More Colorado Avalanche players have returned to Denver to practice at Pepsi Center in informal groups. They appear to be enjoying themselves.
The Colorado Avalanche have just completed their second week of informal practices at the Pepsi Center. The first sextet of players formed rather slowly. And now they have their second practice group.
The first sextet, which is what the NHL was allowing at the time, was comprised of team leadership — Gabriel Landeskog, Erik Johnson, and Nathan MacKinnon — veterans Nazem Kadri and Ian Cole rounded out with a goalie, Philipp Grubauer. Once they finally formed as a sextet, they were mostly alone practicing at Pepsi Center.
They practiced today.
It looks like Matt Calvert joined their group. The NHL has now allowed up to groups of 12.
Here’s the captain practicing his hand-eye coordination:
He’s alright. No return of Dramatic Landy yet as far as I can tell.
Erik Johnson was putting in some work:
His shot looks pretty good.
Holy, shmoly, Nathan MacKinnon appears to want a Stanley Cup:
That’s not just some casual practicing to get your skating legs back — that’s absolutely dialed in.
Check it out:
NHLers, they’re just like us… not.
So, there was our first sextet that has now become a septet. Like I said — our leaders and veterans.
Well, our second group consists of young leaders. And they appear to be having so much fun:
That’s right, our young leaders — Cale Makar, JT Compher, Tyson Jost, Sam Girard, and Ryan Graves’ right ear. The goalie is Hunter Miska, up from the Eagles.
Teams will be able to carry as many goalies as they’d like. The Colorado Avalanche have three NHLers and four AHLers they can call on.
Here’s the second grouping in action:
I believe that’s Compher who scores on Miska.
Jost didn’t want to be left out:
So, another sextet now. I didn’t know any of those players were in town except Girard. Well, and Graves, who apparently drove 75,000 miles (approximately) from his home in PEI.
It’s so good to see more Colorado Avalanche players back in town and working on the ice. They all look very happy to be here and skating.
We do have to await a contingency from Europe. There’s still no news that I’ve heard of how that’s going to work out. As far as I know, they’re allowed to return. Now, whether they’ll have to be quarantined for two weeks is unknown. I would imagine it’s only until they get the results of their COVID-19 test.
Phase 2, these informal practices, is the first step of Return to Play. Next comes formal training camps, which begin July 10. The round robin and play-in rounds are supposed to start July 30.