Special Teams Focus at Avs Training Camp
Avs open preseason schedule on Tuesday against Vegasby Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com
CENTENNIAL, Colo.--The Colorado Avalanche wrapped up its 2019 training camp with a special teams-focused practice at Family Sports Center on Monday.
Each on-ice session had the group split into two units, one of players practicing with having a man advantage and the other working on penalty-kill situations.
"A lot of power play, penalty kill today, and we know how important that is for the season," said forward J.T. Compher. "Just getting some different looks out there, going through the systems, making sure before we go into our first few preseason games that everyone is on the same page."
Colorado opens its preseason slate on Tuesday at Pepsi Center against the Vegas Golden Knights at 7 p.m. MT.
While head coach Jared Bednar was still making a few decisions on his lineup for the contest at the time of his media availability, he did note that it will be a youthful group.
Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar after Day 4 of camp
"We have a group going tomorrow that's young. It is rewarding guys for coming to camp in good condition, for playing well in rookie camp," said Bednar. "I think there are some guys that have earned the opportunity coming into camp here to get a look in the exhibition games and get a taste for it, some draft picks. Same goes for some of the guys coming in on the tryouts.
"The better they play, the more opportunity they are going to get and some of the other guys won't get as much if they don't play well. Structurally we want to see that our guys are doing the right things and learning what we are all about and the manner of which we play. The identity of our team, pace has a lot to do with that. Execution, we want to see our execution getting better and better in all areas of our game."
The Avalanche will play six preseason outings, with a game at home and away against each the Golden Knights, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild.
Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov did not participate in the on-ice sessions as he is day-to-day with a minor lower-body ailment.
"He is out today, tweaked something in his lower body so he is day-to-day," head coach Jared Bednar said of Zadorov. "We will just see when he is going to be able to join the group again."
Rear guard Kevin Connauton (cheek bone) has been on the ice as a non-contact participant every day at Avs training camp and once again took part in the drills. Defensemen Ian Cole (hips) and Erik Johnson (shoulder) continued their recovery by skating on their own and doing drills with Colorado on-ice performance consultant Shawn Allard.
FIVE PLAYERS HEAD TO THE EAGLES
After practice, the Avalanche reassigned six players to reduce its roster to 51 players. Colorado is now carrying 28 forwards, 19 defensemen and four goaltenders on its roster.
Forwards Travis Barron, Josh Dickinson, Brandon Saigeon and Igor Shvyrev and defenseman Josh Anderson were reassigned to the Colorado Eagles of the American Hockey League, while goaltender Trent Miner was reassigned to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.
"Tomorrow we start game groups, so we are running two large groups right now so as we start tomorrow, we got to cut one group to 20 and then still run one larger group," said Bednar. "We can't have 35 guys on the ice, so we had to make some decisions today. Some of the other guys are going to get in exhibition games and then we will keep cutting down as camp goes on."
Blue Power-Play Unit:
Tyson Jost - Joonas Donskoi - Valeri Nichushkin - J.T. Compher - Samuel Girard
White Power-Play Unit:
A.J. Greer - T.J. Tynan - Martin Kaut - Vladislav Kamenev - Bowen Byram
Gray Power-Play Unit:
Sheldon Dries - Jayson Megna - Nick Henry - Luka Burzan - Conor Timmins
Penalty Killers: forwards Erik Condra, Travis Barron, Alex Beaucage and Sasha Mutala and defensemen Josh Anderson, Mark Barberio, Ryan Graves, Jacob MacDonald and Nicolas Meloche.
Group 2 Goalies: Adam Werner, Hunter Miska, Trent Miner
Blue Power-Play Unit:
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - Cale Makar
White Power-Play Unit:
Shane Bowers - Ty Lewis - Josh Dickinson - Michael Joly - Calle Rosen
Penalty Killers: forwards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Matt Calvert, Colin Campbell, Matt Nieto, Brandon Saigeon and Igor Shvyrev and defensemen Mark Alt, Kevin Connauton, Kevin Davis, Sasha Larocque, Anton Lindholm, Dan Renouf and Peter Tischke.
Group 1 Goalies: Philipp Grubauer, Pavel Francouz