It was a very optional practice for the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday afternoon after a big win Monday.
Before hitting the road for three games, eight skaters took to the ice to work on various things to keep themselves ready.
The big news was Josh Manson graduating from working separately on his own to joining the team for the practice. A first step for him to get back into the lineup.
Josh Manson has moved over to the optional practice while Byram is sticking with Shawn Allard on their own sheet.
Byram yelled out “He graduated!” and banged on the boards to celebrate.
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) January 17, 2023
Jared Bednar did not speak to the media after practice. However, on Altitude Sports Radio earlier today, he said Manson will likely go on the road with the team. He’s not expected to play until after the All-Star break, but a good sign moving forward.
Bowen Byram skated again with skills coach Shawn Allard, but is not expected to go on the road trip.
Ben Meyers Staying Confident
It’s been a tough go for Ben Meyers offensively, but the young forward is staying confident because he’s getting good looks at the net.
“That’s just a key for anybody is to generate chances,” Meyers said. “Sometimes you’re going to go through stretches where you’re not going to score, but definitely getting chances, it puts the other team under pressure.”
Signed as a free agent out of the University of Minnesota, he’s pretty happy with his rookie year and his growth.
“I feel like I’ve just kept getting better,” he said. “Obviously I still think there’s so much more to my game that I can add and help this team win. I just haven’t produced offensively, but like I said, there’s so much more for me that I can give to this team, and I’m working every day to do that.”
The one area that Meyers has excelled at is in the face-off circle. The Avalanche have struggled at face-offs for years, but the 24 year old has stepped in as a rookie and done well.
That’s not always easy to do for younger players.
“I try to take pride in it. I don’t know if there’s a certain key, to be honest,” Meyers said. “I watch tape before every game on the other team.”
Some of the best face-off guys in the league have figured out how to cheat to their advantage. Meyers hasn’t had to…yet.
“Usually not, no,” he said when asked about it. “Sometimes you’ll get a little hint of certain tendencies from a guy that you might be able to expose.”
Meyers and the Avalanche now head to Calgary for a big matchup against the Flames, one of the team they’re chasing. That game starts Wednesday night at 7:30 PM MST.