After his effort in game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs, it looks like Nazem Kadri IS going to be that difference-maker for the Colorado Avalanche.
According to the Colorado Avalanche statistics, he’s been one of the team members contributing the most overall in the game since he joined them this season.
It was interesting hearing Adrian Dater asking Nazem Kadri in the press conference after yesterdays game about having a chip on his shoulder and he said: “It’s accurate and I try not to think about it too much, just play my game and try to help my team win.”
I wonder how much that ‘chip on his shoulder’ drives him to play the best game he possibly can each and every game. He had a reputation for being hot-headed and drawing penalties. Something’s changed because that’s not what we’ve been seeing from him, especially not in this lead up to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he was the best forward for the team in this game.
How worked hard all game in round one of the playoffs against the Coyotes. It was crazy to see that he had more shots on goal during the game than the entire Coyotes team. It was going to take other team members to stand up when the Coyotes set out to shut down the Avalanches top-line centre, Nathan MacKinnon.
Kadri stood out on the ice as he made play after play to try and get that one elusive scoring shot to put the Avalanche on the board.
He scored due to his sheer persistence with more than one attempt at getting the puck in behind Kuemper.
And he did it.
It was interesting how Kadri’s play alone set off the momentum for the next two goals.
The second goal coming only ten seconds after the first and watching the replay, it was in similar circumstances. Whilst Kadri wasn’t on the ice it was as if he’d shown the team how the scores could happen. And they paid attention.
The third topped it off, and all within the span of a minute twenty-three seconds.
Since joining the Avalanche he’s secured himself the spot of the second-line centre. And with that he’s been given the freedom to do what he does best, get under the skin of opposition players.
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During the season he’s had different linemates to play with and each time he’s shown consistency. Sure when the lines have been switched up there have been games when he hasn’t been THE star of the game, yet you still know he’s there.
He has contributed.
Whether that adding to the percentage wins on the draw, filling a key role on the Power Play Unit or centring that second line, he’s shown that he is a real asset to this Colorado Avalanche team.
He is one player that has grown on me during the course of the season.
My initial thoughts were that he was a player who could cause trouble on the team and not the sort we wanted to see. Well, he’s caused trouble alright and it’s been exactly the sort I want to see.
Teams know he’s there and part of the Avalanche winning team. He hasn’t had to use his fists to show that he’s a valuable player. He’s proven that it’s his skills that have been the great addition to this team, and skills and experience that will take them closer to that Stanley Cup win the team constantly talk about.
We are so glad you became a part of this Colorado Avalanche team, Naz.
Keep up the great work!
Oh, and I did say that I thought he was going to be the difference-maker in these finals. Looks like that’s going to come true.