The Colorado Avalanche are back in action after a two-day break. They’ll look to take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Ball Arena tonight. After a thrilling overtime winner in Game 1, tonight should be just as entertaining.
Andrew Cogliano was skating with the team today as a full participant. He was skating, shooting and playing on the penalty kill. Captain Gabe Landeskog and Andre Burakovsky took maintenance days.
“He’s possibly an option for us,” said coach Jared Bednar of Cogliano.
Game 1 saw Valeri Nichushkin, Gabe Landeskog, Artturi Lehkonen and Andre Burakovksy score goals. Eight players had points in Game 1, while Nichushikin, Rantanen and Landeskog had multiple points. Both teams will be making adjustments ahead of the game.
“Obviously you can make a few adjustments here and there,” said Bednar, ” I look at you know, our defending and there’s certainly room for a lot of improvement.”
The Avalanche dominated in shots on goal, peppering Andrei Vasilevskiy with 38 shots. All three regulation goals came in the first period as he seemed to settle in from there till the Avalanche scored in overtime. In comparison, Darcy Kuemper saw 23 shots and struggled during the second period as the Lightning scored two goals in 48 seconds to tie the game up. The Avalanche will look to keep entering the zone at ease and keeping traffic in front of Vasilevskiy.
“I think a big thing with anyone with a goalie like that, is getting in front of them, making it hard for him to see the puck, “said Alex Newhook. “It’s hard for any goalie when they can’t see it.”
Special teams were a factor for the Avalanche as they went 1 for 3 on the power play and 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. The Avalanche gained control of the puck confidently in Game 1, clearing it almost effortlessly. They played hard in the corners, oftentimes coming up with the puck and dumping it down to the other end. The Avalanche capitalized on the opportunities they were handed such as 5-on-3 power play.
“Well, highly committed team on the PK side of it, they’re doing a lot of homework and getting dialed in on what they want to do from a structural standpoint,” said Bednar, “A lot of homework on their opposition and trying to learn their tendencies.”
The fun continues tonight at Ball Arena. If you can’t make it to the arena, there are plenty of watch parties around. Including the Tivoli, who will have DJ/Producer, GRiZ performing before puck drop. Get there early to find a seat.
Notes from practice
- Nazem Kadri was skating before practice with a stick. But he’s out for tonight.
- Jack Johnson graduated with a General Studies degree this spring from the University of Michigan. The hardest class he took was statistics.
- Last game we saw Burakovsky on the second line and Artturi Lehkonen on the third. Check out my recent column on the team culture. This is a great example of putting the team before the individual person.
- I expect the goalies to be sharper for tonight’s game. Hard to imagine Andrei Vasilevskiy giving up three in the first period.
- Pom-Poms? Check. Light wristbands? Check. Fans? Coming soon.