CASTLE PINES — Following a successful golf outing Tuesday, two days before the Avalanche reports for training camp, team captain Gabe Landeskog noted the obvious differences from a year ago, when the club was coming off its worst season in franchise history and one of its top forwards didn’t want to be part of the rebuild.
“We raised the bar for everything we do,” Landeskog said.
After trading disgruntled center Matt Duchene on Nov. 5, the Avs made a remarkable 47-point improvement in the standings to advance to their third playoff appearance in 10 years. Unlike last year, everyone is excited about being part of this team from Day 1.
“Everybody that’s here is buying in on what we’re doing,” Landeskog said after his fivesome finished tied for sixth in the Avs’ annual charity golf classic at The Ridge at Castle Pines North. “It’s going to be fun. It’s a fun time.”
Colorado’s veterans report Thursday for physicals and testing at the Pepsi Center. On-ice training camp sessions are Friday through Monday at the Family Sports Center. This year won’t be the circus like last year, when Duchene indirectly said he had no future with a team on the first day of camp.
“My mind-set is always the same — to come in as prepared as I could possibly be, and I think everybody has the same mind-set (this year),” Landeskog said. “Everybody that is here wants to be here, and wants to help the team. That’s what we’re trying to do — to try keeping this thing going forward and take the next step.”
New forward Matt Calvert, acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 1 during free agency, led his fivesome to the tournament title Tuesday with a 21-under-par scramble. The groups with defenseman Erik Johnson and center Carl Soderberg tied for second at 19-under, and center Tyson Jost and his teammates were fourth at minus-18.
Jost, 20, is among a handful second-year players looking to build on their fine rookie seasons, along with fellow forwards Alex Kerfoot, J.T. Compher and Dominic Toninato and defenseman Sam Girard, among others.
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Source:: The Denver Post – Sports