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Quenneville, Sakic Amped for 2007-08

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche took to the ice on Tuesday for an hour and a half long skate at Pepsi Center. With the hectic schedule over the past few weeks, which included rookie camp, training camp and a preseason game, today’s practice allowed Avalanche Head Coach Joel Quennevillle to take some time and work with a smaller group of players than in the preceding weeks.

All told, Quenneville seems to be happy with the things are shaping up with the regular season on the horizon.

“It’s nice to be back here at home and it was nice to skate on the ice here today,” said Quenneville. “I think last night’s game was a good start to the preseason games.”

Still, Quenneville continued the message that he set forth for his team during their first meeting of training camp: One game at a time. He has made it clear to his players that a game in October is just as important as the April 6 regular-season finale.

“We have to place an emphasis on the meaning of two points and the meaning of a strong start, because we had a lot of momentum exiting last season and we want to use it to our advantage.”

#19 Ready for #19

Gearing up for his 19th NHL campaign, Joe Sakic is feeling the excitement for Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings and playing against real competition for the first time this season.  That being said, Sakic - who did not travel with the team for Monday’s preseason opener against Phoenix – has another date circled on his calendar.

The Avalanche captain is understandably looking forward to the Avalanche’s season opener against Dallas; but you don’t spend 19 years in the National Hockey League without knowing that there’s work to be done in the preseason as well.

“We’re really going to be excited when it’s October 3rd and the preseason ends. For the next few games it’s going to be a good opportunity to really get that chemistry and start gelling,” said Sakic. “The most important thing is feeling good, getting the line combinations and doing what you have to do now to get ready for October 3rd. “

It’s Just Chemistry
The preseason is only one game old for the Avalanche, but Paul Stastny seems to be picking right up where he left off last season. In Monday’s exhibition opener, the forward notched two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to propel the Avs to a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

Presently, the young forward is mainly concerned about once again becoming used to the pace of the NHL game, and knows that this time of the year is a feeling-out process for both the players and the coaches.

 “It’s early in the game and it’s all about timing and getting the pace back to normal. You play different line combinations and try different things,” said Stastny.  “The coaches are looking to see who has chemistry, but I think it’s too early to tell. That’s the reason you have six preseason games and the Burgundy/White Game.”

The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced the reassignment of the following players to its American Hockey League affiliate training camp in Cleveland (Lake Erie Monsters), bringing the current training camp roster to 35 heading into Wednesday night’s preseason home opener against the Los Angeles Kings.

Matt Hussey, C

Ken Roche, C

Chris Stewart, RW

In addition, the club announced on Monday that it had reassigned the following players to its AHL affiliate training camp:

J.D. Corbin, LW

Dan DaSilva, RW

Brent Kelly, C

Mitch Love, D

Victor Oreskovich, RW

Andrew Penner, G

Brandon Straub, D

Michael Vernace, D

The Avalanche has also reassigned defenseman Nigel Williams to his junior team, the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League.

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