The Avalanche returned to the Pepsi Center for an intense practice Saturday after a much-deserved day off.
Avs coach Jared Bednar combined his top five forward lines, four defense pairings and two goaltenders into one session, running a high-intensity first session which involved a tirade towards his players.
In this clip — cut from a longer video not suitable for print — Bednar shouts, “does anyone disagree? Does anyone disagree?” after tearing into his team during a 5-on-5 drill.
— Aarif Deen (@runwriteAarif) July 18, 2020
“I wanted to make sure what are team was getting out of the practice was what our goal was going into it,” Bednar said. “We were getting ready to do the 5-on-5 drill that we had set up and I wanted us to make sure we were doing that drill with the right amount of intensity and physicality and putting a big enough importance into that drill on the defensive side of things. We only have so many days of practice to accomplish the things you want to accomplish so that was my message. And they took it well. I really liked our practice in that 5-on-5 portion and I felt it got carried over into the special teams as well.”
The special team’s portion, which came after an ice-resurfacing, included two power-play units going against a bevy of penalty-kill combinations. On the first unit, Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog were flanked by Sam Girard. The second unit consisted of Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin, Joonas Donskoi, Erik Johnson and either one of J.T. Compher or Vladislav Namestnikov.
The Avalanche’s top power-play quarterback Cale Makar did not participate in the special teams’ drill.
“I can’t say anything about Cale except that he was unfit to practice and left practice,” Bednar said, referring to the league-wide protocol which disallows teams from discussing injuries and ailments.
Bednar added that Makar’s participation in Sunday’s practice will not be known until that morning.