The Colorado Avalanche hit the ice at Ball Arena on Monday afternoon for practice, and Cale Makar was a full participant.
He did not, however, declare himself ready to play. Yet.
Head coach Jared Bednar did not either, just saying he’ll take part in morning skate and see how it goes.
Makar did speak to the media, however. That’s usually a sign a player is *very* close to returning.
“Just trying to progress,” Makar said after practice. “It sucks being out of the lineup. I don’t like watching games very much. Unfortunately, you just have to take the right precautions at this time of the season to make sure these issues don’t come back lingering. Sometimes these things take a little bit of time.”
The 24 year old was impressed with what he saw out of his team on the road trip.
“Honestly, we executed very surgically, almost,” he said. “It was pretty cool to watch from up above. You get that different perspective, for sure.”
The reigning Norris winner must be real close to returning, because he still has plans to go to the All-Star game next week, for now.
“Yeah as of right now, I don’t have any thoughts about not (participating).”
Bednar on His Goalies
The Avalanche might not have any bigger fan than Darryl Sutter at the moment.
Before their game against the Avalanche on Wednesday, Sutter proclaimed the Avalanche might have the best 1-2 goaltending punch in the league.
I asked Bednar his thoughts on that.
“We’re pretty happy with our goaltending,” he declared. “I like our one-two punch. Hopefully they can stay healthy and continue to do what they’ve done for us up to this point in the season.”
Alexandar Georgiev got a few games off to mentally reset after starting 12 straight games when Pavel Francouz was injured.
That mental reset has been good for him.
“I think we’ve seen, as soon as we give him a mental break, few days off, some rest, all of the sudden he comes back in the net and he’s been fantastic.”
Both goaltenders currently sit with a .934 save percentage at five on five, tied for fifth best in the NHL among goalies with 400 minutes played.
Other Practice Updates:
- Josh Manson is “probably not” an option to play before the All-Star break. “I think the extra time will do them good,” Bednar said about some of the injured guys getting that break to recover.
- Denis Malgin joined practice for 30 minutes in a non-contact jersey. Bowen Byram skated before practice, warming up the goalies, and looked more comfortable, but didn’t take part in the team practice.
- Erik Johnson did not practice after getting beat up against Seattle. Bednar said “hopefully” he’s good to play tomorrow.
- Anton Blidh passed through waivers, but don’t expect him to go down to the Eagles. The move was just to create roster flexibility.