Postgame Wrap-Up: Avs Fall in Return from Break
The Avs fell 5-1 to the Canucks on Saturdayby Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com
In its return from a nine-day break, the Colorado Avalanche didn't have the effort it needed in order to find success.
The Avs fell 5-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday at Pepsi Center and are now 0-1-1 against the Canucks this season.
"We should be the hardest working team out there every night, and that's the standard we should hold ourselves to," said Matt Calvert. "You know, whether it's bye week or not, both teams are in a similar situation, so if you have some rust, that doesn't excuse you from working hard. We got outworked tonight."
In the team's first game since Jan. 23, Calvert tallied for Colorado in the contest after deflecting a Nikita Zadorov shot from the blue line to make it a 3-1 game in the second period.
Calvert now has four points (one goal, three assists) in his last four outings and eight points (three goals, five assists) in 11 contests since the calendar turned to 2019.
Video: Matt Calvert after the loss to the Canucks
"I think we were optimistic about coming back with fresh legs and some more energy," added Calvert. "But you got to come to work every day and that is the easiest fix we can do and the results will start coming after we do that."
Vancouver tallied just 1:32 into the contest but Colorado couldn't find the game-tying goal despite outshooting the Canucks 35-26 overall.
"It starts with your commitment to check," said head coach Jared Bednar. "There is a certain level of commitment you need in order to check, and that has to be throughout your lineup. If one guy doesn't commit to checking the right way, then the puck can end up in the back of your net and we saw it tonight.
"The two things we have talked about recently is our defending commitment and how hard. How hard we have to work, how hard we have to compete in those battles, how aware we have to be in those structural situations. Then the other one is the puck decisions that can get you in trouble, and we weren't good at either one of them tonight."
The Avs and Canucks will wrap up the season series on Feb. 27 at Pepsi Center.
WILSON HITS 600: The outing was the 600th in the NHL for Avs forward Colin Wilson. He began the game on a line with Alexander Kerfoot and Nathan MacKinnon and had two shots and one hit in 19:00 of ice time.
"I think it is just a cool milestone to hit. I have played in the league a while, but yeah it is just exciting to hit a milestone," he said of his 600th game. "I think there has been a lot of growth along the way, a lot of adversity, and I think that is what makes it exciting to get to 600."
Selected seventh overall in the 2008 draft by the Nashville Predators, he became the 13th member of that year's draft class to reach the milestone. He has 271 points (110 goals, 161 assists) in his NHL tenure.
E.J. BACK ON THE ICE: Veteran defenseman Erik Johnson returned to game action for the first time since Jan. 19. He missed Colorado's two games before the break with a head injury.
"I felt great. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to come back sooner," said Johnson. "I felt like I was good to go, but the concussion protocol is there for a reason and I wasn't out of it yet, so unfortunately I wasn't able to play. But felt good and everyone was kind of in the same boat coming off bye week, so all things considered, body felt good.
"I think the guys used the break to get recharged mentally, physically. Unfortunately, it didn't really look like that tonight, but when you dig yourself that two-goal deficit, it's so tough to come back. It's too tough of a league to do that."
He began the game paired with Ian Cole and went on to record four shot attempts and two blocked shots in 21:54 of ice time.