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Anderson Will Be Available For Road Trip

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
One day after newly acquired defenseman Matt Hunwick made his Colorado debut, the Avs were growing accustomed to seeing another new face at Wednesday’s practice.

The latest addition to the Avalanche, forward Tomas Fleischmann, went through his first practice with the team this morning after being acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Following the skate, the 6-foot-1, 192-pound winger talked about being dealt.

“I talked to the coach and general manager yesterday after practice,” said Fleischmann. “Obviously I didn’t expect it. It’s another turn in my life and now I have to make sure I work hard here and play as hard as I can.”

A native of Koprivnice, Czech Republic, Fleischmann set career highs in goals (23), assists (28) and points (51) in 69 games during the 2009-10 campaign. In 23 contests with the Capitals this season, the forward had posted 10 points (4g/6a) and a +3 plus/minus rating.

Forwards Milan Hejduk, David Jones and Cody McLeod all took maintenance days on Wednesday, so it was hard to get a feel for who Fleischmann might end up skating with on Friday when the Avalanche begins a five-game road trip by taking on the Carolina Hurricanes. However, Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco noted yesterday that he was considering putting the new forward on a line with Hejduk and Paul Stastny.

As far as first impressions go, Sacco pointed out that it was clear Fleischmann possesses plenty of talent.

“My immediate impression is that there’s obviously a lot of skill there. He’s very good with the puck. You can tell that passing, skating and shooting are things that he does very well,” said Sacco. “His legs started to come halfway through the practice, so that’s a good sign. He’ll be able to get another one in with us tomorrow and be ready for Friday.”

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Anderson Will Be On Road Trip
Craig Anderson went through a full practice on Wednesday morning and will be available when the Avalanche heads to Carolina for Friday’s game. The netminder left Colorado’s Nov. 24 contest in Vancouver after the first period with a groin injury and has missed the past three games.

“Craig obviously practiced with us today and made it through practice fine,” said Sacco. “He’ll practice with us tomorrow and will be available for us on Friday.”

Anderson sustained the groin injury in just his second start after returning from a knee ailment that sidelined him for 10 games from Oct. 26-Nov. 17. He was sharp in his first game back, stopping 25-of-26 shots in Colorado’s 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Nov. 19.

Captain Could Return
There’s a chance the Avalanche will have its captain back this weekend. Veteran blueliner Adam Foote went through a full practice on Wednesday morning and could be ready to return Friday. If Foote does indeed make it back into the lineup, Colorado will have seven healthy defensemen on its roster.

“He made it through the full practice with the team today,” said Sacco. “We’ll do the same thing tomorrow morning and we’ll go from there.”

Much like Anderson, the 39-year-old Foote left the Avs’ Nov. 24 game in Vancouver with an injury (leg) and has been sidelined for the club’s last three contests.
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