Joe Sacco

Avs Bag Skate, Part Deux


Losers of three straight, the Colorado Avalanche enjoyed a nice, light skate today at practice. And when we say nice and light, we mean awful and exhausting. Coach Joe Sacco put the Avs through another bag skate, the team’s second in a matter of weeks.

Some video of the skating session, courtesy the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater:

One thing in particular that Dater noticed:

Sacco stood there and watched everyone pretty closely it seemed like. The guys who lagged behind probably didn’t help themselves – and rookie Brad Malone was one. He was totally gassed and seemed to take his sweet time getting back to the end line after Sacco gave everyone a brief break. The rest of the team was there at the end line ready to go again, but Malone kind of glided on in while everyone waited. That was noticeable to some veteran hockey people watching in the stands, not just me.

Malone, a North Dakota product, made his NHL debut Friday in a 4-1 loss to the Oilers.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
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Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
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Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.