The Colorado Avalanche gave Josh Manson a big four-year contract in 2022 because they wanted him to be a physical presence on their blueline.
On Thursday night, he used that physicality to change the momentum of the game in the third period, but should he have to fight after a clean hit? That’s the question I posed to him after the Avalanche fell 4-3 in overtime to the Coyotes.
Take a look at the postgame video from Manson and Nathan MacKinnon, and read what Jared Bednar had to say after the loss.
Manson on whether he should have to fight after a clean hit:
“I don’t know. It’s hard to say, because I don’t want to sound hypocritical if one day, somebody gets hit and I step up to fight them, so I understand it. I’m not against kind of the old way of things and what not, and it worked out in our favor this time.”
Bednar on the game for the Avalanche:
“I really liked our first period. I like the start of our second. We had a little lull the last 15 minutes of the second that I didn’t love, and then we played hard again in the third, but this is a team that can finish at a high rate. I think they’re shooting above expected at second in the league, so the number of scoring chances we gave up, I didn’t have a problem with, but we made some mistakes on all the goals. I felt like they did a better job of finishing, and then overtime, guy gets in behind us, you’re killing a penalty. PK does a nice job, they kill the whole thing off, and right at the end of it, they score on a stuff play. Just sometimes the way it goes. It was a hard fought hockey game. We did have that lull in the second that cost us a little bit, but we’ll have to work to try to improve that.”
Bednar on Manson’s fight:
“He steps up, clean hit, great hit. They take exception to it. I think sometimes you’re going to have to answer the bell. It happens on both sides all the time, but that’s the rule and the way penalties are called. They get the extra two for coming in and forcing him into it, and it was a big moment in the game for us, so great play by Manson. Enables our team to get the powerplay goal, and it’s part of why you play physical.”
Bednar on the overtime goal:
“Just an entry and he kind of stuffs it low. They have the extra man, so we’re trying to take care of the interior of the ice. They make a nice play below and probably a nicer move to bring it to the net, and rebound is sitting there and we got a couple of sticks in there. We might have knocked it in our own net there trying to clear it. Just a little bit unfortunate.”
Bednar on his discussion with the refs after Arizona’s second goal:
“They moved the face-off at the very end after we had our guys out. They had it on one side, and moved it to the other, and refs were all the way down in the zone. I would have likely thrown a different centerman out there for that, but nothing too major. I just didn’t like them moving it at the very end when they already told us the face-off was on the other side.”
Bednar on the Avalanche powerplay and if it’s starting to gain some real momentum:
“It is. I mean, it is. That powerplay in particular (MacKinnon’s goal) was our best of the night, and it was the hardest working powerplay that we had. The firmness in our passes and puck movement, and identifying the open man. We didn’t have to pass through people because we were working away from the puck on retrievals and support. There’s a lot that I liked on that. I want our powerplay on a regular basis to look like that. Key time, everyone elevates. We got to find a way to elevate on all of our power plays and make it real dangerous like that, but that was our best one and what a great shot by Nate.”