The Colorado Avalanche take Game 3, Newhook gets his first, Kadri gets 8 games, and the Blues find things to complain about in a recap of everything that happened last night.
For months, fans of other NHL teams continued to whine.
The Colorado Avalanche, they said, did not have any depth. Other than Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and maybe Gabriel Landeskog, they were screwed on forward. In danger. They needed to trade their no-name guys for Sidney Crosby.
Three games into the playoffs you’re not hearing that anymore.
None of the Big 3 scored in the Avs’ 5-1 win against the Blues, but the depth players — namely Alex Newhook scoring his first ever NHL goal — showed up in style, all in true highlight reel fashion. Despite complaints from certain people, the Avs offense and Grubauer continued to shine, and have one game to go before qualifying for the second round.
Newhook made his debut a couple of weeks ago, managing 6 games, but with Nazem Kadri out, he was given a bigger role to shine. And deliver he did.
The fact that the Colorado Avalanche can depend on their depth to do the work for them is comforting. It means the Avs aren’t completely screwed if they don’t have their top line on, and judging from the varying players producing points these last few games — hello Donskoi — there’s no worry abut someone not picking up the slack.
In the first intermission, the NHL announced their ruling on Kadri, giving him 8 games.
I wrote an article a year ago about how Nazem Kadri made a ton of progress and how he was now the darling of Avs fans and how well behaved he was. All of the good feelings from last season are gone, and with the Kraken looming, Kadri’s future is in question.
Losing Kadri isn’t a big deal for the Avs. As shown, they have enough depth to keep them happy for a long time as Game 3 put on display. Kadri has been struggling since March, only putting up one goal since March 23rd. Although he has put up the occasional assist, as he did his last game, being overshown by players like Jost — no kidding — and Newhook have made Kadri redundant.
The question of the suspension on the other hand isn’t whether he deserved it. It was a dirty hit, Kadri left his feet, and after countless offenses he should know better.
No, the question is the NHL has been in this boat before, and they haven’t been as harsh.
Tom Wilson got off scot free after sucker punching Pavel Buchnevich and ragdolling Artemi Panarin, and constantly going for the head. The fact the NHL can’t be successive with their rulings is a glaring issue. George Parros has constantly shown incompetence in rulings, but is pretty okay with giving Kadri a much worse imprisonment than other repeat offenders. The issue here isn’t the ruling, it’s that if you’re in charge of being a fair evaluator of punishments in the NHL, you need to get your shit together.
Blues Reveal Double Standards
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Craig Berube and Doug Armstrong have both been involved in the NHL in some way for the last 30-35 years, the former playing a 17-year career as a player, before making the jump to a Stanley Cup-winning coach career in the Philadelphia and St. Louis systems, the other a long executive career. Somehow they also picked up an ability to be completely wrong.
Armstrong said he wanted to have a conversation about player safety. Which is all well and good. Except Bortuzzo, one of the two players mentioned as targets, was happy to go headhunting this game, along with Torey Krug’s cheap shot and board play against Andrei Burakovsky and Nathan MacKinnon.
Berube also made comments after the loss about the officiating. “The refereeing, I mean every game we get one or two calls,” Berube said. “It’s usually late in the third period. You know, they’re getting four a game, five — how many did they get tonight, five? I mean, it’s not that lopsided. I’m not sure why we don’t get the calls that we deserve.”
Guess what, Blues. What about this? Or this? One player going after one of your guys doesn’t justify trying to injure every player. Armstrong should talk to his team about player safety or he should take up a hobby like stamp collecting.
Game Four Preview
The Avs can finish the series tomorrow night by keeping what they’re doing. Honestly.
Other than second period slumps, the Avs offense has been on point, and if the depth shows up like it did last game, the Avalanche are set. The big three are still leading in playoff scoring, MacKinnon morphing into Playoff MacKinnon these past three games with 5 goals.
Tyson Jost has grabbed a top spot in the running for protection, with his late season surge and performance these last few games. Graves as well, managing to be fourth on that scoring.
Aside from the big three, Grubauer is the undisputed MVP of the team, keeping them in so many moments. Despite the national broadcast’s incompetence at deciphering what the crowd is saying, the fans love Gru. We love Gru. The team loves Gru.
Also Moose is a legend. We already knew this but just in case you want to see it again.