First of all, take note, for TV purposes apparently, the Vancouver Canucks home game Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche is a 6 pm start locally.
The Vancouver Canucks morning skate didn’t exist. The Avalanche jumped on the ice at 10:30 am and soon after I caught up with Abbotsford native, Avalanche defenceman, Devon Toews, and his head coach Jared Bednar in preparation for tonight’s match.
We quickly covered the BC flooding in Toews’s hometown, the revenge factor for the Canucks tonight, and why he didn’t grow up a Vancouver fan.
Coach Bednar adds thoughts about struggling power plays. Both the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche are operating with a success rate at just above 15% for the season. Colorado will be without Nathan MacKinnon, JT Compher, and Cranbrook native Bowen Byram.
The Avalanche are 6-5-and-2 on the young season, coming off two consecutive wins, while the Canucks are 5-9-and-2 this season, one of their losses coming at the hands of the Avalanche 7-1 in Denver last Thursday.
Jared Bednar coached the Lake Erie Monsters to a Calder Cup championship in the American Hockey League back in 2015-’16, part of which led to his opportunity to jump up to the affiliated big club Avalanche the very next season.
Bednar has paid his dues. His playing career as a right-shot defenceman lasted a decade beginning in 1994 and was spent mostly in the ECHL. He then began coaching at the same level as an assistant with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2002. He won the league title, the Kelly Cup, seven years later as head coach of the same team.
After the title, he hopped up to the AHL level and began the same process, moving along first as an assistant in Abbotsford for a season (it’s a small hockey world) and then on to Peoria, Illinois and Springfield, Massachusetts before landing the Lake Erie (Cleveland) job.