In Tuesday night’s 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche forward Blake Comeau made his presence felt in his first appearance after four games due to a lingering groin injury.
The injury had been bothering Comeau prior to him sitting out, but it got to the point that it wasn’t healing and Comeau and the training staff decided he needed rest to let it recuperate.
“I feel good. It was good to be able to get it right, so I didn’t have to think about it when I was playing,” Comeau said at morning skate Tuesday. “With the schedule being as busy as it was, it was hard to find time to get it right. It finally got to the point where I wasn’t able to play the way I needed to play and I thought it would be best for everybody just to get it right and get back to playing the way I needed to play.”
Before the game, Comeau emphasized Colorado’s need to regain its confidence. A four-goal game is exactly what they needed to start moving in the right direction.
“I think that was huge for us. We all feel like we have the talent in here to score some goals and we were just in a little bit of a funk,” Comeau stated. “Hopefully tonight, going forward, just gave guys a little extra boost of confidence going on this tough road trip.”
In his first game in ten days, Blake Comeau saw 14:24 of total ice time and even found himself on the score sheet, burying his second goal of the year.
The goal was off a wrist shot from the slot that Kings goaltender Peter Budaj had a hard time seeing due to a timely screen from Jarome Iginla. Comeau didn’t know Iginla was there for the screen, but rather was simply putting the puck on net.
“Honestly, I just got open in the slot and tried to throw it on net,” Comeau said recounting his goal. “That was something we have been talking about is throwing pucks on net. Obviously, that doesn’t go in if Iggy’s not in front, so it’s important you take the goalie’s eyes away and that was a perfect example of it. That was a great job by Iggy.”
Being at the bottom of the league in shots on goal as well as goals scored, the Avalanche have been focused on getting pucks to the net, a typical remedy for a team struggling to score. With 30 shots on goal from the Avalanche on Tuesday night, the team is pleased with the amount of pucks with which they challenged Budaj.
“Obviously, L.A. is a great defensive team and a stingy team. I thought we generated a lot of chances,” Comeau gleefully said after the victory. “We did a good job of holding pucks down low, cutting back, finding the open guy and the D did a good job of getting shots through as well. Moving forward, hopefully, that will give us a little bit of a boost and we don’t look back.”
In his first game back, Blake Comeau spent some time on the penalty kill as well. While the Avalanche gave up a goal on the kill, Comeau is confident in the direction of their PK.
“That’s something I take a lot of pride in. It keeps me involved in the game, playing on the penalty kill,” the tenth-year veteran said. “You know, we gave up some goals early in the season, but I think with the system we have implemented it’s going to work really well. Guys are adjusting well and we’ve been getting better and better. It’s going to be important for us moving forward, our specialty teams.”
While the top guys on the Avalanche are struggling to find scoring success, the role players had to pick up the slack Tuesday against the Kings. Having Blake Comeau back in the lineup helped provide strong two-way support and even an insurance goal about halfway through the third period making the score 3-1.
Blake Comeau’s impact Tuesday night was certainly felt and for the first time this season, it was largely a positive one, and the aspirations he had for his team against the Kings were achieved. More pucks to the net created more goals, which in turn, has built some much-needed confidence in the Avalanche dressing room as they head out to face a challenging three-game road trip.
Going 2-2 on the latest homestand, the upcoming road trip will be vital for the Avalanche to create some momentum, as the first two games will be important division matchups. Using their newly-found confidence to put together some wins can get the Avs back in the mix within the heavily competitive Central Division.