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Learning From The Past

by Ryan Boulding / Colorado Avalanche

News and notes from Colorado Avalanche practice.

The Colorado Avalanche has a one-day turnaround before getting back to it on Friday in Anaheim, and instead of putting Wednesday night’s 6-2 loss behind it, the team is looking to use that game as motivation.

“We’ve got to bounce right back, and we have an opportunity to get our road game going here this weekend. Obviously, we’re playing two hungry opponents, but so are we,” captain Gabriel Landeskog said following Thursday’s practice. “There’s no time to sit here and hang our heads. We know what we did wrong, and we know what we need to be better at, and we’ve got a great chance at doing that tomorrow night.”

Learning lessons from the ups and downs of an NHL season is exactly the kind of philosophy Avs head coach Patrick Roy said he hopes to instill in his squad.

“We need to talk about it, and from there we need to be very positive and be ready for tomorrow,” he said. “There’s no need to be negative around this. Actually, it’s the opposite. [We can] use this to make us a better team, and learn from it. If you cannot learn from your mistakes, I don’t think you can become a better team.”

This doesn’t mean that Roy is at all satisfied with Wednesday’s performance.

“If you’re looking at the game against Boston, they didn’t beat us. We beat ourselves,” Roy said. “We didn’t like the way we competed yesterday. We want more consistency in our play as well. We try to bring excitement back to our fans, [but] certainly not by playing the way we played last night.

“I love our fans. I love the support that we have, and I feel as an organization we need to set the bar. When we play in front of our fans, we’re not allowed to get outworked. Period.”

Many of the players, including alternate captain Cody McLeod, said they are on the same page.

“We’ve just got to compete better,” McLeod admitted. “It’ll be good to get out on the road.

“We’re going into two tough buildings and both teams are going to be hungry, so we better be ready to go tomorrow.”

Having just faced a desperate Bruins squad, the Avs said they are hoping to use that kind of attitude against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings, two teams that have yet to win a game this season.

“For us, it’s a matter of obviously having that desperation in our game, and we’ve got to realize where we’re at here and look at the big picture,” Landeskog said. “Both Anaheim and L.A. got off to rocky starts, and they’re going to be hungry. We want to make sure that we really take it to those guys early.”

While desperation is a good attitude to have, Roy said he’s looking for the team to be more calculating as well.

“Part of the process of learning how to win hockey games, you don’t necessarily need to be perfect all the time, but sometimes you need to be patient,” he said. “I just feel that we’re forcing plays that are not there instead [of being] patient and [waiting] for the right moment to get back in the game. The more you’re forcing, the worse it gets.”

According to Roy, Colorado will go with backup netminder Reto Berra on Friday, giving usual starter Semyon Varlamov a break between the pipes. Roy also mentioned center Matt Duchene, who left Thursday’s practice after a run-in with the boards, should be good to play.

“[It’s a] stiff back,” Roy said of the center. “He hit the boards on a 1-on-1 drill, and he has a stiff back. Should be fine tomorrow.”

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