Avalanche notebook: Kadri and Murray skate, Landeskog does not and Makar speaks

Beginning with Wednesday night’s home game against the Kings, the Avalanche will play 10 games in 17 days to close out the 2021-22 regular season.

They won’t have two back-to-back days off between games in the rest of the schedule, and the stretch features two back-to-back sets of games.

In other words, especially given coach Jared Bednar’s preference of not forcing practices and trusting players to establish their own daytime regimen, whether that means practices at home or at home. hotel or complete rest, the Avalanche’s Monday practice at the Family Sports Center was probably a rarity.

They won’t practice on Tuesday until Ball Arena meetings with the Kings and Devils go on two consecutive nights.

Believe me: The shift in attitude, whether it’s just Bednar or a league-wide phenomenon, is stark compared to conventional NHL thinking at the time of… well, not that a long time ago.

Workouts were called in part because they were seen as the way to ensure players’ only exercise of the day wasn’t lifting the beer mug or the cheeseburger, and that the roots of morning skating of the match were to serve as a wake-up call and gauge who had a good time the night before – and who might still feel it. Now players have home gyms and are exploring hotel workout rooms.

I’m not saying they’re angels, but Bobby Hull, they’re not.

“Our guys work so hard to make sure they’re in top shape and ready to go for games, it doesn’t really change practice days and days they’re away from the rink,” Bednar said. Monday. . “Half of them are training. I mean, we’ll hit the road and the coaching staff will go to the gym to train because we haven’t done anything but sit in front of our computers. We’ll go down and there’ll be six, seven guys just doing maintenance or making sure they’re loose and ready for the next day, even if they’re traveling.

“I trust these guys, the way they eat, the way they train, the way they take care of themselves. It’s as good as I’ve seen. I’m not really worried about that. I’m more concerned about the energy level.

MAKAR ON…: The Avalanche appear to have a solid lead in the “race” for the NHL Presidents’ Trophy. There’s room for ironic debate over whether that’s something to avoid – along lines or avoiding stepping under a ladder.

But Cale Makar on Monday expressed the most sensible attitude about what it would mean to win. This is illustrated by the Avs’ last victory in the Stanley Cup, when they had the ice at home for the seventh game of the final against the Devils. OK, Makar was 2 at the time, but you get the drift.

“We got him last year so it would be cool to have him again,” Makar said. “But at the end of the day, the only way that matters is when we get to the final. If we have that extra advantage at home. That’s kind of the way I see it. If you want to secure that, That’s great, but there’s so much work to do before that. If it happens, it happens. Obviously, you want it.

Although Makar has usually been in tandem with Devon Toews, and they are recognized as some of the league’s elite pairings, Makar has played some with recently returned Bo Byram as Bednar looks at various combinations as the defense approaches maximum strength.

“I think Taze and I read very well,” Makar said. “Whether it’s me getting to jump in the game or him, I feel like we always have a guy back for the most part. Whether it’s working the blue line and the O zone or even behind our net, it’s about finding small areas where we can make plays and pass it to the forwards. He’s obviously a great skater and a great player and it’s been fun. Obviously we’re lucky at the back, we can all play with each other and that’s why we’ve been making a few pairs lately.

And with Byram?

“I really like it,” Makar said. “Bo is quite similar to the style that Tazer and I play, offensively focused and just the same thing, we read each other very well.”

INJURY REPORT: The injured Nazem Kadri and Ryan Murray skated alone on the second rink on Monday, but did not travel to the main practice rink for practice.

“They’ve both been skating for a little while,” Bednar said. He said Kadri “feels good, not 100 per cent yet, so he’s still going to be a little bit.”

He added that Gabriel Landeskog has yet to skate after minor knee surgery but should still be ready for at least the playoffs. “That’s the goal,” Bednar said…

Toews and Logan O’Connor did not practice. “Just maintenance,” Bednar said.

terry frei ([email protected], @tfrei) is a Denver-based author and journalist. He has been named state sportswriter of the year seven times in a vote by his peers – four times in Colorado and three times in Oregon. Her seven books include the novels “Olympic Affair” and “The Witch’s Season”. Among his five non-fiction works are “Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming”, “Third Down and a War to Go”, “Mars 1939: Before the Madness”, and “’77: Denver, the Broncos, and a Coming de l ‘age.” He also collaborated with Adrian Dater on “Save by Roy”, long served as vice president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and covered the Rockies, Avalanche and the NHL in general. His website is www.terryfrei.com and his bio is available on www.terryfrei.com/bio.html

His Colorado Hockey Now column archive can be accessed here

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