While we all sit around waiting to see who the Avs’ next opponent will be – and the odds are now favoring it being the St. Louis Blues, after their comeback win over Minnesota last night – let’s do a Mailbag.
Greeting AD, the Avs are playing really well and seem focused. Do you think wrapping up the series quickly and playing no games for almost a week will slow them down for round 2?
— Sanjeev Christopher (@Jeev_13) May 11, 2022
Well, that’s what I explored a bit yesterday with my story. I don’t think the “rust” factor will be big, if any, here. Game 1 could start Saturday night (or afternoon). If the Wild win and force a Game 7, we’re probably looking at a Monday night start. If this were something like a 10-day layoff between series, I’d be more concerned. But no matter what in this case, I think the rest will do the Avs some good. Obviously, Darcy Kuemper’s eye injury will benefit from as much rest as possible.
Jared Bednar said on his Altitude radio show this morning that he expects Kuemper to be able to practice when the team resumes them on Thursday. So, I think these few days between the series will help the Avs more than hurt them.
What's up with Mikko? I know he was sick at the end of the year, but he looked lethargic and even uninterested in big parts of round one.
— Steve Snyd (@SteveSnyd) May 11, 2022
Well, I’m sure Mikko would tell you it wasn’t his greatest series ever, and yet he still had five points in the fourth games (all assists)! If that’s looking lethargic and uninterested, then…yeah. Mikko is a ferocious competitor, so the uninterested thing doesn’t apply.
Maybe he’s still feeling his way back from that illness, but, I mean, five points in a four-game series works for me. I expect him to be a goal-scorer, at least, in this next series. Mikko was robbed a couple times in that Nashville series, too.
Cogs or LOC in the second round? Do you see Newy coming in for NAK? Or does his lack of PK leave him out?
— Jacob Stackhouse (@Jacob_Stack97) May 11, 2022
Well, Jared Bednar said he would have to make some tough decisions on the roster, and he was right. Guys like Newhook and Jack Johnson played pretty much all year, yet they didn’t play a minute in the first round. I doubt Bednar will change up his lineup for Game 1 from the last couple games of the series. I could see Cogliano coming back, though. If they play the Blues, the Avs are going to need a real good PK. St. Louis is scoring on their PP at a 30-percent clip right now – and that’s without Torey Krug, who the Blues said will be out “a while” with a lower-body injury.
I would probably bet that Cogliano would replace LOC if Bednar does play him, though Darren Helm could be scratched too. I think Bednar just wants as big and defensively tough a lineup as he can get right now, and Newhook is more of an offensive guy who isn’t real big. That’s not slighting him, because I think he’s a real good player. But, hey, Bednar is the coach, not me.
How do you feel about round 2 for the Avs this season? Is this the year over the hump?
— z – Trevor Bentley (@tbent92) May 11, 2022
I think this is a much better team than last year’s – and that was a real good team. I mean, everything is in place for this to be the year. But hockey is a cruel mistress. So many bad things can happen in a short amount of time. One game at a time, no past, no future, just the present. That’s how the Avs have to go about getting over this second-round hurdle.
What are the rules for a player to get his name on the Cup? Since Annunen was called up as backup, would he be eligible?
— z-Nancy Lambert (@npratt44) May 11, 2022
The official rule is that for a player to have their name engraved on the Stanley Cup, they must have played at least half the regular season (41 games) or one game in the Stanley Cup Finals for the Cup-winning team
So, no, Justus would not qualify. Not yet anyway.
How's the back?
— Brandon Judy (@Judeman5000) May 11, 2022
Terrible, but thanks for asking.
Why does Sam Girard get so much hate? I think he’s been really good.
— Nathaniel Torok (@natetorok) May 11, 2022
It’s just life as a pro athlete. Sometimes you’re a hero and beloved by all. Other times, you’re in the doghouse. I thought Girard played pretty well in the Nashville series. Well, except for that mistake at center ice that cost a goal in Game 2.
One could definitely argue that Jack Johnson might be a better player suited for the playoffs, with his size and physical game, over Girard. But Girard is obviously faster than JJ and can skate with the puck better out of the zone. He just has to make sure he’s not getting dragged around physically in his own end or getting knocked off the puck by bigger guys.
It’ll be very interesting to see how Girard does to start the next series. Otherwise, veterans JJ and Ryan Murray could get a call.
With Kadri likely gone, who do you see centering line 2 next year? Will they try to stretch Newhook, or find a cheaper older player? Also, where will Ben Myers set up camp?
— JohnReed (@bcos4life) May 11, 2022
Tough question, but if they don’t trade for/sign anyone IF Kadri leaves, I would bet that it would be a training camp battle between a guy like Newhook, J.T. Compher or Ben Meyers. That would almost certainly be asking too much of Meyers at this point, and Compher seems better suited these days to a third-line role.
I really think the Avs should make a big offer to Kadri to stay. I mean, he’s the perfect second-line center. But let’s revisit this when the season is over.
Who’s your Avs Conn Smythe pick after round one?
— Owen Krepps (@OKrepps85) May 11, 2022
Cale Makar. What a series he had. Unreal.
Thanks Adrian, how many rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs is Altitude going to be able to broadcast?
— Colorado Gary (@gmerdick) May 11, 2022
They only broadcast the first round. But they will still have a pregame and postgame show for as long as the team is in the playoffs. And, they do a real good job on those.
How much did Matt Duchene, his 30th goal celebration etc have to do with Roy leaving the team? Did he and Joe disagree on other players as well?
— J.L. Fullerton (@horrorscribe85) May 11, 2022
I don’t think Roy was the biggest Dutchy fan, but I think his departure had more to do with disagreements with Joe on players to sign via free agency or trade. I believe that Alexander Radulov was one.
This moment, though, obviously wasn’t a feelgood moment between Roy and Duchene:
Thanks for the questions, folks.