The Colorado Avalanche took the ice for morning skate on Tuesday ahead of its Game 3 contest against the San Jose Sharks. With the series tied at 1-1, both teams are looking to grab the edge.
Here is what some of the Avalanche players and head coach Jared Bednar had to say following morning skate.
Colorado Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog
On The Keys To Game 3: "We know how important it can be to come out and establish this home-ice advantage. We know the way that Pepsi Can's been rocking--especially in that last series and toward the end of the regular season--we know we have that support behind us. It really carries us on the forecheck, backcheck or whatever it is. For us, I think the adjustments that we made halfway through the game last game, I think those are going to be important again. Making sure that we're playing north, especially because they got some defensemen back there that play a lot of minutes and we want to make it tough on them."
On Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson: "They're like a fourth forward out there. I think the hardest part for a forward is the way they get their shots through and the way they can change the angles when you're going out towards them on the point. They can shoot around you, they can shoot on the inside of you or whatever, so that's always a challenge. I think that we can do a little bit better there getting in the shooting lanes obviously, Burns has been getting a lot of shots through and Karlsson as well, and they're shooting for tips and things like that. We got to be sure we're tight on those guys in the D-zone and seal it right up from there."
On Strategy Against San Jose: "It's mostly a mindset. For us, it's about making sure that we're moving our feet every time we get the puck and try to bait them one way or another. The guys up front have to be an option for our defensemen. But for the most part I think going north and playing fast is a mindset and then everybody's got to want to be involved and want to make a difference out there."
Colorado Right Wing Mikko Rantanen
On Skating North vs. East/West: "I think every time we have the puck, we have to try to focus on going North, like Landy said, and they try to push us East/West a lot in the neutral zone. You can see, first period, we were going a lot East/West and they were all over us. We try to play deep and play that way, I think it helps us."
On Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson: "I think just their skating, obviously. They can always skate the puck out. I think Burns, his defensive stick and how he plays is really good. Both are unreal offensively, so we have to be on our toes when they're on the ice."
On The Playoff Run: "It's a great experience. We got a little taste of it last year, but this year I felt like we were hungrier. We knew that we don't want to just get in the playoffs and we're good. We want to do some damage and I think we did first round, but still this series is going to be a long way to go."
Colorado Defenseman Nikita Zadorov
On Game 3: "Just stick to our plan. We know what we have to do to win the hockey game. We're going to be jumping. It's our building, we're really excited for the match tonight, so just go out in the good atmosphere and work hard."
On The Pepsi Center Atompshere: "We use it a lot. It's fun to play here, we have great fans. They get us going every time, and Pepsi Center is buzzing and we're buzzing."
On Playing Together As A Unit of Five: "I think you need all five guys to be successful on the ice and all the guys have got to have their A game. That's the point for having the team and a team sport, so if you want to succeed on a high level, everybody's got to be all in."
Video: Nikita Zadorov before Game 3
Colorado Center Alexander Kerfoot
On The San Jose Sharks: "They're a really good hockey team, but we just got to be comfortable with what we're doing. We're playing pretty well as well. I think we just got to focus on a full 60 minutes. I think in the first game we came out strong and had a little bit of a lapse. And last game, didn't have as great of a first period but were able to battle back. If we play a complete game, limit their opportunities--they're a pretty opportunistic team--but if we limit their opportunities, I think we're going to be in good shape."
On The Team's Mindset: "I think we're comfortable with where we're at. You start on the road, getting a split is always a good thing. So coming back home in front of the fans, we've been playing really well here. So we're in pretty good shape in this series, but we obviously have a lot of work left to do."
Video: Alexander Kerfoot after Game 3 morning skate
Colorado Defenseman Ian Cole
On Managing San Jose: "Teams alway try and respond well after a loss. We know they're going to come out hard, and we got to be ready for it. They always come out with energy at the beginning of games and try to impose their will early, and we got to make sure we're matching that intensity or exceeding it. It's going to be a challenge, but it's a challenge we're ready for."
On Home-Ice Advantage: "The energy's been so great here. It's certainly palpable and certainly something that we feed off as a team. I heard about the energy at the Pepsi Center, especially in the playoffs, when I got here and it's certainly lived up to all the hype, if not exceeded it. We're going to keep trying to feed off of that and show up with some energy."
Video: Ian Cole before Avs vs. Sharks Game 3
Head Coach Jared Bednar
On Matt Calvert Out With An Upper-Body Injury: "It's a big loss for us because he fills in in so many areas for us. No. 1: the penalty kill, he's a huge part of that. No. 2: that grit and sandpaper that he plays with. That physicality is something that we need in our lineup, and he's a guy that's usually a catalyst to that. You look at the game he had in Game 2, with the exception of Tyson Barrie, he's the driving force behind the win and gets a couple big assists there. Ends up taking a hit to make the play on the last one, so he's going to miss a little bit of time, and hopefully we get him back for Game 4."
On His Trust Level With Cale Makar And Samuel Girard : "Well I think it's earned. I know it's a short period of time and I think we want to see what a guy like Cale can do, and obviously Sam was the same way coming out. He builds trust early and so when you sit down with an individual player, or group of players, and you talk to them about things you've seen in the game, you want to see them implement what you're talking about and learn from mistakes. You have to prevent making repeated mistakes all the time because mistakes will cost you. You want to learn from those and make sure you're moving on and getting better in those areas. When I talk to those two players, and we show them things, we watch team film, they're improving all the time. They're limiting their mistakes, and then obviously those two guys help us tremendously with the puck-moving side of things and creating offense. They have abilities there that some of our other guys don't."
Quotes compiled and transcribed by Dan Vatch and Miranda Einhorn