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Rink Notes: Hejduk Practices, Svatos Skates

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
After playing their 36th game of the season Tuesday against the Washington Capitals – a number that has them tied for the league-high with the Los Angeles Kings – the Avs took yesterday off before returning to practice Thursday morning.

Avalanche assistant captain Paul Stastny said that the 6-1 loss to the Capitals understandably left a bitter taste in his mouth. But the time away from the rink allowed him and his teammates to go through the game in their heads and then move on while also recharging their batteries a bit.

 “Sometimes you want to forget about it and play right away,” said Stastny. “But it’s a long season, so it’s good to have a day off to forget about it and refresh yourself mentally and physically.

“You have the night to think about it, everybody’s mad about it, but when you get to practice two days later you have a whole new mindset and feel refreshed.”

Hejduk Practices, Svatos Skates
Milan Hejduk, who has been sidelined the past two games after suffering a knee injury on Dec. 11 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, returned to practice today. The assistant captain, who ranks second on the club with 12 goals this season, said that he felt “pretty good” following practice and expects to return for Saturday’s game. Colorado will host Columbus on Saturday evening, a contest that will wrap up the club’s five-game homestand.

Forward Marek Svatos skated on his own prior to practice, testing out his injured groin. Svatos sustained the injury on Dec. 11 and, like Hejduk, has missed the past two games. Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco is expected to make a decision on the forward’s status following tomorrow’s skate.

Busy Day
Following practice today, the Avalanche will make its 13th annual visit to The Children’s Hospital. There, the players and coaches will visit with young patients, distribute toys, sign autographs, take pictures and chat with the patients in an effort to lift their spirits during the holiday season. Check back to in the coming days for a video feature from the visit.

A Helping Hand
With support from KeyBank, Avalanche and Nuggets fans helped to support the efforts of the Denver Rescue Mission to provide food for our most vulnerable citizens during the holiday season. Through the annual “Do What You Can” Canned Food Drive at Pepsi Center, fans donated $10,497 and 490 pounds of food at home games this past Saturday and Sunday.
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