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Avalanche playoffs

Berube, Blues act wearing thin

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ST. LOUIS – First off, I like the people in St. Louis. The Lou. Quick story from today: So, I’m getting on the MetroLink back to the airport stop, where I’ll then take the free shuttle to the cheap airport hotel I’m staying. An older guy and his wife tell me which side of the tracks to get on the MetroLink, which I was genuinely confused by. He also gives me the second half of two one-way tickets I bought, which I left in the bin below.

I say thanks and ask what’s in his bag. He says it’s a signed mystery puck from a Blues thing they did at the arena, but he doesn’t know who signed it when he opens it. I tell him it was signed by Marco Scandella. He says thanks and asks where I’m from. I say I’m a guy who has covered the Avalanche for the last 26 years, starting in 1995 with one of my first trips to this very city.

He gets the most sour look on his face you’ve ever seen. As did his wife. They still wished me well in my travels.

As I said, I like the people of St. Louis. Tough, grinding Midwestern people. I identify. My Lyft driver from the airport gave me some great barbecue suggestions for tomorrow – so, hello Pappy’s. (By the way, this is the first time I’d admitting this but: I did some Lyft driving in my time in the wilderness the last several years. As I type this, I have 1,899 rides to my credit and a perfect 5.0 rating. I don’t think I’ve driven in more than 18 months, but I believe my driver status is still active on the platform. Hey, I made some good hockey conversations with a lot of passengers, with most of them never knowing who I was).

That’s why it’s been so anti-St. Louis, anti-Missourian work ethic to hear Blues coach Craig Berube whine so much in this lopsided series, especially after tonight’s 5-1 thrashing in which the Avalanche won handily despite getting nothing from the top line and nothing from the power play.

Hear Berube here and ask if he wants any wine with that cheese:

Betting with the Barbers!

Seriously? OK, I get it. The Blues had a reason to be hopping mad at the world after Game 2. Veteran defenseman Justin Faulk was injured by a bad, bad hit by Nazem Kadri, and they lost the game to boot. I would have been screaming bloody murder too. But Kadri was suspended EIGHT GAMES by the NHL Department of Player Safety tonight. That should address Berube’s and GM Doug Armstrong’s “concern” about how, gee, players sometimes get hurt in this game played by men on skates going 20-30 MPH and, gee, sometimes they hit each other and, gee, sometimes injuries happen as a result.

(Armstrong’s crocodile tears moment to one of his Canadian reporter buddies today was a pathetic display of hypocrisy. That actual headline on this sad piece says “no repercussions” for what happened to one of his players. Hello, Kadri got EIGHT GAMES as a repercussion!)

I watched the game intently tonight from my perch at Enterprise Center, and I saw nothing to back up Berube’s claims of lopsided officiating. In fact, I saw lots of Blues players – such as aging center Brayden Schenn – trying haphazard, ham-handed old-school tactics such as grabbing Cale Makar by the jersey at the end of the first period and trying to goad him into something. Instead, Schenn just played the fool by skating away, much like he did when he got his ass handed to him in a fight with the captain of the Avs in Game 1.

I saw Blues dingbat forward Sammy Blais (who got suspended two games this season for an elbow to the head of Devon Toews, which – oh, think of the children! – must not happen, ever, according to the very concerned Doug Armstrong) run around and hit Sam Girard in the back with a cross-check. I saw Colton Parayko mostly just cross-check a few guys tonight, and not much else.

In short, I saw a St. Louis Blues team that can’t compete against the Colorado Avalanche right now, but wants to blame it all on the refs. I suspect the Blues might have a little bit of class when this series is over, in the next day or two, but I wonder? With Berube and Armstrong in charge of this club, we might be in for a little more whining yet.

THOUGHTS

  • Jared Bednar said he was “surprised” by the eight-game suspension to Kadri, but I really wasn’t. I don’t blame Bednar, though, for being confused by the NHL’s “repeat offender” policy, which is straight out of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22”. Essentially, the league’s position on this is: “We’re going to publicly say your past recent history (18 months) has no bearing on this situation, but in reality it does.”
  • “He’s not a repeat offender, by the league’s definition,” Bednar said.
  • All that said: I think what Kadri got is about right. Whether he meant to do it or not, which Kadri said he didn’t mean to, it happened. Just make the policy clear now, NHL; we all know Kadri had a previous rap sheet and this was another bad incident. Just say it, and be done with it. You invited second-guessing from Bednar on your confusing fine-print here.
  • For those who don’t like the fact that guys sometimes hit each other in the game of hockey and don’t like that occasionally guys get hurt as a result? Just stop watching and commenting on hockey, would you please? Go watch the NBA and LeBron James fake getting hit and flopping on the floor like a breathless flounder out of water. Bye BYE.
  • Speaking of confused by the fine print: why do we all have to wear masks inside an arena, like tonight, yet the CDC says we don’t need to wear masks anymore if we’re vaccinated? Honestly, we couldn’t even drink water in the press box tonight, because of virus concerns. I’m not even trying to be political here. But what the hell is the official policy for this thing? Is the Center for Disease Control in charge here, in saying we don’t need to wear a mask, or is it some podunk city commissioner in a city like St. Louis? Pardon me for being confused.
  • Frankly, I think the policy that coaches still need to wear a mask on the bench, but NONE of the players need to, is just pure idiocy at this point. So, the coaches are more likely to transmit the virus than a player sitting eight inches in front of them?
  • This is just getting stupid.
  • See you Sunday.
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies. Previously Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report to name just a few.

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dudleyconrad

Dater. As a Mizzou alum, just want you to know it’s spelled “The Lou.” Go Tigers, fuck the Blues. Good piece.

jimstrohmeier

I was wonderin about that one .. The Brits would’ve laughed at it ..

Christopher Brunk

I got on here for the sole reason to tell you Lou…not loo…the rest, as a Blues fan, I have no issue with. I too thought it was unseemly to start pissing and moaning about the reffing.

avs-kate

Great read AD!

for a “lopsided” called game. We had 4 and they had 3? One of which (still baffled on Gravy’s) was served together. That’s a helluva landslide! Damn the NHL!

oh but Landy’s was a TOKEN penalty! Loved that tidbit.

jimstrohmeier

Funny how the Blues guy pulled down Graves but Graves gets two minutes also, then scores on his way out of the sin bin .. loved it

John Devlin

This is the way to cover hockey. I keep on reading, old chum.

Ricardo

I agree completely with you about the mask thing. There is absolutely no logic involved in what is happening.

Dennis

Dater, Your team is winning but you are still whining as well. Be a graceful winner and stop complaining a bout what the other team has to say. Never feels good to lose but it should feel good to win.

Aaron Hinton

Stop being a menace, Dennis.

Karl Keen

I am just loving that the big bad Blues are the ones crying, getting beat up in fights and getting knocked out. The antithesis of what I feared was going to be happening when the series began. The cherry on top is their GM came out crying about dirty hits putting his players in a bad position hurting their ability to play like the normal, dirty players they normally are. Can’t make your boss look bad and head shot an Avs player now! Let’s sweep these scrubs tomorrow

pukface

Thought I am an Avs fan through-and-through (also from day 1) I tend to be able to watch their games with an objective eye in terms of the officiating. This may come from having watching a crap-ton of hockey the past 35+ years at numerous levels. There is nothing here that warrants these guys using the press as a platform for their classless whine. If there is a team in this year’s playoffs with a legitimate officiating beef it is Washington. Watch the literal head-hunting from Boston in game 1 with nothing called by the arm-bandits. I haven’t heard or… Read more »

Kathleen

I don’t like to see dirty plays…or guys crumple, but then the same people run off and watched MMA fights. Oh the hypocrisy!

Nathan Edwards

Well I guess they wanted to make this suspension longer then his last one while he was a leaf for cross checking. It shall be interesting to see what Sakic does with him in the offseason on his last year of 4.5 million. Vegas would scoop him, maybe dangle him for a 3 rounder. Might depend on if he returns in playoffs and factors into their scoring success. So nice to see Oreilly and company getting their butts kicked , seeing the Blues owned them for awhile. I am pro choice on masks and vaccines myself. The head coaches should… Read more »

jimstrohmeier

If Kadri makes $4.5M, that’s about $54k per game and over $400k for the 8 game suspension. I heard NHL talking heads saying a playoff game is like two regular season games, so I only expected Kadri to get 2-3 games. Kadri is good on face offs and I think he’s been disciplined since coming to Colorado. I wonder if his scoring drought, or something else is causing him frustration and he just lost control…
NHL hockey is a tough sport, I think Tyson Jost was leading in received hits recently..

Jordan

Should probably check to see what percentage of a community has been vaccinated before complaining about having to wear masks. Not sure about St. Louis, but all of Colorado is only at a low 49% of the population who have the first round. That is not nearly enough to go fully unmasked in our state, so there is probably the same situation there. It is actually GOOD to slowly ease back on the mask mandate.

GWood

“For those who don’t like the fact that guys sometimes hit each other in the game of hockey and don’t like that occasionally guys get hurt as a result? Just stop watching and commenting on hockey, would you please? Go watch the NBA and LeBron James fake getting hit and flopping on the floor like a breathless flounder out of water” Classic Dater, that’s hilarious. Greatest sport ever, warts and all. Guys need to have respect for each other and practice extreme caution with the sensitive areas and that’s all you can do. Guys like Kadri and “others” have a… Read more »

jimstrohmeier

Great post, as usual AD. The Blues had more hits than the Avs, because a team doesn’t hit when they don’t have the puck .. lol .. just a friendly observation here. If there was an “after-the-whistle” hit, grab or push stat, the Blues would’ve led in that one too. The Avalanche players discipline alone probably pissed them off more .. ha ha As far as the mask police, I watch a lot of NHL hockey, and it seems that when Coaches are inches away from their players and are barking out orders, while lowering their mask to be heard… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by jimstrohmeier
Anna Roberts

Blues are feeling Blue..I can understand the 8 games suspension. When I see Blues fans ask there players to injure MacKinnon or Makar that I can’t understand. Yes this series is one sided but for O’Reilly and Schenn to bash Kadri I get that. Schenn did a knee on knee against Rantanen which could of taken Moose out of game 1.Schenn has a short term memory. Last night I was watching a Bruins series and Orlov did the same hit on a Bruins player. I’m sure player Safety won’t do anything. Love your insight.

Last edited 5 months ago by Anna Roberts
Rob

Avs fans say the same thing. Fans of every team say that crap. Get over yourself.

joshmishell

This Blues fan is representative of lots of dummy hockey fans. To boot his bio is “youth hockey coach”! The children are our future!

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joshmishell

And an Eagles fan, so it makes total sense

CVV

Excellent points, and very accurate! I thought only youth coaches complained about lopsided officiating. Breube must have finally caught on to the fact the Colorado is paying off the refs with the excess marijuana money…moron. Dater is spot on with his assessment of the Kadri situation. That was one of the cheapest hockey shots coming from the Avs since the infamous Claude Lemieux / Draper moment. Berube must have missed Tarasenko’s headlock-drop of Cale Makar in game two and Bellmare’s bloody nose after the stick to the face (as did the officials who were standing right there). Tarasenko’s move was… Read more »

Dwayne Hall

It’s funny how hockey works at all levels. This reminds me of my kid’s games. They usually play teams that want to be physical, but whine when the physical play is returned.

Dusty

Complains about Berube whining…proceeds to whine about masks. What a little bitch.

petexvx

Aside from Kadri, I like that the Avs play a clean brand of hockey. No wasted time on after the whistle scrums or getting caught up when a clown player is trying to goat them into something. Keep beating them where it matters and move the F on. On a side note, I appreciate what a talented player ROR is but can Avs fans finally get over him after this series? He wanted out, no need to spend anymore time on the “what if”. Screw him and Duchene.

Rad

The whole mask thing has got to go!

Mocroc

An avs player hooked binningtons glove with his stick, but the blues got a penalty. That was total bs. And there is a lot of lopsided and biased calls in the nhl..its hard to not see favoritism in certain games by the refs. Idk what it is w hockey, but that stuff absolutely happens. Also the blues getting multiple flase positive covid tests right before the playoffs comes off shady af when its the same clinic being used by other sports where “random” false positives were also reported.

joshmishell

Sounds like Q-anon theories over here

Kent Hornberger

I think you got a bit of the St louis perception- and some of the Berube and Armstrong Blues perception– right on.
And some of both way off mark. But I enjoyed the read.
Also, while a Blues fan– one thing for sure and no matter what said– the Avalanche are basically dominating the Blues.

Last edited 5 months ago by Kent Hornberger
Andrea Zinsmeyer-Wiser

40+ year Blues Fan. I loved your article. Sorry you were hassled by the home team crowd. Next time try Sugarfire for BBQ.

Jim

Oh shut up you loser who can’t hack it playing sports
Every team complains about the Officiating during the playoffs if you’re losing, it’s much like every team complains about balls and strikes in MLB playoffs ( not that Colorado would know anything about that)
Yes the blues are not looking good but when you purposely injure there top defender and knock out another in 1 game while your top goal scorer is out by a false positive and have injuries on top of it yes small calls will be magnified. But hey keep complaining about winning.

James A Crabtree

First off your idiots to think the hit by Kardi shouldn’t of got a suspension and he still got off luck falk is hurt a d he plays against. I n 8 games should be banned til next season second doesn’t matter what the idiots say about h t no masks anymore just because you have had the shots means crap can still get it they are finding new strains of it best bet be stop the other country’s from doing this its just the way of having a chemical war and us being idiots and not seeing it well… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by James A Crabtree
Len

I’m not quite sure what it takes to be a cover guy for the Av’s for 25 years, but one would think to learn how to write. ‘Sold me the second half of two one way tickets, which I bought and left in the bin below.’ WT¿ ? Does that even mean?

Kevin

So Brandon Shannon is going to the net on a scoring chance and Colorado player breaks Shenn’s stick with a slash but isn’t giving a penalty for such a obvious penalty. But please keep lying to yourself about the refs officiating. The Avs are getting the calls just like the Blues did in 2019.

Steve

What about the Av’s dingbat who hit Bortuzzo from behind and cost him to be out for over a month? Kadri is guilty of more then that hit. He got away with what should have been half a dozen goalie interference penalties. Not to mention some cheap hits from Ladaskog and Mackinon. I dunno what game you were watching “Mr. Journalists”, but obviously it wasn’t the actual game. How about reporting responsibly and truthfully.

Nk

The CDC is a private organization with no governing power. They aren’t in charge, never have been in charge and never claimed to be in charge. The state, city and arena are free to set their own rules in accordance with those put in place by the state and city. Don’t like the business’ rules? Don’t go to the business.

The couple probably had a sour look because of your “I’m a guy who has covered the Avalanche for 23 years” attitude. How are they supposed to know? Why are they supposed to care?

Scott Allen

Kadri will cost the Avs a playoff series one day. He doesn’t represent Avalanche hockey with his cheap, dirty play.
I dislike the Blues as much as any Avs (and Blackhawks) fan, but hate seeing players go down with head injuries. Faulk is 1 hit away from calling it a career now.
The bright side is while Kadri jerks off in the press box, young guys get opportunities which will hopefully put Kadri on a Greyhound to Philadelphia.

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