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Avalanche Locker Room: Wood, Kiviranta Earn Praise From Coach



Avalanche Miles Wood

The Colorado Avalanche may have lost, but Miles Wood was in a pretty good mood after the game.

That might be because he played pretty well, better than probably anyone on the team, but it’s also because he was just excited to get that first game with a new team under his belt. And also, the game doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Watch what Miles Wood had to say after the 4-3 loss to the Wild, and read head coach Jared Bednar’s thoughts after the preseason opener for the Avalanche.

Bednar on Miles Wood:

I liked the intensity that he played with right out of the gate. I like the speed he played with. I mean, he’s a good forechecker. In all areas of the ice he can on top of you quickly, create some turnovers, he took pucks to the net hard. He was playing to his identity, which is exactly what we need him to do.

Bednar on the new look third line:

I thought they were good. I liked all three of those guys. Again, there’s some physicality to their game, they were able to produce scoring chances. Same thing with the Olofsson line. Tufte, Kiviranta, I thought those guys had a really good night as well. You can tell they’re just a little bit more seasoned than some of the other guys, but they play with a physical edge to their game, they’re competitive on pucks. They were a pretty connected group, both lines, as forwards, and both got rewarded for it tonight.

Bednar on Kiviranta:

I like the quickness he had. Again, he’s another guy that skates real hard, he’s got good speed, he’s on top of you quickly. Really smart within the structure of the game. All three of those guys, again, connected group that were not able to just fill big roles on the penalty kill, but also helping you produce good o-zone time, good scoring chances at the other end of the rink.

Bednar on Avalanche goalie Justus Annunen’s evaluation through preseason:

Well, we got a schedule to get 2.5-3 games out of Justus and Georgiev, and then wanted to get another .5 game for somebody else (Holm). Tough to just jump in, three full days of practice and then play a full game, but I did like what I saw out of him. I thought he was great. There was lots of penalties in the game, so he got to sort of see all different situations, but I thought he had a good night.

Bednar on Riley Tufte and what they see from him at both center and wing:

That’s a necessity for me. Smart player, we really like the steps he took last year. He’s a guy knocking down the door. He’s a winger, but we’ve got a hole at center, right? So we’re going to try him there. We like him, we’re going to try to put him in there and see how he does. He’s a smart player, has all kind of tools, great size, and right now in the face-off circle, especially on his strong side, he’s snapping pucks back, so that part’s taken care of. I love the size and reach to be able to play down low, and as long as he can figure out the positioning, he’s going to give himself a chance there.

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