Forward Milan Hejduk
(back) practiced with the rest of his Avalanche teammates on Friday morning and could very well be in the lineup on Saturday when Colorado hosts Northwest Division rival Vancouver.
Hejduk, who skated with Darcy Tucker on a line centered by Matt Duchene
, said he felt “great” after getting off the ice. According to Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco, if Hejduk still feels the same way on Saturday morning, he’ll play against Vancouver.
“We’re getting healthy again,” said Sacco. “Milan went through a practice today, full workout, and responded well. If he wakes up tomorrow feeling good, he’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow night.”
The veteran was a late scratch for Sunday’s game against Edmonton. He did not practice Tuesday and was held out of Wednesday’s game in Chicago. The entire team had the day off yesterday.
Meanwhile, Sacco has yet to make a decision on whether defenseman Tom Preissing will make his Avalanche debut tomorrow. Sacco noted that Preissing is still working on his conditioning, trying to get his legs back under him after spending so much time off the ice.
Craig Anderson will get the starting nod tomorrow in a game Sacco labeled a “must-win,” noting that the team heads out on a three-game road trip following Saturday’s contest.
“We talked briefly after practice and it’s a must-win for us,” said Sacco. “It’s a team that’s played well against us. The last time we played them in Vancouver they took it to us. We need to respond with a good effort tomorrow night.”Salei In Full Practice Mode
Defenseman Ruslan Salei (back) went through a full practice this morning, shedding the orange non-contact jersey he had been wearing recently. Instead, Salei wore the same black sweater that the rest of Colorado’s blueliners typically sport during practice.
While Salei no longer had an orange jersey on, both forward T.J. Galiardi (ankle) and defenseman John-Michael Liles (shoulder) did. The pair skated together for a bit prior to the practice, and while Liles took his leave shortly thereafter, Galiardi stayed out and went through a good chunk of the drills.
“He’s doing well,” Sacco said of Galiardi. “He’s restricted in some things he can’t do, but overall he’s moving pretty well out there. His conditioning looks okay and the sooner we get him back too, that will be helpful.”Third Jersey Debut
Saturday’s game, which will be aired on Altitude and CBC (as part of the network’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast), will also mark the debut of the Avalanche’s new third jersey.
Defenseman Kyle Quincey and forward Paul Stastny
helped the club unveil the third sweater Thursday in the Avalanche dressing room at Pepsi Center.Avs/Hawks Shootout Video
The Avalanche is coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago on Wednesday, which marked the third time in three meetings this season that the clubs have needed a shootout to decide the winner.
As a bit of a tribute to the three Avalanche/Blackhawks games this season, NHL.com’s video production department put together video pieces on each of the three shootouts.Game 1Oct. 10, 2009 – Chicago 4, Colorado 3Game 2Nov. 6, 2009 – Colorado 4, Chicago 3Game 3Nov. 11, 2009 - Chicago 3, Colorado 2