AN­DRIGHETTO “RE­ALLY HAPPY” TO BE WITH AVS

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

cal­gary, al­berta» There is no play­off berth in sight, no lofty team goal to strive for at this late date in March.

But don’t tell Sven An­drighetto there’s noth­ing to play for.

“Ob­vi­ously, we all hate los­ing,’’ said the new­est mem­ber of the Avalanche. “But as the sea­son has turned out, it is what it is. We’ll keep mov­ing for­ward.

“As an in­di­vid­ual, it’s al­ways tough to stand out if the team isn’t do­ing well. But ev­ery­one has some­thing to play for, that’s for sure.’’

The re­cently turned 24year-old for­ward has fit in nicely on a line with cen­ter Nathan MacK­in­non and Mikko Ran­ta­nen, hav­ing amassed seven points in his 11 NHL games since be­ing traded to the Avs by the Mon­treal Cana­di­ens. His 12th game was Mon­day night in Cal­gary against the Flames, and his aim is to show the Avs’ coach­ing staff what he can con­trib­ute.

“It’s been work­ing out well,’’ the Swiss-born An­drighetto said. “Coaches gave me an op­por­tu­nity, and I’m play­ing with great line­mates. They’re young and have a lot of skill. They play the same style that I like to play.”

His for­mer team may be head­ing into the post­sea­son, but An­drighetto is thrilled to be seen as a sig­nif­i­cant cog.

“I was re­ally happy to be traded here,’’ he said. “In Mon­treal, I never got the op­por­tu­nity to play big min­utes. I av­er­aged eight min­utes a night, which isn’t a lot es­pe­cially for a young guy. I found my­self on the fourth line, which doesn’t re­ally suit my game. I tried my best, but they ei­ther didn’t be­lieve in me or didn’t give me the chance. So I was ex­tremely happy to get here.’’ The feel­ing is mu­tual. “We’ve re­ally liked him,’’ said Avs coach Jared Bed­nar. “He skates re­ally hard, plays with a good pace. Has abil­ity to make plays both of­fen­sive and de­fen­sively, a pretty good 200-foot player.

“Be­ing a crafty of­fen­sive guy, he’s found a lit­tle bit of chem­istry with MacK­in­non and Ran­ta­nen. He’s been a guy who’s been able to jump up in our lineup, plays the power play a bit, too.”

Ex­pe­ri­ence not enough.

The ups and downs of the con­fi­dence game is some­thing that ul­ti­mately oc­curs when a team is on the los­ing end more often than not. It’s the same with the Avs, in spite of the fact that they have ex­pe­ri­ence and skill on their ros­ter.

“You look at the way the bulk of our sea­son has gone, it’s easy to see why they don’t have a bunch of con­fi­dence lately,” Bed­nar said. “We feel like we’ve played some re­ally good hockey as of late and we’ve been un­able to come up with the re­sults that we want. Even last game in Ed­mon­ton … we gained some trac­tion early part of the sec­ond pe­riod. Go­ing into the third, we’re down one and we get a cou­ple of penal­ties and they end up in the back of our net. Kind of ru­ined our mo­men­tum and chance to get some points on the road.

“That’s what I mean by con­fi­dence. I don’t think a bunch of guys have con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to score right now, even though they’re proven goal scor­ers.”

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