I don’t often go full homer on the Avs, as I like to keep some form of objectivity. But, I 100% agree with Avs captain Gabe Landeskog tonight: the Avs got screwed on some bad, hometown calls that directly led to a 2-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
You know what’s funny? I remember, about 25 or something years ago, not sure, but I remember Joe Sakic telling me that the reason the Avs lost a game to the Hurricanes that night, in NC, was because of a “hometown call” against him. He was called for some penalty in a battle with Ron Francis, and the Hurricanes went on to win. I asked Sakic about it, and he was – which was unusual for him – critical of the referees. He called it a “hometown call” against him. I remember saying to him “That’s probably off the record, right?”
He said, “No, print it.” So, I did.
Same thing tonight. Nazem Kadri, called for a highly dubious high-sticking penalty on Nino Niedereitter at 7:40 of the third period of a scoreless game. The Avs killed off the penalty, but Kadri was blatantly hooked by Niedereitter later in the period – and no call. The Hurricanes scored late in the third – then quickly went on the power play again after another questionable call, on Devon Toews.
I fully agree with what Landeskog said here, in the postgame press conference:
“Whether a guy has been suspended numerous times or not, is he going to be carrying around that heavy baggage forever? I’m not saying TJ and Wes (referees) didn’t call it for that reason, but Naz is a guy that’s competitive. Whether he sold that call or not, you can look at the video and the stick is in his waist and that’s why he loses the puck. I think it’s unfortunate.”
No question, Kadri keeps getting screwed by the refs and the league. Enough. Stop taking a guy’s baggage of the past into everything. I say that as someone who has had baggage of my own past applied to me, unfairly I believe, at times.
What galls a person who has baggage like me, and Kadri I suppose: Every single person who judges us has as much or more baggage in their own life. And, they know it. Maybe they just haven’t gotten caught on any of it yet, but they know they have it.
Ok, off topic a tad there. But the point remains. Kadri is getting unfairly judged by referees. He should have gotten that call at the end. Even Jared Bednar thought so.
“I think Naz could’ve gotten a call on the one before the goal. He’s climbing up, the stick gets into him, wraps him up with a free hand, all of the above. He didn’t get the call,” Bednar said.
Look, I always thought this would be a tough game for the Avs to win, and it proved the case. They are a tired team right now, mentally and physically. As I said before too, I think the trade deadline is getting to some guys mentally.
Avs just need to come home and start fresh. The deadline will pass in 11 days, and then we can all go on from there.
Kadri and the Avs have to realize that they aren’t going to get any favors right now from anyone. Just have to fight through it – even if the refs have a bias against you because of your “past.”