now has eight points (3g/5a) in 2021-22, tied for second among all rookies and tied for second among first-year defensemen. He is the fourth rookie to register 3+ points in a game this season.

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