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Avalanche will rely more on Vladislav Kamenev with veterans stuck in sick bay.
1 2018 . Denver Post. By Rita Mingo.

CALGARY The top line has been an undisputed success, but in order to keep this early season momentum going, the Colorado Avalanche need to rely heavily on their supporting parts.

As the Avalanche (7-3-2) prepared to face off against the Flames (7-5-1) on Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, Colorado coach Jared Bednar agreed that some of the youngsters who have been inserted in the lineup because of injuries will need to carry their share of the load.

Great opportunity for a lot of those guys, acknowledged Bednar after his squads morning skate. We liked some of those guys in training camp. Its a bigger opportunity for (Vladislav) Kamenev, hes moving up to our second line. Its more minutes for those guys. I think they want a bigger role and its a chance to show us they can earn that role.

I feel like all those guys have the ability to produce and play in the league. Were happy to have them and see them tonight. We certainly dont love missing guys with injuries, especially the three guys we have. They should be providing us with secondary scoring. But we have to move some things around, both power play and penalty kill, so it should be fun for those guys.

With Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher and Sven Andrighetto in sick bay, itll be up to some young blood to step in, guys such as forwards Sheldon Dries and A.J. Greer, recently called up from the American Hockey League. And center Kamenev, whom Bednar recently singled out as someone the club wants to see contribute on offense.

I agree with that, said Kamenev, 22, who has appeared in seven games. I have to play better offensively. Be with the puck more maybe and make plays. (With guys injured) I have to use that chance; Im playing now.

The Avs and Flames locked horns two weeks ago in Denver with Calgary coming away with a 3-2 win.

Inconsistent in what we did the early part of that game, Bednar said. Theyre coming off a road trip, a very successful one, and weve had a couple of days rest so hopefully our guys are energized right from the start.

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