Avalanche Locker Room: Eller Talks About Trade, Quick Turnaround
Acquired just earlier in the day by the Colorado Avalanche, Lars Eller was asked if he wanted to play later that evening for his new team.
The answer was yes.
The veteran center arrived just 15 minutes before warmups, and was given a crash course on systems by the Avalanche coaching staff. He didn’t have his best night, but promised to be better once he adjusts to everything.
At least he had an excuse for being a little sloppy. The rest of the team really didn’t. It was a rough night for the Avalanche, as they couldn’t get out of their own way in the defensive zone. Turnovers and poor checking led to pucks ending up in the back of their net. Justus Annunen didn’t have a good game, but he was hung out to dry by his teammates.
Check out the first interview with Eller in Colorado, and read what head coach Jared Bednar had to say after the game.
Jared Bednar on Lars Eller’s turnaround and what he told him before the game:
Just go through our systems real quick. Don’t think too much, go play, trust your instincts. There’s going to be some new stuff, for sure, but we’ll sit down Friday, give him some video and make sure he’s dialed in.
Jared Bednar on the teams comeback attempt:
New Jersey will make it real tough on you with their forwards and their skating ability. You can see that second period, when we broke them down, we had a bunch of real good looks. That was the frustrating part. We work all the way back and then we probably had five or six looks with our guys all alone, net front, D-2, F-3 in the slot, we had a bunch. We missed on all those opportunities at 5-4.
Bednar on the teams defensive issues:
The part early is we’re checking with our eyes. It’s contain, contain, we’re defending, we’re not checking. They found too much space, too easily. We go to play one on one in the corner, it’s counterflow, and then they start to skate and they had me to you distance away. It’s just too much time against that team. We have to be harder and heavier earlier on and more engaged to check the puck back earlier in the game.
Bednar on if he considered pulling Annunen:
Bednar on Annunen dealing with a tough game:
I think it’s important that you grind and continue to show up. We hung him out to dry. Way too many chances in the first period. There’s some saves that I would have liked to see him make, for sure, but he did make a handful of big saves when we were pushing in the second period. It’s a learning process for sure. I thought he played better in the second half of the game than the first, for sure.
Bednar on the decision to play Eller immediately:
He’s a good, veteran player. We need what he provides. It’s almost that simple. I asked him, hey listen, are you feeling good? Do you want to play? If not, it’s not going to effect my opinion of you, and he felt good and wanted to play. He got better as the game went on, for sure.
Bednar on switching lines up:
I don’t like everyone playing on their off-side. I really liked Newhook’s game recently, so if I’m going to elevate someone up into that spot with Compher and Rantanen, guys that have been playing real well and playing a little more, I wanted it to be Newy.