Before the Colorado Avalanche took the ice for an optional skate on Sunday afternoon, general manager Chris MacFarland met with the media to discuss the season, as well as various other topics.
“Well, we hope that we’ll get Cale and Josh Manson back,” MacFarland said. “I think we believe Cogs and Malgin will also be ready to go, and Darren Helm continues to grind. So whether he’ll be ready for for Games 1 and 2 at home remains to be determined, but we’re hopeful that we’ll see him as well at some point. So overall, pretty good.”
At the optional practice, both Denis Malgin and Andrew Cogliano took the ice in regular jerseys, indicating they should be options on Tuesday. Cogliano spoke to the media after practice, so I’d say it’s a good bet he will play. From watching him, you could tell he was laboring on one side of his body, and isn’t likely 100%, but that’s probably the case for most players at this time of the year. Josh Manson also took part in the skate, and should be good to go on Tuesday.
Cale Makar did not take part in the optional skate.
As you would expect, MacFarland had to address the situation around the one player we know isn’t coming back: Gabriel Landeskog.. MacFarland reiterated Landeskog is the one who made the decision to shut things down, and said the injury situation didn’t change their trade deadline.
“His situation, we were obviously in the loop,” MacFarland said. “I think there was obviously an unknown component to what he’s dealing with, but there was certainly hope as we were moving into the fall and late winter. It just became obvious that, at a certain point, it just wasn’t going to make sense for his health and for us as well.”
This year, the Avalanche aren’t nearly as dominant as they were in the regular season the prior year, but the team had to adjust to losing some players in the summer, on top of the injuries they dealt with all season.
“Our second half was really strong,” MacFarland said. “But it was more of a workmanlike approach. Consistency in the second half. Grinding. Finding different ways to win. Very proud of them, and obviously the fun season begins.”
The GM was quick to give credit to the players, but also acknowledged how good of a job the coaching staff has done. That starts with the lead man behind the bench, who got an extension just a month ago from MacFarland.
“Jared has a great way about him,” MacFarland said. “He’s a commanding presence but I think he has the full respect of our guys.”
Bednar did not speak to the media on Sunday, but will do so on Monday after the team has a full practice at Ball Arena. It was a limited practice, with only 13 players skating. Stay tuned to CHN for more updates as the week goes on, including coverage from Seattle.