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Practice Report: Guite Contributing on Both Ends

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Ben Guite’s job isn’t all about scoring goals. Nevertheless, he’s been fairing pretty well in that area as of late.

In his last 11 games, Guite has potted five goals to go along with one assist, providing an offensive spark for the Avalanche to go along with his customary tenacious defensive play.

His recent statistics become even more impressive when one considers that in his previous 84 National Hockey League contests, the forward had scored six goals. The reason for his recent scoring outburst?

“We’ve played a lot against other teams’ top lines,” said Guite. “A lot of times, those top lines might take chances that other lines might not. It opens up the play a little more offensively for us. They might take a chance on the offensive side, and the next thing you know, you have the puck by yourself in front of the net.”

That’s not to say the forward is entirely a stranger to putting the puck in the net. Guite capped off his four-year career at the University of Maine by scoring 22 goals and adding 14 helpers in 40 games during his senior campaign of 1999-2000. All told, the Montreal, Quebec, native posted 47 goals and 49 assists in 146 collegiate games.

Upon moving to the East Coast Hockey League and then the American Hockey League, Guite knew that he would have to focus even more on his defensive play in order to have a shot at the NHL.

“Right off the bat, I could kind of tell that I wasn’t going to make the NHL because of my offensive skills. I wasn’t going to be a top-two line guy,” said Guite. “Even though I scored some goals, I was always a defensive player at Maine. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do whatever it takes.”

Injury Update
Avalanche center Paul Stastny skated on Saturday for the first time in a few days following Colorado’s team practice. He was joined on the ice by captain Joe Sakic and forward Cody McCormick.

Avalanche head coach Joel Quenneville stated that both Stastny and Sakic could be on the Avalanche’s upcoming five-game road trip.

“We’re not going to rush anybody,” said Quenneville. “There’s urgency on our side about the games and the meaning of the games, but until they’re ready to play, they’re not going to play.”

Quenneville also said that forward Ryan Smyth’s ankle felt fine after playing against St. Louis on Thursday.

“He recovered well. He said he felt good coming out of the game and had several chances,” said Quenneville. “We expect him to contribute in a number of ways.”

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