The Colorado Avalanche lead their series against the Nashville Predators by 3-0. They hope to end the series with a sweep.
However, they don’t seem to be ready to make this particular series a long one. Colorado has taken a commanding 3-0 series lead. That means that they can sweep the Predators with a win on Monday night in Nashville.
That victory would be sweet on so many levels. Naturally, a long playoff run begins with winning the first round, so we want them to do that. However, it would also be sweet to pay them back with a disappointment at home the way they did to us when they last met in the playoffs. The Avs lost Game 6 at home, thus ending their upstart series.
It would also be sweet — read, relieving — to let goalie Darcy Kuemper heal for a full week. As we all witnessed with a collective intake of breath, he was the victim of an errant high stick. Luckily, the coaching staff has said that the injury was not grievous, and he could even play in Game 4. However, Pavel Francouz was more than serviceable in relief of him, so it’s not unthinkable that the Avs might choose to rest Kuemper in Game 4.
Then again, as noted, they want to end this series with a sweep of course. Naturally, they don’t think that’s going to be easy. Captain Gabriel Landeskog, who had a study-worthy night with two goals and two assists, acknowledged, “There’s no easy games in the playoffs.” He added, “”They’ve got their backs against the wall at home. They definitely don’t want to get swept at home.”
Then they shouldn’t be so annoying. (My words, not his.) The captain finished with a more measured, “We want to try to end this thing and don’t give them any life, so it’s going to be a big game on Monday.”
Note on Kuemper Injury
If you watch video of the play, you see that Predators forward Ryan Johansen is looking to the left while his stick his jabbing to the right. Of course, he’d have to have eyes in the back of his head — and eagle eyes at that — in order to intentionally thread his stick through Kuemper’s mask to spear the goalie’s eye.
I don’t think Johansen was a “happy” accident. By that I mean I think he was jabbing his stick in Kuemper’s direction hoping to irritate the goalie — it doesn’t take any kind of eyes to have a good sense where the goalie is when you’re that close to the net. I also find it infuriating that, when he felt his stick was caught, he kept pushing. Again, I know he didn’t realize it was near an eye, but he had to know it was somewhere it shouldn’t be.
But that’s just Trashville, as we in Avs Nation like to call them. They don’t have the team the Avalanche do, so they try to goon it up to get an edge.
Luckily, this isn’t the team of even last year. The Colorado Avalanche don’t look interested in getting pushed around anymore, and they’ve got some bigger, meaner bodies to prove their point.
Note on MacDermid
Speaking of big bodies looking to prove a point, one of this year’s acquisitions was forward Kurtis MacDermid. He’s not an enforcer in the Scott Parker mold, but he’s a chippy sort. He’s also been a scratch for the whole series so far.
Many Avs fans have been agitating to put MacDermit into the game in place of one of the other forwards. (For some fans, if they could find a way to replace Samuel Girard with MacDermid, that would be their dream. Alas for them, Girard is a defenseman.)
I don’t think that addition is likely. MacDermid… is no scorer. Other players such as J.T. Compher and Nazem Kadri have skill and grit. And anyone likely to get scratched in favor of MacDermid, such as Logan O’Connor or Nicolas Aube-Kobel, has earned his ice time.
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The Colorado Avalanche hope the series ends on Monday with a victory in Nashville. The game starts at 7:30 PM MT.