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Sunday CHN Puck Links and Leftover Avs Thoughts from Saturday



Nathan MacKinnon

Happy Sunday to all. 75 degrees and sunny in Denver today. And that’s the way it OUGHT to be this time of year. I’m hopping a plane for Vegas later today. There was supposed to be an Avs-Vegas game for Monday, but of course the DaterJinx pushed it to May 10. Ticket and Airbnb was already paid for, though, so I’m still going. I’ll just spend Monday reading my Bible in the room instead I guess, and be there for Wednesday’s game.

Some quick thoughts from Saturday’s loss in St. Louis:

Superstreak Bonus!
  • Um, don’t look now, but the Minnesota Damn Wild is just one point back of the Avs in the division. Yeah, the Avs have two games in hand still, but this is getting a little too close for comfort. Suddenly, Monday’s game in St. Louis is looking very big, not just in the fight to catch the Vegas Golden Knights – winners of eight straight – but stay ahead of the damn Wild.
  • Liam O’Brien has done some good things for the Avs since being called up, truly. But let’s hope Logan O’Connor is ready to return for this club, because LOC would be a more suitable fourth-liner right now than Big Tuna. That offensive zone penalty he took in the third period yesterday really hurt the club.
  • Avs are not practicing today. With Philipp Grubauer off the Covid list, we’ll see if he joins the team either in St. Louis or Vegas this week. Obviously, the Avs want to get him a practice or two before playing again. Maybe that could happen Tuesday in Vegas, we’ll see.
  • Nathan MacKinnon is turning into the John Tortorella of NHL players when it comes to postgame interviews after a loss. His Zoom presser was all of two questions yesterday, and he had a one-word answer when asked if he and/or the team had given “much thought” to having to play four straight games in St. Louis: “No.”
  • Nate just doesn’t take losing well, which I can respect. Hell, if I was a player, I’m sure I’d be one of the most sarcastic guys ever to the media.
  • Can the Avs just ever kill off a 5-on-3? Just once? I mean, I’m sure I’m missing one that they actually have at some point this year maybe, but honestly I can’t recall the last time they actually did it. Sure, it’s a tough thing to do, but the Avs just NEVER do it, it seems.
  • Nazem Kadri, no points in his last seven games, no goals in his last 15. It’s getting a bit serious suddenly. I have faith he’ll break out of it, but there’s no question but that the Avs need some points from him.
  • The Avs were in the top-2 in PK percentage in the league not too long ago, but have dropped to ninth (82.4).
  • I think Brandon Saad should go back to playing on the second line with Kadri, and that Jared Bednar should do away with putting Carl and Compher with him. It hasn’t worked in the two games they’ve skated together.
  • Vegas goalie Robin Lehner is not happy with the NHL’s Covid policy, but Larry Brooks thinks Lehner is off-base (NY Post)
  • The top 30 NHL unrestricted free agents for 2021 (Hockey News)
  • Sportsnet: The NHL presented two schedule options to GMs last week. One is a return to conference playoffs. The other would keep the divisional playoffs. What do you think of the potential schedules?
  • Patrice Bergeron is “day-to-day” with a lower-body injury for the Boston Bruins after taking a puck off his left foot. (Boston Hockey Now)
  • Netflix recommendation: the new multi-episode series on the 1990 Gardner Museum heist in Boston, in which Rembrandts and Vermeer paintings were stolen – and still haven’t been recovered to this day. You’ll get hooked.
  • Florida Panthers to increase seating capacity for playoffs. That’s right, I said “playoffs” and “Florida.” (Florida Hockey Now)
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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When it comes to Kadri, I completely agree about his wingmen right now. You can’t downgrade who’s next to him and expect him to break out of his slump. Also put him on the first PP until Rants and Donkey are back. Donskoi earned his spot replacing Kadri on the first unit. Compher hasn’t.


Joshua Canfield

Agreed. Especially with the power play. I feel that Jost has earned his time-time this year yet Compher has not. His bottom line stats are not good, even for a bottom-6 forward.

Even if Kadri is quiet now, I believe he will get going when it comes to play off time. Kadri and Timmins are the only Avs players with at least 20 games that are a negative (plus/minus). I know that just 5v5 and nor Corsi but it still tells a tale.

Matt Briggle

I would vote to go back to Conference playoffs. Heck, I wouldn’t mind seeing a league playoff where the division winners are the top 4 seeds and then take the the next best 12 teams and seed them in 5-16 geography be damned. That would start making for some really interesting Cup Finals. I know this will never happen, but I can dream can’t I?

Joshua Canfield

Yeah, I’m all about the Conference playoffs too. Just not a big fan of the Divisional playoffs this year. I did enjoy the play-in round last year in the bubble though. That made things interesting for the bottom teams.

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