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The Avalanche returned to practice today following a day off after their return from a quick two-game road trip to western Canada where they lost to Winnipeg and beat Edmonton to snap a five-game losing streak. In the lineup on the trip was Avalanche forward Tyson Jost, who had missed the previous four games with a head injury.
Jost’s return was almost entirely positive as he scored a goal, just his second of the season, against Winnipeg and came very close to getting the goal that was eventually awarded to Alexander Kerfoot against Edmonton (he thought he touched the glove, which helped push the puck into the net, but not the puck itself, therefore it was Kerfoot’s goal).
“I felt good,” Jost told BSN Denver. “It was nice to come back from injury and then got to go back home and visit some family. It’s nice to end that five-game losing skid we had, too. It was a fun game in Edmonton, obviously we would have liked a better result in Winnipeg but for me personally, I love getting back in the lineup and I felt pretty good about my game.”
“I really liked how I played my last two games,” Jost continued. “I feel like I took a step forward from whenever that three-game stretch was when I was struggling a bit but I’ve got to keep that rolling. You know me, I’m never satisfied and I want to be better. I had a couple chances in Edmonton where I could have put the puck in the net, that one in front of the net where I kind of bobbled it, but it’s part of the game. I can’t get too frustrated and I had a lot of grade-A and it’s good chances are coming. It was good to get that goal in Winnipeg.”
Jost suffered the injury against the Ottawa Senators, Colorado’s last win before beating Edmonton on Sunday night.
“It sucks being out of the lineup and watching your team not have success is another thing,” Jost said. “You want to do everything you can to help and you can’t. You’re just sitting on the couch watching it. It’s tough. You don’t ever want to be injured but it is part of the game and it was a good time for me to reset I guess you could say and focus on my individual game.”
Given it was a head injury, which teammates J.T. Compher and Conor Timmins are also suffering from with no end in sight to their struggles, there was concern the injury may not be short-term but Jost refused to look at what could be and stayed locked in on the day-to-day approach.
“I was pretty positive about it. I thought I’d be back pretty quickly but concussions are scary. I just wasn’t going to focus on that and stay positive.”
Jost’s laser-sharp focus and endless drive have been two major factors in the success he’s experienced in getting to the NHL but have served as a double-edged sword since arriving in the league. The pressure he puts on himself to achieve greatness has gotten him to this point but the relative lack of success in an Avalanche uniform has started to take its toll already.
“Sometimes I’m too hard on myself but that makes me who I am,” Jost said. “I think a lot of guys are like that so honestly I think it’s a good thing for me that I just push myself all the time. Sometimes I need to take a little step back and just take a breath and relax a little bit. It’s part of who I am and what I’m all about. I want to bring my best every night.”
When he needs to bend an ear, Avalanche assistant coach Ray Bennett has been a consistent voice of reason for the 20-year-old forward to turn to.
“I have a really good relationship with [Bennett] and he’s always talking to me and I’m always picking his ear. We have good talks and he says [I need to relax] sometimes. It’s different little things. It’s good to have their feedback.”
A new addition to the Avalanche coaching staff has been skills coach Shawn Allard, who Jost feels has been instrumental in him getting back into games and being effective right away.
“Honestly, it’s been awesome,” Jost said of Allard’s addition. “When I was hurt and the team was on the road, I was skating and he did a lot of things with me that were very game-like. I remember last year when I was hurt we didn’t have that or have someone to skate with. When I came back, I felt really, really good and I think that’s a credit to him and what he’s doing with me. It’s really nice to have him. He’s a big part of our team.”
And how can Allard help the team as a whole?
“Guys after practice are working with him on whatever they want, injured guys can work with him and when you’re injured you have a chance to rehab and better your game as well. I think it’s awesome. It was a really smart decision by the guys upstairs and we’re really excited to have him.”
News and Notes
- Sven Andrighetto practiced with the team in a non-contact jersey and is listed as OUT tomorrow against Boston and is doubtful to play Friday against Washington. There is hope he is ready to travel with the team to California this weekend.
- J.T. Compher skated with Andrighetto in a non-contact jersey before practice and then did some skating on his own after Andrighetto joined main practice. There is still no timeline on a return for Compher
- Semyon Varlamov will get the start against Boston. Philipp Grubauer IS healthy but Bednar has clearly decided who his number one goaltender is right now.