Makar, Nichushkin and Newhook Join Practice
DENVER, Colo. — The Colorado Avalanche took to practice at Family Sports Center on Tuesday in preparation for their home contest against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
The full squad was on the ice for over an hour as Tuesday’s practice followed a day off on Sunday and an optional skate on Monday.
Cale Makar rejoined the group for practice after sustaining an upper-body injury on Oct. 30.
Before being sidelined with the injury, Makar tallied six points (two goals, four assists) in Colorado’s first eight games. Makar was paired with Devon Toews during practice.
Tuesday’s practice marks the first appearance for Toews after his first game back since rehabbing an upper-body injury.
“I felt good, it was better than I thought. I felt strong. I felt confident. I didn’t have any lingering issues in my head mentally about it. I think all around there’s a good step and another step is to just keep consistent and keep getting better and better,” Toews said about how he felt during Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The defenseman saw over 20 minutes of ice time in his first game back, saying, “I fit in wherever [Bednar] puts me, I’ll play whatever role needed with whoever. I think that’s kind of the positive part about our D-core. We feel like we have eight or nine guys that we can slide in with whoever and have a good night. So it’s on us right now to kind of bring it back and slow it down a little bit structurally.”
Alex Newhook was welcomed to practice after being recalled from American Hockey Leauge Affiliate the Colorado Eagles earlier Tuesday morning.
“I talk to [Bowen Byram] a lot, we’re really good buddies, we talk all the time. So, it’s good to have him kind of in my ear and about things that are going on here, about how the team’s going, what the mindset is,” Newhook said about being back with the Avalanche. “I’ve realized pretty quick that we’re about winning here and that’s the mindset, we got to get better”.
Newhook played one game with the Avalanche earlier this season, the series opener on Oct. 13 against the Chicago Blackhawks. Newhook has since played 10 games with the Eagles, earning himself 11 points (four goals, seven assists).
Valeri Nichushkin practiced with the group after being out with an upper-body injury he sustained on Oct. 13. Nichushkin skated on a line with Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky.
J.T. Compher joined Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen on the top line as Nathan MacKinnon was unavailable for practice.
92 Gabriel Landeskog – 37 J.T. Compher – 96 Mikko Rantanen
13 Valeri Nichushkin – 91 Nazem Kadri – 95 Andre Burakovsky
17 Tyson Jost – 18 Alex Newhook – 25 Logan O’Connor
43 Darren Helm – 12 Jayson Megna – 44 Kiefer Sherwood
7 Devon Toews – 8 Cale Makar
6 Erik Johnson – 49 Sam Girard
3 Jack Johnson – 28 Ryan Murray
56 Kurtis MacDermid – 4 Bowen Byram
35 Darcy Kuemper
31 Jonas Johansson