Connect with us

avalanche news

Avalanche Gameday: Drouin Joins Team, Dominant Powerplay



Avalanche Drouin

Things are progressing quite quickly for Colorado Avalanche winger Jonathan Drouin.

The 29 year old joined morning skate with his Avalanche teammates prior to Game Two on Thursday. He won’t be in the lineup, but considering he only started skating 24 hours ago, it was a pretty quick turnaround. He looked pretty good, if I do say so myself, although the light blue jersey was a little confusing.

I asked Bednar yesterday if this would be a relatively quick return to the lineup for Drouin, given that he’s not recovering from a ligament injury or anything like that, but he couldn’t say with any certainty because they just have to see how his body responds. So far, so good.

“He’s made some really good progress here over the last few days,” Bednar said. “Getting stronger in the gym, feeling good with his rehab and what he’s sort of been able to ramp up and do off the ice, and then yesterday skating for the first time. Joining the group today, that’s a quick second step, so things moving in the right direction with him, but still no timeline.”

Obviously we’ll have to see how he responds the next few days, but it wouldn’t surprise me, given how quickly he joined the team for a full skate, if he made an appearance back in Denver. The original timeline was “four weeks or less.” Today marks three weeks exactly from the injury.

The Avalanche might be getting Joel Kiviranta back in their lineup for Game Two. He ditched the non-contact jersey on Thursday and Bednar said that he’s an option to play.

“We’ll see when we get back here this evening,” Bednar said.

Both Kiviranta and Chris Wagner got off the ice at the exact same time, so they’re keeping everyone guessing.

In Game One, the Dallas Stars didn’t exactly give Colorado’s powerplay a lot of opportunities to go to work, but that powerplay made sure to make the Stars pay for their mistakes. That’s been a strong theme through six playoff games for the Avalanche, though. Colorado has been deadly on the man advantage through six postseason games, scoring on eight of their 18 chances. That comes out to a 44.4% success rate.

A powerplay that is making the opposition pay that much should feel confident, and I’m sure they do, but they’re looking to stay grounded.

“We don’t want to get too high that we’re doing so well,” Mikko Rantanen said on Thursday. “We reset after every game. Try to play basic, work hard on the powerplay. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it to keep pucks alive, get possession, and at the end of the day, try to make plays to score goals, and that’s what we’ve been able to do.”

Other News And Notes

  • Jared Bednar was asked about all the recent coaching changes in the NHL. Since the end of last season, there have been 19 coaching changes. It’s pretty easy to read Bednar’s response and see that he’s talking about how successful his team and Tampa Bay have been with some stability behind the bench.
    • “It’s crazy to me that there’s that many in one calendar year. I don’t know what it is, I think it’s the parity in the league, expectations of every team seem to be really high. Pressure gets put on the coaches to be able to get their teams to perform at the highest level. It’s tough to see when you see guys get let go and have to move and start job hunting. When you’re talking about 18-19 guys, it’s like pushing 60 percent of the league let go in one year. We’ve been fortunate with our ownership group and our management team to be really patient with our group. So obviously, I’m appreciative of that. You see certain teams around the league that have been able to keep their staff and coaches in place having success. Hopefully more teams do that here moving forward.’’
  • It looks like the Stars are adding towels to the seats for fans tonight. I’m happy to report that they are not green.
  • It will be another late puck drop at 7:52 PM MST. That’s 8:52 local here in Dallas, which is kind of brutal on a weekday. The NHL doesn’t care about local fans all that much, they’re just worried about TV.

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

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now.