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Avalanche Skate: Expect To See Kovalenko, Depth Difference




Nikolai Kovalenko isn’t with the Colorado Avalanche right now, but you can expect to see him before the end of the season.

After the Avalanche finished practice on Thursday, Jared Bednar met with the media ahead of the five game homestand for his team. He was asked how involved he gets when it comes to scouting international players, and he said he does watch players when they ask for his opinion.

The talk quickly turned to the 24 year old Russian, who was loaned to the Eagles yesterday while he rehabs his injury.

“I’ve watched Kovalenko, he’s a good player over there. He’s really good,” Bednar said. “He’s gritty, he’s physical. He does a little bit of everything. He can score. We’re anxious to see him. We just have to get him through this injury, see how quickly that comes, depending on how much times he’s had off, but we’d like to get him up here and practicing with us and maybe play some games. It would be helpful to see him before we may need him in the playoffs.”

When asked if it’s reasonable to expect Kovalenko to get a shot in the NHL over the next four weeks, Bednar said, “I think that’s reasonable, yeah.”

So while Kovalenko’s NHL debut is slightly delayed, it certainly sounds like you should expect to see him with the Avalanche in the near future.

At practice on Thursday, the Avalanche ran with the exact same lines as we saw on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues.

Bednar feels like his team is really rolling right now, perhaps more than any other point in the season. A big reason why? Depth.

“The depth of our team up front has made a big difference,” he said. “All those guys filling different roles. We just have more depth in almost every aspect of our game. Whether it’s penalty killing, rolling six, seven guys out instead of four, it just helps. More lines able to do heavy lifting against other teams top players. It’s a big difference.”

Colorado is in a race for first place in the division and in the West, but they aren’t going to push too hard for it.

“We’re going to fight to win hockey games. We’re not going to chase it and deplete our energy going into the playoffs, but we’re certainly going to play to win,” Bednar said.

Other News And Notes

  • It’s been a while since I’ve seen Gabriel Landeskog skate. That doesn’t mean he isn’t skating. In fact, I’d bet he is away from the prying eyes of the public, but he watched a bit of practice from along the boards. You can tell this is really killing him.
  • Bednar said it’s too easy to say that Alexandar Georgiev is playing better because he’s gotten more rest of late, but it is true. I don’t think that will change much down the stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if Justus Annunen starts two of the five games on this homestand.

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