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Avalanche Skate: O’Connor Skates, Angry Canucks

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It’s been a little over a week since Logan O’Connor last played a game for the Colorado Avalanche, but fans will have to wait a little bit longer for his return.

O’Connor joined his teammates for morning skate, but it was clear he’s not quite ready for game action. The 27 year old winger participated in most drills, but when it came time to practice the powerplay and penalty kill, he took a seat on the bench. After skate, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar confirmed that he’s not an option for tonight’s game, so there won’t be any lineup changes.

Joining O’Connor prior to morning skate was Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who continues his rehab. He came back out to join the team, then left, and then rejoined them again, but don’t expect an update on him anytime soon.

What everyone does expect to see tonight is a motivated Vancouver Canucks squad, who gave up 10 goals yesterday to the Minnesota Wild. They will turn to their number one goaltender, Thatcher Demko, in hopes of avoiding their third straight loss.

Colorado expects them to be a motivated team.

“They’re going to bounce back, for sure, and they’re probably pissed off about last night, so we can expect them to have their A-game today,” Mikko Rantanen said.

Vancouver sits atop the Western Conference with 80 points, and according to Bednar, they deserve to be there.

“Over .700 winning percentage, which is really impressive,” Bednar said of the Canucks. “Stingy defensive group, but they have a high scoring offense and a very powerful offensive attack…Right now, they’re one of the top three, four teams in the league with the defensive metrics.”

Other News And Notes

  • Alexandar Georgiev will start in net for the Avalanche.
  • I spoke to Jonathan Drouin about his play on the game winning goal, and he broke it down for me. Turns out, pre-scout meetings do matter. I’ll have that up later today for all CHN+ subscribers.
  • Nikita Zadorov played for the Avalanche for years, and still has friends on the team. Before morning skate, he came onto the visiting bench to talk to Nolan Pratt, and then stuck around to have a long chat with Nathan MacKinnon and Rantanen. After the Avalanche were done with morning skate, he came back out and waited to talk to Gabriel Landeskog. The two hugged each other, and chatted away. In a few hours, they’ll be enemies again, but these are the bonds you make in hockey.

  • I asked Rantanen after the game if it’s easy to go from being friendly with a former teammate, to competing against them a few hours later.
    • “I think it’s easy. You see guys, sometimes if the schedule is right, you go to dinner with guys the night before. Get together a little bit and talk about all things and how they’re doing currently. I have no issues turning it on at night and try to bury him. He’s a great guy, he likes to talk on the ice too, so should be fun.”

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Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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