The Colorado Avalanche held a full morning skate on Thursday at Pepsi Center in preparation for Game 4 against the San Jose Sharks. The Avs trail the Sharks 2-1 in the series and are looking to even the best-of-seven set on home ice.
Here is what some of the Avalanche players and head coach Jared Bednar had to say following the pregame practice.
Colorado Head Coach Jared Bednar
On Matt Calvert's Return: "We'll see how he gets through this morning and everything, but I think there is a good possibility, yes."
On The Team's Forecheck: "The video doesn't lie, so when you look through it, we're forcing too many plays, especially in the first 30 minutes of the game (in Game 3). The number of turnovers that I have calculated is high, and as the game goes on, it diminishes and in turn we get more scoring chances, more shots on net instead of them. It's a pretty clear picture, and I think our guys and good with it. It's going to become tougher and tougher to create offense, and you have to make sure that our decisions are good and we're willing to do the work and build a goal, like we did in the third period the other night."
On Errors That Lead To Goals: "We show our guys what some of our mistakes are. For me, turnovers happen, it's not just the guy that is turning the puck over that is at fault. It's all the guys on the ice. We need to feed the puck information and talk to it and tell them what to do, and we also got to be heading in the right areas of the ice to support that puck and be able to communicate. All of us can do more in those situations, and that's what we explained to our guys. We try and explain why we're doing it. By no means do I want to skate to the red line and dump the puck in all night, that's not us. But we have to be able to identify when we have options and what the good options are and make high-percentage plays."
Colorado Left Wing Gabriel Landeskog
On Game 4 As A Must-Win: "Our desperation and urgency has to be there right from the get-go. For us, we feel confident. We stole one in their building, they stole one in ours and now it's time for us to play a little hockey tonight. So that's really how we look at it, have a good start and roll from there."
On The Keys To Game 4: "I think just the urgency in here and the mindset of bouncing back right away. We learned throughout the season that if you don't respond right away then it can be hard to respond. I think for us that's what ultimately led to our slide mid-season. We were kind of just pushing it forward, hoping that we were going to get going eventually, but this time of year you don't have time for that. We want to bounce back right away, no doubt, especially here on home ice."
Colorado Center Nathan MacKinnon
On The Strategy For Game 4: "It's just up to us, we don't need to be talking to each other the whole game. When you have the puck, you have a responsibility to make the right play and make the highest-percentage play you can and make calculated risks, I guess. We weren't good in the first (period of Game 3). In the second half of the game we managed to tie it up with smart puck play and cutting down our turnovers."
On San Jose's Challenges: "I wouldn't say there's one big challenge. They have a really deep team--a solid team all around, good goaltending, good D, good forwards. They've had lots of playoff success for a reason."
Colorado Defenseman Tyson Barrie
On The Attitude For Game 4: "I think this is the biggest game of the year for us, and we know that. It's a chance for us to tie the series up. And in front of our fans, it's going to be an easy one to get up for."
On Puck Play: "I think it was more on us. Give them credit, they played a great game, but we seemed to be forcing it a little bit and try and create something that wasn't there. We watched some video, and it was evident when we do get the pucks behind their D and be able to get a good forecheck, it plays into our hands and we're much more successful."
Video: Tyson Barrie talks about the upcoming Game 4
Colorado Center Tyson Jost
On Game 4: "It's a really important game. Obviously, 2-2 sounds a lot better than 3-1. We know the importance of that. We're going to use the crowd to our advantage and come out flying."
On Playing Their Game: "We know it's a huge game, but at the end of the day we know if we play our game we're going to have a chance to win this thing. I think the last game we didn't play great, not up to the standard we want to. We watched video, we know what we have to be better at. It's just a matter of putting it to work tonight, and I'm confident we'll be able to do that."
Video: Tyson Jost before Avs host Sharks in Game 4