Wins and losses don't mean a whole lot in the preseason, as the games are mostly for players to be fully prepared for when the regular seasons begins. However, it is nice to get a couple wins in September to help build those winning habits for the rest of the season.
So is the Avalanche's 0-3-1 record in the preseason a cause for concern? Not really, according to Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog.
"I wouldn't say concern, but we always want to win," Landeskog said. "Any time you go into a game and step onto the ice, you expect to win and you want to win. Sometimes it doesn't happen, but for us we know that you just can't flip a switch when you get to the regular season. You want to create good habits, and that's what we got to do here tonight."
Colorado enters tonight's contest against the Calgary Flames looking to take advantage of a squad that is playing its fourth game in five days. The Avs are coming off a two-game road trip in Quebec against the Montreal Canadiens, and while they played well, they couldn't get in the win column.
Both contests against the Canadiens were close as the Avalanche had leads in the third period before Montreal came back and picked up wins by 3-2 scores. The first game on Thursday night ended in overtime, seconds after a Colorado penalty expired, and the second game on Friday featured two power-play goals by the Avs before Brandon Prust scored the go-ahead tally for the Habs late in the third period.
"We did some things good," Avs forward Ryan O'Reilly said. "The power play we did real well, especially the second game. Both goals came from the power play, that's a positive. Energy was high. It was just a couple of little errors that hurt us… Just small adjustments we could have made would have given us a better outcome."
Good thing for the Avs the team is playing one of its longest preseasons schedules in recent history, and there is still time to work out the kinks before the puck drops in the season opener. The team is only halfway through its preseason and will play its final four contest in the next week, ending with the Frozen Fury against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Those extra games are just what the club needs.
"It's the best test for us. You can practice all you want, but it comes down to how you do in the games," O'Reilly said. "For us right now, we haven't won one. We've been close. We have to use these games to get tuned up and really come together. I think we're all working hard and all of that, but we have to find those little chemistries and things that work that make us successful."
CHANGE OF SCENERY
With the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure taking over Pepsi Center grounds on Sunday morning, the Avalanche had a rare morning skate at its practice facility in Centennial, Colo.
Like most teams in the league, the Avs hold their pregame practice at their arena, so Sunday's skate was definitely a bit different.
"It doesn't really feel like a morning skate out there," Landeskog said. "It's weird because you always skate at the Pepsi Center, and you always get a feel for the ice, the rink, the light and everything. It's good, at the same time we got to work our practice gear in and all that stuff. We'll be ready for tonight."
One benefit of skating at South Suburban Family Sports Center this morning is the amount of ice time the Avalanche got. Teams have roughly an hour of practice time on game days in NHL arenas before having to share the ice with the other team, but that wasn't the case on Sunday. Colorado was able to hold two practices, a light one for players playing tonight and a longer and tougher one for non-game players.
Among those that took part in the non-game playing practice were Reto Berra, Daniel Briere, Marc-Andre Cliche, Zach Redmond, Duncan Siemens and Maxime Talbot.