There is only one true way to describe this year's annual intra-squad scrimmage: defensive battle. Both squads played a fairly physical and competitive game that only seemed to intensify after a hit from John Mitchell in the middle of the second period.
While watching the game, you could see the aggressive system that Bednar is trying to implement with the team. There was consistent pressure throughout the game on both sides of the ice, and there were fairly few wide open looks. This should excite Avalanche fans, as it gives us a preview for what to expect this upcoming season in our own zone. Instead of being focused on a zone defense, it appears the defense will be more "in your face" and aggressive.
In the end, it was Team White who held onto the victory over Team Burgundy with Mikhail Grigorenko finding the back of the net with less than a minute to play in the third period. The game also could have ended up tied at one goal each, as Burgundy nearly scored right back with less than ten seconds remaining, but just couldn’t quite bury the puck into the back of the net.
Although this scrimmage was fairly intriguing, it will be interesting to see how the team will look in these upcoming preseason games when the veterans come back and join the team. Bednar has a speed system, that should have Avs fans interested in seeing how this system complements the styles of Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.
Look forward to the Avs’ first preseason game that will take place against the hated Minnesota Wild on September 27, 2016, as the team should have most of its World Cup players back!