News and notes from Colorado Avalanche practice.
After a nice Sunday off, the Avs returned to work on Monday, getting back into the swing of things with two days to prepare for the arrival of the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.
Among the variety of on-ice scenarios, the players worked on integrated zone drills, starting off 1-on-1 and then adding additional pieces as time went on.
“We were working on little breakouts, quick transitions. We did a little D-zone work,” defenseman Nick Holden said. “It’s the kind of things we’ve been working on since the beginning of training camp, so in games we’re fast and moving the puck and getting on offense.”
Colorado tinkered with using the same defensive pairings that were utilized in the second half of Saturday’s win over the Dallas Stars. Tyson Barrie and Nikita Zadorov and Erik Johnson and Francois Beauchemin skated together. The additional pairings featured two players who have been healthy scratches through the first two games, as Brad Stuart was with Holden while Nate Guenin and Brandon Gormley were also coupled.
Practice concluded with a high-octane, 2-on-2 battle spanning the length of the ice. Spirited and competitive, the session served as motivation to get the players skating full-throttle.
“That’s a good drill,” Holden said. “It’s a hidden bagger. It’s more for conditioning and skating. Instead of just doing laps or skating lines, you get to incorporate some of your skills. Obviously, you’re working hard.
“Most drills are competitive, but especially that one. You never want to get scored on or beat up the ice.”