On a busy day in the National Hockey League, the trade deadline day, the Colorado Avalanche looks to refocus on its playoff push after the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game on Saturday.
The team fell 5-3 to the Detroit Red Wings in a close contest at Coors Field after a week full of excitement and anticipation leading up to the outdoor event.
“We were all excited for the outdoor game, and now that’s all over and done with,” said forward Gabriel Landeskog after practice on Monday. “We have a lot of hockey games left, and we have a lot of games to win.”
Defenseman Tyson Barrie agreed with the Avs captain.
“It was a great weekend for us,” said the blueliner. “We had a lot of fun, obviously didn’t get the result we wanted, but it was a great experience for us and a lot of our families. But now we just move on, we move past it. We got 18 games left to make the playoffs, so we are putting that behind us. It was a good experience, but we are focused.”
Colorado will get back to work Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild, one of the teams it is battling for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
“[The Wild] have been playing great under [their new coach],” Barrie said. “We will see what they got for us tomorrow, but we are going to be excited and ready to go. It’s a huge game for us.”
The Avalanche came out on top, 2-1 in overtime, in the last contest between the teams on Dec. 7 at Colorado. Minnesota is two points behind the Avs with a 28-25-10 record and has a game in hand.
TRADE DEADLINE REACTIONS
On Monday morning, the Avalanche announced that the team acquired forward Mikkel Boedker from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Alex Tanguay and prospects Conner Bleackley and Kyle Wood.
“It sends a message to everybody in here that they are willing up top to give us the best chance possible to win and go deep in the playoffs, and that’s what we want to do,” Landeskog said. “I think this adds some depth up top, and I think he has obviously tremendous speed and a lot of skill so we are excited to have him.”
Boedker, a 26-year-old left wing, has 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) in 62 contests and has recorded two hat tricks this season.
“I think [the trade] shows us that they want to win,” remarked Barrie. “[The front office is] pushing for the playoffs here, and it says a lot to our team here. We are excited to get Boedker. He is a great young player with a lot of speed, a lot of talent, so it will be exciting.”
Additionally, Colorado acquired defenseman Eric Gelinas from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft. Gelinas, 24, has tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in 34 games this campaign.
Before the Avalanche left for Minnesota on Monday afternoon, general manager Joe Sakic said that he expects Gelinas to be paired with Chris Bigras on defense and Boedker to be on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Landeskog. However, he noted that the final call is up to head coach Patrick Roy.