You know Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon is on one of his dominant runs when even his coach is blown away by some of the things he’s doing.
On Wednesday night, it was less the skill that amazed Jared Bednar, but the physicality. Bednar had a great quote when asked about MacKinnon’s game, and specifically, some of the big hits he’s been throwing of late.
In the locker room, Sam Malinski was a popular guy. He was interviewed in the arena, interviewed by TNT, and then met with the local media. Well earned after a big night. I also spoke to Ivan Prosvetov, who talked about staying focused after a long stretch of no work in the first period.
Avalanche Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov
Prosvetov on staying focused during a quiet first period:
“I think it’s pretty tough mentally, but it’s all mystery, kind of, in your head. Like ‘Oh, what is going to happen?’ Then, great chance comes, and they score. So it’s not like I would have done something different. I’d have to go back and watch the video. Sometimes, that happens. Just trying to focus on yourself when the chance comes, because it’s not my problem they’re not shooting. I kind of had this on repeat in my head.”
Avalanche defenseman Sam Malinski
“I thought it was fantastic. Not just seeing some of the highlights and the motion with EJ, but I thought our fan reaction kind of says it all. Longtime Av, Stanley Cup Champion, lots of friends still on this roster, obviously knows the bulk of our roster. The reaction and the length of the standing ovation, I thought was great.”
Bednar on Malinski:
“He’s up, he’s involved in our offensive attack. Whether it’s the rush or O-zone play, I think he’s making great decisions with the puck. Possession decisions are leading to scoring chances. I feel like his skating is really helping him on our breakouts. He’s been a consistent defender, playing a great 200 foot game right now. I really liked his game again tonight.”
Bednar on the hit by Nathan MacKinnon:
“Yeah, that hit tonight was something. I’ll show that to all of our D.”
Bednar on the overall game from the Avalanche:
“First period was perfect example of it. Really, that was a perfect first period for us. We have the breakdown at the end of the period, get beat out of the corner and then we kind of do a fly-by at the net, and then they get their goal. That might have been their first shot and definitely their first scoring chance in that period. Second, they did a much better job in the second of tracking, reloading, setting gaps and we slowed some plays down, so our forecheck wasn’t really effective. We spent way too much time on our half of the ice, but the penalty kill got the job done…I did think the first set us up to be able to relax and stick to our gameplan through the second, and carry that into the third. I thought the third was a real mature period. We didn’t have to do a lot, and Malinski gets a big goal.”
Bednar on if this means the Avalanche might start to give Prosvetov more starts:
“Oh yeah, because now we’re starting to see him. Prosy’s come in and given us real quality starts these last few games, and now we’ve seen him more. We haven’t really seen a lot of weaknesses from his games coming in relief. Myself, as a coach, him himself, and his teammates should all be gaining confidence from what he’s been doing and the way he’s been playing.”
Bednar on if he’s gets invited to the party with the players and EJ:
“No, they don’t want me there. This is the perfect time for our players to get away from me for 24 hours, and for me to get away from them.”