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Avalanche Room: Drouin Rolling, ‘Beast’ Nichushkin Can’t Be Stopped



Avalanche Drouin

If you believe that you should get what you deserve, then you probably agree that the Colorado Avalanche deserved the two points on Tuesday night.

The home team out-chanced, out-shot, and out-skated the New York Islanders all night long, but because goaltending matters in the NHL, it took a little longer for them to walk away with the win.

After the game, Nathan MacKinnon spoke about the “beast” that is Valeri Nichushkin, and so did his head coach. Jonathan Drouin is rolling right now, and talked about his hot streak. Apologies for the shorter videos, I got in a little late on them and couldn’t even hear the first question to Drouin.

Take a look at what 2/3 of the top line for the Avalanche had to say, and read Jared Bednar’s thoughts.

Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar on Valeri Nichushkin:

“He was awesome tonight. Our big guys were all good. He’s just establishing himself net front. We wanted to repeat the third period from the other night, and part of that is shooting the puck, and part of that is getting multiple players to the net front for screens, tips, rebounds, etc. Val is the first guy going there, and he got rewarded twice for it tonight. Even to draw the penalty at the end of the game, he’s just driving his legs and taking it into seams.”

Bednar on the team’s game:

“I liked the way our team played. They capitalized on their chances, and we were having a tough time putting ours in the back of the net, especially in the first period. We felt like if we kept playing the same way, fix a couple things on the defensive side of it, that we would give ourselves a chance. I thought the guys all played hard. They played disciplined.”

Bednar on Sam Girard’s impact:

“He helps. Just another guy, really solid puck-mover that’s playing in all situations for us. It definitely helps to have another veteran guy back there that can help break us out and get us moving in the right direction.”

Bednar on the decision not to pull Alexandar Georgiev after three goals on nine shots:

“I thought he got better as the game went on. Obviously, a tough start. We gave up a couple of pretty good chances there…both of them slip through Georgie. I didn’t love the third goal, so it was a little bit of an off-night for him. We’ve left him in in those situations before when we needed a win, and he’s come up big for us. I was contemplating it, but I decided to leave him in tonight and battle for us.”

Bednar on if he considers Drouin to be part of the “big guys” now:

“He is. He’s earned his trust because he’s playing the game the right way. With and without the puck. If you watch him tonight, a couple examples, neutral zone face-offs, he’s jumping through to push their ‘D,’ comes up with two pucks, next thing you know, we’re playing offensive zone play. He’s checking the puck back, he’s hounding the puck on the track, and backcheck. He’s doing all the right things away from the puck, so I trust to put him out in all types of situations, up and down. And he’s playing well. He’s doing a lot for us right now.”

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