News and notes from Colorado Avalanche practice.
The Colorado Avalanche had off-ice workouts on Friday following Thursday’s 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The team also sat down for a very important meeting with head coach Patrick Roy, one aimed at keeping the focus on the next game.
“I wanted guys to go home today and rest and not [be] looking at the big picture,” Roy said about Friday’s practice. “If you’re looking at the big picture, it’s going to be scary. If you’re just looking at tomorrow, [being] ready at the start of the game, I think that’s the approach you need to have.”
Colorado faces one of its biggest tests of the season on Saturday, taking on its division rival, the Minnesota Wild.
“Tomorrow, it’s an important game, they are all going to be important games, but tomorrow is important in it’s a way to bounce back,” said Roy. “That’s why we talked today and not tomorrow, because we really want to make sure that we get our focus back. It’s not time right now to look at the big picture.
“It’s a chance for us to play some strong hockey like we’ve been playing, and I truly believe in this team.”
Veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin said that there’s no time for the Avs to feel sorry for themselves.
“We have to forget about what happened last night, remember what you did wrong and make sure you don’t do it again,” said Beauchemin. “We’ve said that before this year, and we control our own destiny. We win tomorrow, and we’re right back in it.”
Saturday’s game is sure to mirror the pace and intensity from Thursday’s outing against the Flyers.
“Those are exciting games to play,” Beauchemin said on the playoff feel. “Everybody’s watching us and saying, ‘Well, we’re in a tough situation,’ but we have to take it for the positive things and just get excited and get motivated by it.”
The Wild currently sits three points ahead of the Avalanche in the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot.
“Like I said yesterday after the game, the good thing is we’re playing tomorrow afternoon against the Wild, and we have the chance to get back and be one point behind them [with] one game in hand,” Roy said. “That’s what we should have in mind, and that’s where our focus should be.”
“We’ve got eight games left and we know where we’re at,” Beauchemin said. “Obviously, it’s a must-win situation. We’ve lost a couple of games to these guys already, and tomorrow’s a big one.”
Colorado’s concern is less about what the Wild does and more about what the Avs can accomplish as a team.
“We’ve got to focus on us because I know one thing, if we win every game until the end of the year, we’re going to make the playoffs,” Roy said. “Regardless of what [Minnesota does].”
The coach also said that there will be no changes to the lineup.