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Avalanche Room: Annunen’s ‘Rock Solid’ Play May Earn Him More Starts

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Avalanche Annunen

Will the Colorado Avalanche go out and acquire a backup goaltender, or is their guy already in town?

The Chicago Blackhawks stink, to put it kindly, but Justus Annunen can only play who the Avalanche choose to start him against, and for the second straight game against the worst team in the West, he stopped every shot. His confidence is growing, and the staff appears to be gaining confidence in him as well.

Watch Annunen’s post-game media availability, and read what Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar had to say after the 5-0 win.

Justus Annunen

Annunen on getting to play the Blackhawks again:

“Yeah, when you play the same team, you kind of get to know the players and stuff, so I feel like it’s easier to play the same team.”

Bednar on the game for the Avalanche:

“We did some good things tonight, no question. Some of the things that we talked about this morning within our attack, and some o-zone play stuff, I thought we were really good at. We got rewarded at least once doing the things that we talked about, if not more. Getting back to some of the structure part of our o-zone play and paying attention to those details. In that regard, yes. We’ve been playing hard on the defensive side. Again tonight, there were times with the puck where I thought, lot of icings and missed passes coming out of the neutral zone sometimes when guys were tired, so there’s still room for improvement there. Since we got off the road trip, our guys have been digging in and refining our game, and it’s been working for us.”

Bednar on breaking up the “Roaring 20’s” line:

“They’ve had a tough stretch. Really tough stretch. Give them a break from one another and see if they can help different lines.”

Bednar on the Drouin-Colton-Parise line:

“More good than bad from those guys in that line. I thought when we put them together with Johansen, they were a really good line for a handful of games. Maybe not so much in Nashville as the game went on, but early in Nashville they were fine. With the line shuffle, just trying to mix and match different combinations.”

Bednar on if Annunen’s confidence growing with the Avalanche:

“I would say yeah. He looked like he picked up right where he left off in Chicago. Six periods of rock solid goaltending, for me. I thought he looked sharp. He was on top of the crease, he looked huge in the net again, made some athletic saves. First two periods, we didn’t give up a lot. I haven’t looked at the third, but I can’t imagine it’s a lot either. But the ones we did give up, we gave up a couple really good ones. And some surprise plays, deflections, slicing it through to the net in traffic. Even that last save off the face-off, it’s going wide, hits somebody and comes right back off his shoulder, but he was top of the crease looking big. He was in all the right spots.”

“If he keeps playing like that, he’s going to play a lot.”

Bednar on Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar breaking through:

“I think whenever you’re a guy that’s used to scoring and producing, and you go through a stretch where you’re not, like that’s his first goal in a while, right? And he’s had lots of chances. He’s still getting into all the right areas, so when one finally goes in, I think there’s a little sigh of relief. I thought he was dangerous tonight.”

Bednar on Caleb Jones getting into the lineup:

“Yeah, it was great. He played with a lot of energy tonight.”

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