Some good news came out of Wednesday morning’s practice at Family Sports Center, as Avalanche netminder Craig Anderson (groin) was back on the ice.
The NHL’s reigning Second Star of the Week, Anderson took part in all of the drills this morning and will be available Thursday night against the Nashville Predators.
“It was more just making sure we didn’t do any further damage to the area; a precautionary measure,” Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco
remarked about Anderson not practicing on Tuesday. “He seemed like he was fine today out there. He looked sharp. He’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”Hitting The Road
Following Wednesday’s skate, the Avalanche hopped on a flight to open its first road swing of the season – a trip that will see the club visit Nashville, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Montreal and Detroit within a 10-day span (Oct. 8-17).
The Avs will return to Denver briefly before catching another plane to Minnesota for an Oct. 21 contest against the Wild, wrapping up a stretch in which the team plays seven straight road contests.
While the glut of early-season road games may serve as a good litmus test for the team, the players are also looking at the trip as a way to build chemistry early on.
“It’s going to be a good test for our team, but it’s going to be great to get the guys together for such a long time,” said defenseman Brett Clark. “It’s something we didn’t have last year, when we played a lot of early games at home. I think it’s going to be a good team bonding experience, and will help the guys get on the same page.”
With the Avalanche icing such a young squad this season, the ability to have so much bonding time this early in the year could be beneficial in the long run.
“We have such a young team, but we also have a good group of veteran guys,” said Clark. “If we can get a close-knit group, that’s going to be a big thing for us this year. There will be ups and downs, but we have to keep playing hard and it will pay off.”Jones Making The TripDavid Jones
(chest) is joining his Avalanche teammates for the start of the club's seven-game road swing. The winger was injured in a preseason contest against the Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 23 and has not played or gone through a full practice since.
Jones has, however, been skating on his own before practice recently. This morning, he hit the ice half an hour before his teammates and was put through skating and shooting drills by Video/Development Coach Adam Deadmarsh.