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Defense Trending The Right Way

by Ryan Boulding / Colorado Avalanche

News and notes from Colorado Avalanche practice.

Coming off of a hard-fought game—a 1-0 overtime loss—against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Avs went back to work on Thursday on the first of two consecutive days with practice on the agenda.

As usual, it was all about the effort.

“Every day you’ve got to come ready to work,” defenseman Brandon Gormley said. “You’ve got to get better every day in this league. You’ve got to take advantage of every practice day. You don’t get many days like today during the season where you can really bear down and work on a lot of stuff. So it’s good. I thought we had a great practice today and took advantage of our time.”

Much of Thursday’s discussion around the rink involved the game from the night before, a showing that head coach Patrick Roy said he’s mostly proud of.

“We were very strong. Our tracking was pretty solid. Our structure was really solid,” Roy said after the skate. “I thought we defended really, really well. A lot of people were saying that we’re giving too many chances, and I thought that the last three games, I really like the way we’ve played defensively.

“We played a strong defensive game. That’s the first thing you want to do. We played the right way, and I believe if we could do the right things offensively, play the right way offensively, I think we’re going to be a lot tougher to play against.”

Having allowed just two goals in their previous three contests, the Avs certainly seem to be trending the right way in their own zone.

“Our defense could win some games for us,” Roy said. “It would be great for us [on] the night where it’s harder for us to score a goal. [It] doesn’t mean that we have to lose that hockey game. We could win a different way, and [that] different way is being impeccable defensively.

“It’s hard to lose a game in 60 minutes if you don’t give up a goal.”

One of the players who had a good showing in Wednesday’s game was Gormley, who was making his Avalanche debut.

“I felt pretty good,” the young defenseman said after practice. “A little rusty not playing in a little bit, but I thought practicing hard and really working out hard while I wasn’t playing really prepared me to take advantage of the opportunity when I got in. I felt pretty good out there.

“I think it’s a good start, and I’ll build from there.”

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