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Avalanche Locker Room: Rantanen Shoots Back At Lehkonen’s Dad, MacKinnon On Breakaway Goal



Avalanche MacKinnon

If you read Colorado Hockey Now Monday morning, you would know that Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen was called out in the Finnish media by an NHL commentator.

That commentator just so happens to be Artturi Lehkonen’s father, Ismo Lehkonen. And yes, Rantanen heard all of it.

After a game in which the big Finnish star broke out of his offensive slump, he made sure that he let the world know he heard all the criticism, and he didn’t agree with it.

In addition to Rantanen’s quote, take a look at what Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar had to say, and read Jared Bednar’s thoughts on the 6-5 comeback victory for the Avalanche over the Flames.

Mikko Rantanen on Ismo Lehkonen’s Comments From Earlier In the Day:

“One of our Finnish NHL player’s dad was talking shit about me in media, that I didn’t train last summer like I used to do. He was making things up. That was for him. If you talk shit, it’s going to come back at you.”

Nathan MacKinnon

Cale Makar

Bednar on the shift from the Avalanche between periods:

“I liked a lot of our game tonight. First period, parts of the second. I felt like we quit checking on a couple plays in the second, and they capitalized on every chance they got, or almost every chance they got. On the flip side of that, I liked the rhythm of our game tonight and the things we were doing and I just kind of felt like if we ramped it up another notch and made sure that we were relentless in it with our checking habits, that we’d have an opportunity. I don’t think there was a major shift except for our backs were against the wall and we had no choice to do it again for 20 minutes.”

Bednar on the Avalanche putting Ivan Prosvetov in for the third period:

“I felt like we were outplaying them, outchancing them and we had some bad breakdowns. A handful, but they capitalized on all of them. Whether it was to spark our team, try to get a save when we needed it. It wasn’t coming from Georgie tonight, which is okay, it happens, but I just felt like we couldn’t stay the same. We discussed it, talked to Jussi, coaches got together and he went in there.”

Bednar on his best players having breakdowns, and how he handles that:

“That’s been a little bit of a trend. They carry our team, and yet, they’ve been making some big mistakes that are ending up in the back of our net, right? There’s a high level of trust there from me, and they have to understand that some of the mistakes or decisions that we make, they’re unacceptable, but they’re still going to get rope to be able to play the way they can. What I want our guys to understand…down 3-2, we can easily score one goal if we just stuck to the right process and put the importance on the right things. But we start pressing. They’re feeling it, so they’re trying plays that they shouldn’t make, low percentage plays, risky plays and they all turn back on us and cost us the other night.

That wasn’t the case tonight. We were much more responsible with the puck. I want them to be creative and trust their instincts, but just trying to show them some of the plays that we made the other night that went the other way, they’re not the right play. No matter what time and score it is, they generally don’t turn out in your favor.”

Bednar on Tomas Tatar breaking through:

“He’s had a lot of chances, just unable to finish it off. I’m really happy for him that he got that, and hopefully that gives him a little life. We know he has the ability to be able to chip in offensively more than he has. He understands that, hopefully that gives him a little bit of life like the rest of our team.”

Bednar on Colton’s big hit to start the game and the physical play:

“Has to be part of your game. It can’t be easy for other teams to breakout, to go through the neutral zone, to play in our offensive zone. There has to be a level of aggression and physicality to the game. Everyone else is playing our guys hard, we have to play the opponent hard. Colton, huge night, right? He starts it out right away that line, big hit, clean hit, powerplay immediately. It gives our team life. They score two big goals. That’s the type of mentality I think that line especially has to have.”

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