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Avs Playoff Notebook: Nazem Kadri (illness) misses practice, Landeskog back in regular jersey

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Avs trade deadline plans Nazem Kadri Injury

Of course, there’s something new to worry about. Two days before the Colorado Avalanche is set to open the playoffs against the Nashville Predators, their second-line center, Nazem Kadri, called in sick to practice today.

Kadri, coach Jared Bednar said, is ill. It’s not Covid, he said, but it was bad enough that he couldn’t participate in practice. Let’s hope it’s not the same kind of illness that knocked Mikko Rantanen out of the lineup for about a week at the end of the regular season. I can tell you this: there is a really bad flu bug going around town. I had it, and when I went to my local King Soopers to get some cough medicine, just about everything was sold out. I asked a pharmacist about it, and she said that the flu was rampant.

Bednar sounded optimistic that Kadri would be available for Game 1. But is it a guarantee? Nope.

“We’ll see what happens with Naz and see how quickly he can get over this,” Bednar said.

So, that was the only bummer from practice. Otherwise, it was a pretty healthy squad out there, including the captain, Gabe Landeskog, in a regular jersey.

Landeskog skated on a line with Artturi Lehkonen and Alex Newhook. Could that be a line in the playoffs? I don’t think we can know that, with Kadri not part of the mix today. I mean, Kadri would slot in there and Newhook would likely slide down a spot. Let’s just see what tomorrow brings. But Landeskog was on the first power-play unit today, so that’s a major sign that No. 92 will be good to go for Game 1.

Valeri Nichushkin skated with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. The third line consisted of Andre Burakovsky, J.T. Compher and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

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On defense, the pairings were these:

Toews-Makar

Girard-Manson

Byram-E. Johnson

So, it looks like Jack Johnson is the odd man out to start the playoffs. Tough break for a guy who played all year and did a great job. Sam Girard better play a lot better than the showed after coming back, and I know a lot of you, in the comments section, feel the same.

But Bednar had this to say: “If we get to where we want to go, we’re going to need everybody.”

NOTEBOOK

  • Bo Byram had a wisdom tooth pulled and started practice with a full facial shield. But he quickly discarded it for a regular one.
  • Ryan Murray is “close” to being cleared, Jared Bednar said.
  • Bednar said Landeskog will not start the playoffs with MacKinnon and Rantanen, because Nichushkin has been so good and Landy “just came back.” Obviously, things could change as the playoffs move along.
  • Colorado Hockey Now will be in Nashville for Games 3 and 4. It’s a pretty expensive place right now, so, hey, if you want to contribute to the Avs Travel Tip Jar, I won’t stop you. The link to do so is here. A lot of you who contribute don’t like me giving you any publicity for it, but for those that do – I will certainly make you as famous as I can! Every dime goes to travel costs, but also 5 percent of every dollar goes to the Thornton Food Bank.
  • For you fence-sitters, about subscribing to this here site: Until Game 1, I’ll take 20% off the regular, yearly price. Use the promo code 5off in the checkout box here, and the price for a 12-month subscription will magically drop from $29.99 to $24.99.
  • When might Bednar dress Kurtis MacDermid for a game in the playoffs? “We’ll see. We’ll take it as it goes,” he said.
  • Asked about how the Avs changed after the Matt Duchene trade in 2017, Bednar said, “The team got turned over to our young superstars – MacKinnon, Landeskog, Rantanen. It became their team.”
  • It sure doesn’t sound like Predators top goalie Juuse Saros will bet in net for Game 1 and beyond.
  • Bednar maintained that last year’s second-round exit was “on us” and that “we need to make sure we get over that hump.”
  • I would bet, based on what I see and hear, that Andrew Cogliano will get the edge over Darren Helm – and maybe even Logan O’Connor – for the playoffs. We’ll see.
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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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dp10

I hope they don’t focus too much on the second round that they don’t forget having to win the first round.

Seriously though..their losses last year and the year prior are in part down to an inability to make mental adjustments. Specifically, after routing Calgary, Phoenix and St.Louis in the last 3 years, they then struggled against the Sharks, Dallas and Vegas because well those teams weren’t prepared to just roll over for the Avs. And the Avs just didn’t step up to those challenges.

Yan Girard

Don’t focus on the result. Focus rather on the process which will lead you to obtain the desired result. Then, understand what has gone wrong in the past and bring adjustements. However, we cann’t control everything. For example, against Dallas, Avs had their third goalie in the net. Did you know many teams that win Stanley Cup with their third goalie? If yes, I would like know them. Thank’s.

Last edited 4 months ago by Alexander A
gimmepuck

Dude…WTF?!

Last edited 4 months ago by gimmepuck
Yan Girard

It’s not honest to tell that Avs struggled against Dallas for example when it was the third goalie in the net. 90% chance that Avs win this serie if Grubauer not been injured. Now, do you understand better the mess…

dp10

Grubi wasn’t injured last year though, was he? He actually stole game 2 for us but then caved in substantially. Anyway…goaltending is important, but my point remains that over the last 3 years, the Avs kind a cruised through round 1 and then all but folded up in round 2, in part at least because of an inability by the Avs to make adjustments and rise to the occasion (so to speak).

dp10

We don’t need to regurgitate that series in detail. But do I need to remind you that Hutchinson got the start when the Avs were already down 1-3 in the series? Except for game 7, he put up very solid numbers too! But yes part of the problem that year was Frankie’s lackluster goaltending earlier in the series, ostensibly because he was playing through an injury.

Yan Girard

Hutchinson? I don’t know him. It’s NHL goalie?

dp10

Yeah man. This dude came out of nowhere and stopped 91% of the shots he faced in the series against Dallas compared to 87% by Francouz during his 3 1/2 games. Oh and yeah, apparently this Hutchinson fella also played in 137 NHL games, which is 137 more than me…or you (I think).

Yan Girard

91% ? It’s a very ordinary performance for a goalie in playoffs in the today hockey… I hope that Kuemper will better. Else that’s will be short playoffs.

dk

I can attest to the nastiness of the current flu. It ran through my family a few weeks ago. Took all of us at least a week to get past it. Based on my experience with it, I would bet Kadri doesnโ€™t play game 1. Possibly not 2 either. Bednar might be wise to keep him away from the rest of the team. Itโ€™s contagious AF.

Glendon Gulliver

It sounds like the top line will be Nichushkin-MacKinnon-Rantanen and the 2nd line will be Landeskog-Kadri-Lehkonen when Kadri returns. That leaves the 3rd line as Newhook-Compher-Burakovsky. My guess would be that Lehkonen is on the 2nd line to provide a more physical presence, so that Landeskog doesn’t have to do it. With Burakovsky on the 3rd line, it adds a bit more offense, but loses some of it’s defense. One has to wonder if Burakovsky may be seeing that he can get replaced for half the cost? AD, do you have an idea of who will skate on the 4th… Read more »

Joel Stefaniak

Oh man. About Byram, wisdom teeth are there to help prevent severity of concussions/head trauma.

Donald Victory

With the lost wisdom, I hope his play does not regress

Toby Jones

So a highly contagious virus seems to be going around and no one thinks this could possibly be COVID?? Keep deluding yourselves NHL, Avalanche, CHN and anyone else buying into!

gimmepuck

Really? Wow.
๐Ÿ˜€

Last edited 4 months ago by gimmepuck
Nick C.

What a completely brainwashed sheep. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Nick Chapman

What a completely brainwashed sheep. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
Turn off CNN.

Michael Connelly

Fauci! What up shorty!

dk

How do you know they didn’t have Rantanen or Kadri tested?

When we got sick a few weeks ago, my wife, my daughter and I all got PCR tests for Covid. All three were negative, yet positive for type A influenza.

Matt Briggle

The great thing about everything Bednar has done the last month or so is to prepare them for just this situation. Kadri might miss a game or two? Alright, we’ve already had some success with these combinations. Landy is back and healthy? Great, we know we can always put the big line back together at the drop of a hat and they’ll be just fine, for now let’s try and spread things out a little bit to see if we can get some good matchups down the depth chart. I will say that I like the idea of a third… Read more »

Svein Lister

I think LOC and NAK will sit and the fourth line will be Sturm – Helm – Cogliano.

And while I don’t count myself amongst the Girard haters, I would prefer to start with

Makar – Toews
Byram – Manson
EJ – JJ

Yan Girard

I donโ€™t count myself amongst the Girard haters, I would prefer to start with
Makar โ€“ Toews
Girard โ€“ Manson
Byram โ€“ EJ

Svein Lister

Looks like you will probably get your wish, but I donโ€™t much like the Girard – Manson pairing. If Girard plays, I would rather he played with Byram. They are better at reading off each other.

But I also think JJ is a type of player suited to the tighter style of play that comes with the playoffs. I believe his poor play in recent games is more a result of a general loss of team structure and focus.

Yan Girard

Girard, Byram and JJ play left side in best case. EJ and Manson play right side.

dk

Murray instead of JJ… Jack sucked eggs down the stretch.

Bob Neal

Not seeing this same alleged poor performance by JJ. Completely agree with Svein suggested lineup and also think Girard-Manson is a scary pairing. I’m sure Bedsie will probably go with Yan’s pairings.

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