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Girard practices; Burakovsky doesn't but he should be OK

July 31, 2020, 6:32 PM ET [0 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Not a whole lot of news out of Edmonton on Friday as the Avalanche get ready for Sunday’s first round-robin game, against St. Louis.

Coach Jared Bednar said defenseman Samuel Girard practiced, so I’d guess he should be a go for the Blues game. Girard didn’t practice Tuesday, skated Wednesday but didn’t play later in the day against Minnesota in the exhibition game. The Avalanche were off Thursday.

Bednar said forward Andre Burakovsky didn’t practice Friday but should be back on the ice Saturday.

Bednar reiterated that he expects to play both Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz in the round-robin games and possibly in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He didn’t announce a starter for Sunday. Grubauer stopped 18 of 20 shots in the 3-2 win against the Wild; Francouz turned aside all 14 shots he faced.

“If we’re here for as long as we want to be here, I believe we’re going to need both guys, especially when we don’t know exactly how the schedule’s going to play out,” Bednar said. “To be in the round-robin series of three games and then having split the exhibition game the other night, I thought both goalies played well. They may have been two of our top three players.

“So I think we should try and keep those guys going, keep playing them in game situations as much as we possibly can. The luxury of playing a round robin and not jumping right into a (playoff) series right away allows us to do that.

“Now, I might change my mind on that, but I think right now that’s how I’m leaning. We’ll get input from the other coaches and management, and see what their thoughts are as well on the goalies, especially (goalie coach) Jussi (Parkkila). We’ll make a decision on what’s best for our team as we go. We don’t want to lock into anything too early, we’d like to have the ability to stay flexible.”

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