BEDNAR DEFENDS TEAM’S SYSTEM
Jared Bednar was hired as Avalanche coach in part because general manager Joe Sakic liked what he heard as Bednar outlined his push-the-pace system.
But with Colorado likely to finish the calendar year with the fewest points in the 30-team NHL, it seems fair to say it isn’t working with this team.
The Avalanche also went into Thursday night’s game against Toronto with the fewest goals in the league and has been plagued by errors leading to odd-man rushes the other way. Bednar isn’t backing off. “There’s only one way to really play the game,” Bednar said after the morning skate. “You have to be able to play fast. No one in the league is trying to slow the game down. No one in the league is trying to tiptoe around the perimeter.
“Now, there’s a handful of different systems guys use, they’re mix-and-match around the league. But you have to find a way to execute them and play with pace, play faster and get to the dirty areas to score goals. And then you need your guys to make plays in certain areas.”
Christmas break. Perhaps a break — or two or three — will do the Avalanche some good.
The NHL collective bargaining agreement calls for a three-day Christmas shutdown Saturday through Monday, with neither practices nor games allowed, and then the Avalanche faces Calgary at home Tuesday night.