By Lars Mahrendorf, Special to Colorado Hockey Now
TAMPERE, Finland – On Friday morning, the Colorado Avalanche had a short practice session. They did mostly power play vs. penalty kill exercises, so the line combinations for today are not set yet. Valeri Nichuskin didn’t skate and Jared Bednar said that he’s a “game-time decision”. Alexandar Georgiev will be the starting goalie on Friday.
When asked about the play so far this season, Bednar called the performances “sporadic with work ethic and compete level”.
“Something different ailing us every night,” the coach analyzed. “One day it’s the penalty kill, one day it’s our offense. We are not competing very hard one night and not getting pucks on the net on offense, but we’re defending really well. The next night we’re doing a lot of good things offensively, and then we’re not defending very well. It’s like you fix one thing, and something else is popping up.”
He named the solutions for the issues. “That’s consistency. It’s focus. It’s preparation.”
Defenseman Devon Toews was asked about how ready the team is for tonight. “There’s four points on the line, and we’re trying to get back to our game,” Toews said. “Work some things out in our structure in our game. Tonight is two big points for us!”
Josh Manson liked the open practice session the Colorado Avalanche had on Thursday.
“It’s exiting. It lifts the atmosphere and the sprit a little bit. For Mikko and Lehki and those Finnish guys, those kids are idolizing them and screaming at them. Those are the guys from the home town that have made it,” Manson said.
Both defenders liked the trip and the chance to bond with teammates so far, and Toews laughed. “The big joke in the room right now is, that we don’t need any team dinners for the rest of the year.”
Lars Mahrendorf is a freelance sports journalist based in Germany