Cale Makar after Avs’ fourth straight loss prompts players-only meeting: “If you’re not ready, you’re doing something wrong”

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Cale Makar after Avs’ fourth straight loss prompts players-only meeting: “If you’re not ready, you’re doing something wrong”



SUNRISE, Fla. — The Avalanche entered Saturday night with a clear plan after losing three straight: Eliminate the mistakes that cost the Avs earlier on this road trip and replicate the competitive spirit they showed the last time out against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Instead, the Avs played their worst game of the four. Coach Jared Bednar felt the Florida Panthers were more competitive and more dialed in, while the Avalanche began to feel sorry for themselves as the game wore on.

The result was a 4-0 loss, and a players-only team meeting after the game.

“I don’t think there is a lot to take out of this one, besides really digging in on the details of our game about ‘What are you going to do to work our way out of it?’” Bednar said. “We should have been a really hungry team, but they were the hungrier team, so we’ve got to get right into the detail of our game. It’s more than just the competitiveness. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves with some of what we were doing out there.”

Colorado was on a 13-3-1 surge going into the team’s bye week and the All-Star break. It was the best extended stretch of play from the Avs all season, both with how they were playing and the results produced.

The Avs went nine days without a game and haven’t looked the same since. Bednar has noted multiple times that other teams had a similar break and it’s not a worthy excuse.

“I’ve never really had this in my five years here,” Cale Makar said. “You’ve got to be ready to go. That’s our jobs. It’s professional hockey, so if you’re not ready, you’re doing something wrong. Every individual in this room knows their role. It’s just having to execute and sometimes it gets away from us. This is not something we’re super familiar with.”

No one who spoke after the loss questioned the team’s effort, or the work ethic. The Panthers are also one of the best teams in the league, and the Avs cann’t match them.

That’s going to happen over the course of a season, even for the best teams. The way this game got away from the Avs, with the Panthers pouring on the pressure, was different from the other losses.

Florida had 83 shot attempts in this game at 5-on-5. That’s 15 more than any other team has had against Colorado at 5-on-5 this season.

The Avs have two days off before playing Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals in the nation’s capitol. They’ll take Sunday off and then practice here in South Florida before flying to D.C.

“I think everyone works here,” Andrew Cogliano said. “Work for our team is second nature. I think it’s one thing that our team has going for itself. Now, I think it is about finding solutions.

“I thought tonight we probably gave up the most opportunities we have and we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be. I think that’s the message now. We have to get back to our team game.”

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