Former head coach of the DU Pioneers men’s hockey team and current Valor Christian head coach George Gwozdecky joined CBS4 sports anchor Michael Spencer for Xfinity Monday Live this week.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Coach George Gwozdecky gave his take on the current playoff series between the Avs and Predators, which at the time of the show the Avs trailed 0-2.
“They’re working hard, they’re competing hard, when they get down it’s not bothering them, and I think that’s a real credit to (Avs head coach) Jared (Bednar) and his staff, but certainly you can see at certain times of the game the experience that Nashville has paying off.”
Colorado beat Nashville in Game 3 by a score of 5-3 to cut Nashville’s series lead to 2-1.
Avs centerman Nathan Mackinnon had two goals in Colorado’s win and Gwozdecky talked about MacKinnon’s maturation over the past several seasons.
“I remember watching him play as a rookie and he was impressive because of his individual skills. As he’s matured in his game he’s starting to utilize his teammates a lot better in a much more difficult way to defend against,” said Gwozdecky. “He’s certainly still such a dynamic player with his speed and his strength and his drive and determination.”
Gwozdecky also commented on the job that Avs head coach Jared Bednar has done in his second season with the club. The Avs finished with just 48 points last season which was the worst in the NHL, but turned that around and made the playoffs in 2018.
“I’m really impressed with Jared’s patience, and Joe’s (Sakic) patience. I think Joe did a really good job of saying, ‘I hired Jared, I believe in him and he needs time to prove himself.’ (Bednar) came in at a very difficult situation and a very difficult time of year.
“I think Jared has done the same thing and I think you can see the results as they speak for themselves right now.”
Gwozdecky just finished his third season as the head coach at Valor Christian and coached the Eagles to a 20-3-0 record this season in which they finished as the state runner-up.
“I’ve had a ball,” Gwozdecky said about coaching high school after a career spent coaching in Division I and in the NHL. “It’s been a lot of fun, we’ve got a great group of kids, and it’s just going to continue to get better.”