The Colorado Avalanche concluded its 2008 training camp with a pair of scrimmages on Tuesday.
Now that camp has officially come to a close, the players are ready to jump into preseason action and hit the ice to square off against some faces that aren’t quite so familiar. The Avs will host the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday at Pepsi Center in the team’s preseason opener (7:00 p.m.).
“I think we’re all looking forward to playing against other teams,” said Avalanche defenseman Ruslan Salei. “It’s going to be more a lot more intense, and we’ll be ready to go.”
Colorado will begin the preseason by playing three games within a four-day span. After hosting the Kings Wednesday, the Avs will travel to Dallas to face the Stars on Thursday. Following an off-day, the club will take on the Kings on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nev. Coach Granato’s Overall Impressions From Camp
“We have a lot of depth here. We had decisions on who’s going to play the Burgundy/White Game, decisions on who’s going to be cut, decisions on who’s going to be sent back. It’s been way more difficult than any time in our organization, at least as long as I’ve been here. We were impressed a lot with our draft picks, we were impressed a lot by our guys in Cleveland, our free agent guys, the tryout guys; everyone came in here and showed why someone in our organization or lots of people in our organization were excited about getting them into camp.” Scrimmage Recaps
Because the players are broken up into three teams, each squad took a turn playing two scrimmages in a single day at some point during camp. Today, it was Team Blue that took on both opposing groups.
Team Gray earned a 4-2 victory over Team Blue in the day’s first scrimmage, with Chris Stewart and Nathan Smith leading the way by recording a goal and an assist apiece. Gray’s Peter Budaj and Trevor Cann
combined for the victory in goal.
Team Blue bounced back with a 6-4 win over Team Black in the second scrimmage. T.J. Hensick had two goals for Team Blue, while Ryan Smyth and Marty Sertich chipped in with a goal and an assist apiece. Joe Sakic led Team Black with two goals and an assist. Stastny ReturnsPaul Stastny
returned to action Tuesday after suffering a hip contusion during Saturday’s scrimmage. The center didn’t participate in Sunday’s scrimmages and was also kept out of Monday night’s Burgundy/White Game for precautionary reasons.
Stastny showed no ill effects from the injury while centering Cody McLeod
and Milan Hejduk
Tuesday. The third-year pro even notched the game-winning goal in his squad’s 4-2 scrimmage victory.
While Stastny was back on the ice, Wojtek Wolski (foot) was again sidelined today. Coach Granato said the forward is expected to be out for another 5-7 days and will hopefully be back in the lineup toward the end of the exhibition season. Notable Combinations
Sakic again skated with Darcy Tucker and David Jones
for Team Black. The trio accounted for six points, with Tucker scoring a goal and Jones adding two helpers.
Brett Clark and Adam Foote again were paired up on the blue line today for Team Gray. Camp Scoring Leaders
Sakic (4g/1a) and Stastny (2g/3a) led all players with five points each during the four scrimmages, while Hensick (3g/1a), Jones (1g/3a) and Stewart (2g/2a) each recorded four points. Reassignments
On Tuesday afternoon, the Avalanche announced that it has reduced its 2008 training camp roster to 36 players. I UPDATED CAMP ROSTER
Codey Burki, Jack Combs, J.D. Corbin, Rob Drummond, Chris Durno, Tom Fritsche, T.J. Galiardi, Ian Keserich, Ray Macias, Bryan Marshall, Mark McCutcheon, Chris Mueller, Wes O’Neill, Derek Peltier, Marty Sertich, Tyler Weiman and Nigel Williams have been reassigned to Lake Erie (AHL).Trevor Cann
(Peterborough – OHL), Joel Chouinard
(Victoriaville – QMJHL), Peter Delmas (Lewiston – QMJHL), Cameron Gaunce
(Mississauga St. Michael’s – OHL) and Kelsey Tessier (Quebec – QMJHL) have been reassigned to their junior teams.
Jean-Philippe Cote has been released from his professional tryout contract.