Avalanche Head Coach Faces Tough Decision-making Ahead

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Avalanche Head Coach Faces Tough Decision-making Ahead

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Preparing for Opening Night: Avalanche Coach Bednar Adjusts Roster After Four Preseason Games

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen made their preseason debut on a Sunday night at Ball Arena, sharing the ice with Jonathan Drouin on the same line. Although they had practiced together during training camp, this was the first time they showcased their chemistry in an actual game.

Head coach Jared Bednar expressed his satisfaction with the line, saying, “I like that line a lot. They created some really good scoring chances, made some nice plays.” He also praised Drouin’s agility and effort, highlighting his contributions on both even-strength and power-play situations. Drouin played a pivotal role in the power-play unit that netted the second goal and assisted on the overtime game-winner by Oskar Olausson.

Drouin himself enjoyed playing with MacKinnon and mentioned that although they didn’t convert many opportunities, it was encouraging to generate scoring chances.

When Rantanen was asked about the experience, he acknowledged that they didn’t possess the puck as much as they’d like but attributed it to the early stage of preseason. He expressed the intention to work on their chemistry before the regular season kicks off.

While the top six players in the lineup seem relatively settled, Coach Bednar faces challenges in filling other positions. He emphasized the importance of giving players vying for spots ample playing time to assess their abilities over an extended period. Bednar’s goal is to identify their strengths and weaknesses as the preseason progresses, acknowledging that tough decisions lie ahead.

Regarding goaltending, Bednar noted that Alexandar Georgiev, who made 34 saves, displayed moments of excellence but also conceded some goals he didn’t approve of. However, he emphasized that exhibition games are crucial for shaking off rust and preparing the team for the regular season.

Bednar indicated that the complete starting lineup would likely feature in the final preseason game in Las Vegas, but this decision would be contingent on evaluations and choices made leading up to the game on Thursday.

Reference:

https://thehockeynews.com/nhl/colorado-avalanche/featured/avalanche-head-coach-still-has-lots-of-decisions-to-make

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