Colorado Avalanche Day 2 Training Camp Thoughts

CENTENNIAL, CO - SEPTEMBER 23: Avalanche coach Jared Bednar talks his team through a drill during the first day of training camp at Family Sports Ice Arena in Centennial, Colorado on September 23, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - SEPTEMBER 23: Avalanche coach Jared Bednar talks his team through a drill during the first day of training camp at Family Sports Ice Arena in Centennial, Colorado on September 23, 2016. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche completed Day 2 of training camp, and it was physical.

The Colorado Avalanche have had two days of training camp to get things moving. You can tell  a few guys are pushing the bubble trying to make the team this season. It’s going to be a tough team to make. That’s something that feels good to say again.

It’s a tough team in many aspects. Philipp Grubauer and Semyon Varlamov are both trying to make a push for a starting position. Grubi has said he wants the starting position but for the last few seasons Varly has held the spot. If he can stay healthy this season expect a vicious battle in net between the two.

Even the other three goalies are looking sharp. The Colorado Eagles are set for their own battle in net.

The defense if feeling the heat as well. Anton Lindholm showed a side of him we hardly see. He was PHYSICAL today. He hit one of the rookies so hard into the boards the fans and players alike reacted. Lindy followed that up with a few more hits and some solid defensive play.

The typical defensemen looked good. Erik Johnson improved over the summer and got his skill set polished for the season. He has been playing with Sam Girard in what looks like a “big and little” situation. EJ has been mentoring G on the ice all camp. Girard also put on a bit of weight this off season. However he hasn’t slowed down or missed a step.

Barrie injured himself the day of the Colorado Avalanche’s medicals, but was back on the ice for day two. Looked like his typical Tyson Barrie, love him or hate him. He was partnered with Nikita Zadorov, who is wearing a no contact jersey after shoulder surgery.

Patrick Nemeth is also in a no contact jersey after a shoulder surgery this off season. Day two of camp he had an on ice collision with JT Compher (incidental) and left the ice to speak with training staff. It turns out he chipped his tooth.

Prior to his leaving the ice Nemeth was paired with Ian Cole. Cole has looked like a solid pickup. No one gets by him without getting a hit of some sort. We will see who move up to get minutes with EJ if Girard gets tired of playing half the game.

The last defenseman I see making the team and pushing it is Mark Barberio. He has looked solid in camp like he was at the beginning of the season. Mark Alt played a couple games for us last season, but I think he will be in the AHL. He hasn’t done a lot to stand out in the strong defensive area the Avs finally have.

In all reality I see our team carrying 7 defenseman. Those being EJ, Girard, Barrie, Z, Cole, Nemeth, and Barbs.

The rookies look solid, for the AHL. Mason Geertsen is one of my favorites as some of you might know. He looks like he has improved his skating in the off season, and will stand out in the AHL. A few seasons ago he would have easily made the Avs roster.

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As far as the forwards go at camp, the top line has stayed the same. As always they look amazing and Nathan MacKinnon does his thing. Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog have had their consistent great play and the chemistry on that line has not changed.

Line two has been tyson Jost, Alexander Kerfoot andMartin  Kaut. Jost has been playing center with Kerfoot on his wing. I have really enjoyed this change, I think it’s makes both players grow in skill set and see things a little differently. Kerfoot has been shooting the puck like crazy at camp, and it’s been going in.

Jost has been working with MacKinnon’s conditioning coach in the off season. That has helped in a few aspects. Jost’s footwork, speed, and hands seemed to have developed this summer. He also leaned down some, which I didn’t think was possible. Kerfoot seems to have put on a little weight. Kaut has been underwhelming and seems a little lost at times. He is a rookie and might just need some development and seasoning.

Line three I am not sure which will be the third line so I am going with my hope: JT, Matt Calvert and Logan O’Connor. JT and Calvert have developed a little chemistry. Calvert surprised me today at camp. He makes a couple quick moves to get around the defenseman, and he is gone. He has some crazy hands that I didn’t realize he had. O’Connor has had a good camp with a couple good shots and moves, but it’s hard to make this team.

JT has looked like he has built on his off season and looks good. He has had some good set up plays in front of the net.

Line four has been Carl Soderberg, Garbiel Bourque, and Matt Nieto. Nieto and Soderberg came into camp with the chemistry they had from last season. Bourque being added to the line has had some success and chemistry.

Bourque has had quite a few solid shots on net that fooled the goalie. They may have more chemistry then they did with Comeau. Soderberg was mad today. He elbowed Vladislav Kamenev in the face, had a shoving match in  the corner with Kerfoot, and hit a few rookies when they thought they would step up to him. Nieto has been solid as well. His shots have been more accurate so far in camp and his skating has improved.

Fifth line has been Kamenev, Colin Wilson, and Sven Andrighetto. Sven has had some decent plays and puck movement. He looks more comfortable in traffic and his hands have improved. Wilson looks consistent to how he was last season. Kamenev has been underwhelming for me. He doesn’t look like he is pushing himself quite like the other guys trying to make this team.

Other areas to note, Dominic Toninato has been center on a line with two rookies. He has looked about the same as last season and hasn’t had a moment for me where he has stuck out yet.

AJ Greer has been on a line with two rookies as well. I like AJ, but he needs to step his game up to be on this team. I still think he looks promising so I am not sure if he earns a spot just yet.

Next. Camp Day 1: Changes in Players. dark

I think the five fighting for the two openings are Wilson, Andrighetto, Kamenev, Toninato, and Greer. I think there is a potential for Bourque to be pushed to a healthy scratch again depending what Bednar is looking for on any given game.

The rookies that will be in Loveland will develop further and the future looks promising after two days of Colorado Avalanche camp. We still have two to go!