News and notes from Colorado Avalanche practice.
The Avs got on the ice for the first practice following the preseason, and nearly every player on the current 25-man roster was present. There were some notable exceptions though, including forward Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Erik Johnson.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog participated in the on-ice exercises, albeit while wearing a red non-contact sweater.
According to Colorado head coach Patrick Roy, all three skaters will be ready to go for the season opener come Thursday.
Roy also noted that 32-year-old forward Curtis Glencross—who was with the club on a professional tryout basis—was released from his agreement today, partially due to the similarities in his play when compared to young forwards Borna Rendulic and Dennis Everberg, both of whom are under contract and saw time in the NHL last season.
“We didn’t see enough,” Roy said.
The Avs have until 3 p.m. MT on Tuesday to trim the squad down to the league-mandated 23-man roster, which means there’s still some tough decisions to be made.
As of now, 2015 first-round draft pick Mikko Rantanen and PTO forward Jack Skille both remain with the club.
“We’ll make a final decision tomorrow, but right now I’ll admit that he looks good,” Roy said of Rantanen’s play. “We’re going to have to decide tomorrow what we’re going to do. I wanted to see how Everberg was on the ice, and—after our meeting—we’ll make a final decision tomorrow.”
One topic of conversation around practice Monday was the team’s lack of goal production through the preseason. Colorado managed six goals in six games, but five of them came in a 5-4 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks.
“It’s not enough and we know that, but at the same time we have quality players out there. Is it a concern? Yes, it is,” Roy said of the situation. “I’d rather see that happening actually in the preseason than see it in the season. I’m not saying it’s a wake-up call, but we all need to do better.
“We’re going to have to simplify our game.”
That sentiment was echoed by the players, who admitted to working to solve the conundrum during Monday’s skate.
“Obviously we’re not happy with not scoring,” center Matt Duchene said. “The bottom line is we’ve got to be a bit more hungry. We’ve got to know what our strengths are and improve our weaknesses.”
“It’s something we’re not taking lightly, thinking ‘We’ll be fine, it’s just exhibition,’” veteran forward Jarome Iginla added. “We know we’ve got to look at ourselves and be ready early and be working this week and get better.”