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On The Road: Practice In Winnipeg

Colorado gets ready for the Jets

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

The Colorado Avalanche woke up Friday morning in a rather warm Winnipeg, or at least relatively warmer.

When Colorado was last here in December, temperatures were around minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit, but Friday's high temperature was in the mid-20's. Now, that doesn't factor in the wind chill, but it is still warmer than when the club is usually in the Manitoba capital.

The players were on their own for breakfast before taking the 11:30 a.m. bus to the MTS Iceplex for practice. The rink was roughly 25 minutes from the club's downtown hotel and also serves as the Winnipeg Jets' practice facility.

Once at the rink, the players got loose and made sure their equipment was in order. The team then had a 12:40 p.m. meeting to go over the previous night's contest against the Ottawa Senators and begin preparations for Saturday's game at the Jets.

The Avs took the ice at 1:20 p.m. and held a 40-minute practice. Every player took part in the skate, and there was only one change to the club's line combinations. Mikhail Grigorenko and Blake Comeau switched spots on the bottom six, with Grigorenko joining Matt Nieto and J.T. Compher, while Comeau played with Joe Colborne and John Mitchell.

At 2:00 p.m. sharp, the Zamboni came on the ice, and all the players headed to the dressing room to catch the bus back to the hotel. The bus departed the west Winnipeg arena at 2:35 p.m. and was back downtown by 3:00 p.m.

The Avalanche then had the remainder of the day to relax and rest up for Saturday night's contest against the Jets.

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