Points have not come easy with the Colorado Avalanche for Ben Meyers. In 34 games this year, he has just one goal, and even that bounced off a shoulder and in.
That doesn’t mean he hasn’t had chances. Just last night against the Wild, he had two glorious looks in the first period. As has been the story all year, he wasn’t able to beat the goaltender.
It can be easy for fans to look at the numbers. The coaching staff, however, is less concerned about that when it comes to a young player trying to develop.
“They just tell me to keep working on my game,” Meyers said of the coaches. “When things come up, they tell me specifically what to work on, and I just do it. It’s not so final (with) the results. It’s just keep focusing on these things and keep getting better.”
That lack of production, combined with limited playing time available on the Avalanche, has led to Meyers spending a lot of time with the Colorado Eagles. Even down there, the offense didn’t come right away. In his first 17 games with the Eagles this season, he only picked up nine points.
But in the last month, something has clicked. After being sent down following a short stint with the big club in early March, he’s been on a roll. In his last 13 games, he’s got 15 points, including a nice game-tying goal the other night. That improved play has helped him earn his most recent call-up, although he’s pretty modest when you ask him what’s been working for him.
Ben Meyers had a crazy 30 hours on Friday and Saturday.
Left California at 4:30 PM Friday
Took morning skate with Avs Saturday morning, was reassigned
Landed in California two hours before Eagles game
Scored game tying goal with 12 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/7XCjnPAVQK
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) April 5, 2023
“I don’t know,” Meyers said. “Just using my speed, and, I don’t know, just playing hard, I guess.”
Just like anyone in any profession, it feels good to be rewarded for some success.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s really nice,” Meyers said. “I guess it’s just part of the job. I’m more focused on myself and trying to build my game, and to help whatever team I play for win. That’s really all I’m focused on.”
In watching some of the recent Eagles games, he looks more confident with the puck. He’s willing to skate it up the ice, and hold onto it a little longer than he might in the NHL. That’s been the whole goal of sending him to the Eagles, to get him puck-touches that he might not get with the Avalanche.
Like other call-ups before him, he’s quick to give credit to Greg Cronin.
“Awesome,” Meyers said of working with the veteran coach. “It’s a great atmosphere down there, a great locker room. They push us really hard down there. It’s a good environment to definitely work on your game in.”
One thing Meyers has had to adjust to his year is the schedule of a professional hockey player. He’s already played 64 games this season. The typical NCAA schedule sees you play between 30-40 games, so he had to make some changes to his routine.
“I’ve done a lot of weight training in the past,” Meyers said. “This year, I came in, and I really need to focus on mobility, because I was having nagging things come up, and dealing with that. Just getting used to skating every day and playing every other day is a lot different than having a whole week off to prepare for games when you’re at lower levels.”
That season isn’t quite over yet, either. Whether he spends time with the Avalanche for the NHL playoffs, or playing a key role with the Eagles in the AHL playoffs, there’s more room for him to grow. And at just 24, his story isn’t done being written just yet.