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Avalanche playoffs

Avs Have Way More Skill than Vegas, but can they survive the Vegas cheap shots?

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Ryan Reaves

The Avalanche just destroyed the Vegas Golden Knights tonight, in one of the best-played games I’ve ever seen them play. They have already established that they have a lot more high-end skill than the VGK, but this could have been a truly ugly night in what had shades of the Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore 2004 scandal in Vancouver.

Ryan Reaves should be nowhere near an active hockey playing surface for the next several days, after a blatant attempt to seriously injure Avs defenseman Ryan Graves in the third period of Colorado’s 7-1 Game 1 win at Ball Arena.

Reaves hog-tied Graves to the ice, sucker-punched him a couple times while down then put the entire weight of his body behind a knee to Graves’ head. Graves appeared unconscious for a few seconds, not moving at all, facedown on the ice.

Honestly, it was bordering on assault and if the NHL Department of Player Safety doesn’t give Reaves a suspension for it, the department will prove itself to having one set of standards for some player on-ice conduct, and another for others.

Reaves somehow is the NHL’s favored son though, or so it seems. Reaves put Ryan Suter’s head into the goalpost in Game 7 for Vegas Friday night, shoving him from behind, but skated away with only a two-minute penalty from the league.

The Avs played like a symphony orchestra in the game, almost a perfect game in my book. We knew Vegas would try to hit the Avs hard, but slamming guys to the ice and then trying to crush his head with his full body weight – and Reaves is a very big guy. It was a gutless play by Reaves, but as one of the league’s last pure enforcers, this is the kind of game he plays. He doesn’t appear to care, either.

Reaves just casually skated to the dressing room after getting a five-minute major penalty for intent to injure. Ho hum, just another night at the office for the unskilled Reavo.

Bonus Voucher!

The league just gave Nazem Kadri eight games for, admittedly, a terrible hit on St. Louis’ Justin Faulk. But this was worse. Kadri’s hit came in a split second against a guy coming down the middle. This was a guy intentionally trying to crush Graves’ head.

Graves returned to the game, so that was great news. But concussion symptoms can come into the night after a thing like that.

“I’m assuming the league will take a look at that,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said.

Well, who knows? Does anybody know what the standards are anymore with the NHL DoPS?

“Reaves is on a mission to hurt someone in the third. That’s what he goes out and does. I’m sure the league will take a look at it. It was intent to injure,” said Gabe Landeskog on Zoom afterward.

Bingo. The Avs lost D-man Sam Girard to a shoulder to the head by Max Pacioretty. Fortunately, Girard returned too. Unless the league hands Vegas some overdue suspensions, the league’s double standard for its golden child franchise will continue.

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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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LastPlaceRob

“Sending a message” is outdated and doesn’t have a place in the league today.

pukface

Yeah…agree. I do think there is too much familiarity between Vegas and the Avs for the ‘sending of a message’ to have an effect. The Avs appear to be a very focused group right now.

Peter A Brown

I am a VGK here in Vegas but the Avs definitely are a very good and focused hockey team over there. They will be tough for any opponent to win a series against.

Alex

Feels like the league pushes a double standard when it comes to Vegas. Loved the effort and flat out dismantling by the AVS but worry more cheap shots are going to be coming.

blise

Plays AFTER Graves took out a VGK on a DIRTY unwarranted hit!

peter martin

Very surprised no Avs injuries. And no reason for VGK to tone it down. Avs playing with fire

hockeyhead

If Reaves isn’t suspended for 2 or more games player safety is a joke. Pacioretty could lose a game for the reverse head hit to Girard too.

hockeyhead

last thought, the goonery and thuggery has no place in today’s game.

blise

Tell that to the Avs!

blise

But 2 min interference for Graves AFTER he takes a VGK OUT OF THE GAME???

pukface

Vegas needs to decide what kind of team the need to be for the rest of the series. Either be the team that follows the lead of their thug or one that follows their real leaders. I love seeing a guy like Marchessault trying to play like a tough guy and not the goal scorer they need him to be. It plays into the favor of the Avs when he is running around looking to hit guys vice scoring goals with that shot of his. I believe the Avs are in for a series if Vegas starts playing hockey. If… Read more »

djs

Good observation on Marchessault, totally agree. From puck drop you could see how much more concerned he was with hitting than scoring. To be fair though, it’s not easy to score when you never have possession. And yeah, Boucher and even more so Eddie Olczyk were pissing me off with their justification of the head-hunting. Graves’ hit was totally clean albeit late. 2-minute interference was the correct call.

pukface

I noticed this some in the Minnesota series with him. Was thinking it might be an anomaly, but perhaps this is how that staff behind their bench wants it. I was disappointed in Enzo as well. The NBC crew clearly do not know how many man-games the Avs have lost to COVID (and injury) when discussing the Avs winning the Presidents trophy tonight and how Vegas did not. And they clearly are not educated with regard to the Byram injury due to the dirty hit from Kolesar who was also not disciplined.

Last edited 1 month ago by pukface
blise

Graves hit on Janmark was a blind sided dirty hit that totally changed opinions of the Avs. DIRTY TEAM!!!!

ricoflashback

I feel like Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas. “What did I tell you? What did I tell you?” The Vegas Knights are a thug team whose coach and ownership approve of these tactics. Coach Peter DeBoer on Reaves hit, “I didn’t see anything.” The only way that Vegas can compete is to resort to goonery and dirty hits. That’s who they are.

GWood

Plus one for the Jimmy Conway reference. All time classic scene.

djs

Reaves has probably gotten away with a lot because the league is afraid of being accused of painting him black. He’s been an outspoken supporter of BLM and the league likes to have him there as a token for diversity. The ironic and f’d up part is that, because of this, he’s gotten more and more dirty to the point where, today, he’s gone too far. League has to suspend this guy and stop the fricken circus. This isn’t hockey Gordie Howe would be proud of. It’s a disgrace.

Last edited 1 month ago by djs
chippy play

Got to maintain poise and keep the eye on the goal. Avs embarrassed Vegas in the first 2 periods and then Vegas embarrassed itself in the 3rd. Don’t get sucked in.

What Reaves did to Graves was scary but so was the fact that he first cross-checked Grubi in the back of the head. That’s pure strategy on the part of Graces and DeBoer.

pukface

He should have been disciplined by the league for his hit to Suter in the Minnesota series.

djs

Yep. It’d be pretty naive to think that the coaches and DeBoer aren’t ultimately responsible. They’re pushing the buttons and unleashing the dogs. If Grubauer ended up injured after that nonsense any repercussions for Vegas would have been worth it to DeBoer.

Last edited 1 month ago by djs
blise

Like the Graves hit? DIRTY AVS is their NEW reputation. How’s Kadri doing?? LOL

GWood

Gutless pos

Will

Avs – VGK split season series. They have the same regular season record but you declare the boys from the land of September blizzards have “way more skill”. based on ONE GAME? Vegas also has better goalies. And try not running them or Reaves will defend them.

petexvx

No one should be scared of your boy Reaves. He is the last of a dying breed of hockey goons. Give me break, hockey will always have fighting but why waste a roster spot on these dudes anymore if they don’t have any skill to offer their teams. I would never want him or any other clown taking up a fourth line spot with the Avs.

GWood

Way more skill based on way more skill. Nobody said VGK didn’t have ANY, Avs just have way more, what don’t you get about that? We’ll see what happens.

blise

How is life in you DREAM LAND???

petexvx

The Avs just need to play their game and keep their heads on a swivel. There is nothing intimidating about Vegas when the Avs focus on their game. Vegas is going to do Vegas. Graves was a little late, and Kadri just does stupid things once in awhile that there is no need for. Any Knights fan crying foul needs to check in on Bo first. They can play however they want but I would hope their fan base can spare us on the pearl clutching, woes me bs. Just own that you like that your team tows the line… Read more »

NinjaMan

Woe is me? I’m less worried about VGK fans crying foul or Making excuses than I am For y’all and your Fucking Crybaby whining. MY GOD it’s pathetic. Graves starts shit all game…somehow y’all got the refs almost BLATANTLY on the Avs side with some of these calls and penalties and some of y’all (like the author of this garbage fire article and some non TRUE hockey fans) but not all of you, are literally gloating and dancing with Glee calling this the best game EVER played by an Av team….I’m sorry but goals don’t make the whole game and… Read more »

Joseph Gauthier

What do “y’all” say, we revisit this comment in two weeks, shall we?

colorado_gary

I can’t hear you. I have 2 pictures of Stanley Cup Banners obscuring my screen!

Buckfever

Spoken from experience. I remember how emotionally and psychologically wrecked you guys were after game 7 vs the Sharks in 2019. And talk about being emotional? Geez dude, I bet you started banging your head against the wall after you posted this comment, I can only imagine how you were doing after the Sharks game 7 win. True hockey fans? Hey bud, who was your favorite team before you jumped ship over to the Knights? Or did you become a hockey fan after the Knights 2017 season? This Avs team is playing on a different level this year, and it’s… Read more »

GWood

NinjaMan, no need to worry about the Avs fans here, we know what we just witnessed. This will be a hard fought series, but that ass whooping was a message sender and a harbinger of things to come. You can throw your weak jabs at the writer, but AD happens to be a great writer in general, let alone a hockey writer. And BTW, the “goals don’t make the whole game” comment was pretty pathetic, ya? Come on man.

blise

I, too, thought the story was so biased it meant NOTHING!

Aaron Hinton

Easy, Ninjaman…are you a black belt talking to everyone like that or is this really Dwight K. Schrute in a hockey forum?

blise

Well said!

petexvx

I only agreed with one thing that your coach said last night. You need to have a short memory in the playoffs. The Avs and all us fans have no delusions that this won’t be a tough series. Game one was won handily by the Avs but it’s over and we move on to game two ready to go.

dp10

Regarding Reaves match penalty, I read elsewhere it’s an automatic suspension that will require review by Bettman instead of DoPS, i.e. this doesn’t even go to DoPS apparently(??). And because it’s a match penalty for “attempt to injure” (I mean how often is that one handed out??), I can’t see Bettman letting that slide.

Last edited 1 month ago by dp10
Nancy Lambert

Thanks AD! Another expensive subscription service stated “Reaves appeared to kneel on Graves head” I guess they aren’t able to see replays?!? I’ll be canceling my other subscription! Thank you for always reporting the actual game and not some lawyer edits like “appeared”!

Last edited 1 month ago by Nancy Lambert
blise

PLEASE, the story was worthy of being published in the ENQUIRER.

colorado_gary

Dater, CHN is on FIRE!!!

Hope you’re gaining tons of subs!

[…] However, Reaves and the Golden Knights didn’t exactly feel Reaves was unprovoked. […]

Peder

Not a word on the hit on Janmark that started it all, not defending Reaves, but be real, Graves will get a game off as well.😘

GWood

Then you pay back by making a clean, but questionably late, hit, not by trying to pop his head on the ice like a zit with your goon body. What don’t you understand about that?

blise

One word…..GRAVES!

blise

AMEN, but Avs fans are blind apparently.

trevor

eh… I’m cheering for Colorado in this series. but Graves shouldn’t have been in the game anymore for that to happen.

Reaves should definitely be gone for a while too though.

blise

So, DIRTY hit by Graves taking a VGK player out don’t count? VGK has no less skill than the dirty Avs. Graves deserved what he got from Reaves!

hockey GOD

graves is a coward for not dropping his gloves and answering the call after his vicious dirty hit on no. 26 at a point when the game was well in hand. He’s a marked man. Vegas should put out a warrant for assault upon entry into the city boundaries.

DC

Graves hit was late and to the head. Doesn’t matter if it was intentional or not. Should’ve been a 5 min major and then reviewed by the refs. Their failure to do so led to a cascade of goonery.

djs

The Graves hit wasn’t to the head it was just late. It’s unfortunate that Janmark wasn’t ready for it. If it was just a split second sooner it would have been a good, clean hit. Like the Marchand hit that took Makar out for months. Don’t embellish to try to strengthen your BS narrative. Also, all of this coming from Vegas fans is pure irony given that they’re one of the dirtiest teams around not named the Blues. Please give me another instance of Ryan Graves making cheap, dirty hits. You can’t because he doesn’t play that way. By the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by djs
Peter A Brown

I would agree Reaves deserves the suspension, however the premise of this article on VGK “cheap shots” is a bit hypocritical. First and most prominent is Kadri and his perennial “cheap shots” play; one of the most habitual of all NHL offenders. Second, there is the Graves hit on Janmark that brought on Reaves retaliation against Graves. Again, Reaves was out of line and drew the suspension, however clearly the Avs take as many cheap shots as any other team. Such transparent hyprocisy to label the VGK that way.

Theresa soles

Yet, the VGK won WITHOUT REAVES. HMMMM..the VGK wins with OR without him…guess Reaves isn’t the key to the Cup for the Knight’s, so y’all can blame your losses on, maybe, LESS SKILL???

Theresa soles

By all the AV posts here, it seems like a while lot of WHINING, but not enough WINNING. VGK just WANTS IT MORE!!

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