ANDRIGHETTO “REALLY HAPPY” TO BE WITH AVS
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.”