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Avalanche Notebook: Annunen Still Sick, Goalie Swap, The Message To Georgiev




All the players that we spoke to on the Colorado Avalanche after the game last night and after practice on Monday all were positive. They had a reason to be. The Avalanche controlled the majority of the play and took it to the Jets for most of the game.

None of that matters today.

“As positive as I’m going to be up here and sitting up here, we didn’t win the hockey game,” Jared Bednar told the media after an optional practice on Monday.

It’s true. The Avalanche probably deserved a better fate on Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the game. Colorado didn’t, and now they head into a Game Two that is bordering on “must-win” territory.

Arvid Holm was the only goalie on the ice for the optional skate, and after practice, Bednar gave an update on Justus Annunen.

“Justus is still sick,” he said.

That’s as much as we’re going to get these days. Bednar did confirm that Annunen is still with the team in Winnipeg, but he’s obviously not feeling well enough to skate just yet.

What does that mean? Well, it means there’s a decent chance Alexandar Georgiev will be back in net for Game Two. And based on Bednar’s comments, I’d say there actually might be more than a decent chance of it happening.

“It’s going to be about mental toughness, right? Not just for him, for our group,” Bednar said. “If you’re dwelling on the past in the playoffs, then you’re not setting yourselves up for success the next night, and Georgie’s no different. He’s got to reset and go play better than he did last night.”

Georgiev was not available to the media, as he didn’t skate, but Ross Colton did, and he said the Avalanche are standing behind their goaltender.

“He’s our guy,” Colton said. “Obviously, maybe he wants some back, but that’s on us. We’ve got to a better job limiting turnovers, boxing guys out in front and not kind of giving them some Grade A’s that they had. That’s for us to kind of clean up in front of him, but he’s battled for us all year. He’s a warrior. For him, I’ll just turn the page and we’ll be good to go for Game Two.”

The Avalanche are making a move in net, and it likely indicates they don’t expect Annunen to be ready for Game Two. After practice and availability, Holm was sent to the Eagles, and Ivan Prosvetov was recalled. Prosvetov played yesterday for the Eagles and stopped 28 shots in the win. If nothing else, this gives the Avalanche a fall-back option if Georgiev has a similar performance. They didn’t want to throw Holm into the net, but I’m sure they’d feel a bit more comfortable putting Prosvetov in.

Other Quotes From The Room

  • Josh Manson knows he made some mistakes in Game One, and didn’t hide from anyone on Monday.
    • “We made a few, including myself personally, that cost us goals. They ended up in the back of the net. That’s kind of the fine line with the NHL.”
  • Bednar had high praise for Casey Mittelstadt‘s game on Sunday night, and I thought he played really well. Probably have something on that in the morning and that second line in general, but I asked Mittelstadt about feeding off the energy of the crowd, even if they’re not exactly cheering for you.
    • “I think it’s fun to come into someone else’s barn and be the villains. The crowd was awesome and extremely loud. I keep saying it, but excited for Game Two, for sure.”
  • I asked Colton what the Avalanche did on Sunday that they didn’t do in the regular season against the Jets.
    • “Playoffs are a different animal. We just came out hungry. Whatever happened in the regular season, it’s a new season starting now. We turned the page on that. We did a good job watching some video on them, kind of knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are and tried to capitalize on that.”

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