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Avs Mailbag: Girard talk, the rest/rust issue and what are rules for getting name on Cup?



Colorado Avalanche

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Terrible, but thanks for asking.

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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.

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.

Cale Makar. What a series he had. Unreal.

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.

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.


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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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Charlie Anderson

I think Rants has looked disengaged and uninterested in inflicting his will on the game for maybe 2-3 months now. I personally would have thought putting in MacDermid and JJ and Murray instead of LOC/Byram/Girard would have made sense in that final game against the eye predators, if only to get them involved in the playoffs a bit, I mean, what if we need them later and they haven’t played in months? But as usual, Joe and Bednar know better than me. I’m sure they know more about hockey/their players/what their team and the situation needs in one hair on… Read more »

sarasota curt

I loved Patty on the ice and loved most of what he brought as coach (not all). But he was absolutely right about Duchene. Roy came up in a winning organization and Duchene is simply not a winner. He may never be one.


I disagree on that Girard play you’re talking about, Dater. He read that play all the way and made a great pinch, it was just a weirdly-bouncing puck that took a funny turn. Watch the clip again. That was a *very* good heads-up play for Girard that 9/10 times kills their momentum. Just a bad luck play.

Yan Girard

Effectively, it was the play to make. In the stands or on the bench, one player is sure not be bad lucky or not make mistakes. Girard is probably the defenseman of the team who makes the less mistake in defense. The problem is that Girard has no room for error according to stage managers that would have already won Stanley Cup with the team.

Last edited 4 months ago by Alexander A
Bob Neal

Good one from your second favorite stage manager.

Karl Keen

Series over and suddenly “Yan” posting right and left again. You truly did play a good, solid series. Keep it up!

Yan Girard

Do you think really that I am Samuel Girard? At 5M per season, I wouldn’t worry at all things people say about me 🙂

Donald Victory

Yes. You are…

Bob Neal

Happy birthday Sammie.


ridiculous….you never want your Dman diving or kneeling in the neutral zone. More BS from the Girard defense league.

Yan Girard

It’s interesting this type of comment. It demonstrates well hockey knowledge level among the haters of Girard.


Hey AD,,, I think the rules for being on the Stanley Cup are just guidelines and not set in stone.. For example, Michael Del Zotto’s name is on the Stanley Cup for the Blues and he only played 11 regular season games and 0 games in the playoffs that year.. so I really think it’s ultimately up to the team to decide.. I can’t see Justus getting on the Cup if we do wind up winning it all though..

Matt Briggle

Teams can (and do) petition the league to get certain players on the Cup who they feel deserve it but don’t meet the qualifications. For example, I guarantee you that the Avs would have petitioned and gotten EJ on the Cup last year if they had won even though he only played 4 games that year.


They wouldn’t have for the reason you just named. You don’t get your name on the Cup for having played with the team in the past. Some guys play 10 years with a team then get traded away the season they win the Cup. Life ain’t fair. It would have been absurd to put his name on the Cup having played 4 games. If he had played 40? Then there is an argument for adding him.

Glendon Gulliver

Teams get to put 52 names on the cup. This includes players, management, and owners. The 41 games or the playoffs automatically gets one on the cup. There are also rules for goalies, as a backup goalie may not meet those requirements. Teams can also petition for those who may not meet the requirements because of injury or other circumstances.

Donald Victory

Let’s add Paul Stastny to the request list. Drafted after two years at DU (the Catholic school he chose – lol), then eight with the Havs albeit a decade ago, and the coattails from his father and uncle. Paulie has been chasing it ever since.

If he had just lived up to the home team (really St. Louis) discount he would have had a better chance. Not the sharpest tool in the shed. Maybe a larger version of Girard?


Regarding Newhook and Girard. Typically, I see why people have reservations regarding those two in a playoff environment. In the regular season, you obviously want the extra offense these two bring and I totally agree with everyone that the physical and more defensively-minded nature of the playoffs typically puts a questions mark behind those kind of players. BUT, and here is a big but! The playoffs so far have seen just as much scoring as the regular season. As opposed to seasons past, the refs seem to be calling the games just as stringently as the regular season. With so… Read more »

Yan Girard

Your evaluation of Girard is wrong. He is excellent in defensive by reducing time and space at the opponent. How many times do you see Girard make bad passe, back too far, let the opponent make shot from the slot or be taken out position? Thank’s.


Are you sure you meant to respond to my post?! I am well aware of Girard’s qualities. My point was that the kind of high-scoring games we have seen in the playoffs so far (a whopping 6.6 goals per game through 39 games) is quite in line with the skill set Girard brings to the game (which you summarized well). Likewise, the conventional wisdom is that once the refs become more lax in their refereeing (as they typically do in the playoffs), bigger and more physical teams get to impose their grinding style of play to the detriment of fast… Read more »

Donald Victory

LOL that will not continue. Stars/Flamers have not been at that clip. Nor Kings/Oil.

Yan Girard

One team that scores a lot goals in regular season can be able to make the same thing in playoffs. For example, look Penguins Pittsburgh.

Yan Girard

Each serie is different.


Girard doesn’t reduce any space against any opponent. His only saving grace as a woefully undersized defenseman is his puck handling. When he gets closed out, when he gets beat to the puck – it’s over for him and a turnover is the result. He’ll get hammered time and time again, giving up puck possession. He is worthless in protecting the front of the net as opposing players will swat him away like a pesky gnat. If the Avs win the Stanley Cup, it will be despite Sam Girard – not because of him. The Avs are a stronger team… Read more »

Donald Victory

Alll the time from the perch from which I watch the game.

Down low near the crease he is always out of the fray. Even with the banishment of the cross-check he is never mucking it up.

His small stick is a detriment too. Leading to a horrible shot that rarely if ever gets through. He has many chances to check a player into the boards yet he shies away from any contact — unless he is being checked,

Open your eyes, man!

Yan Girard

The efficiency of a defenseman doesn’t measure to check opponent in the board.

Last edited 4 months ago by Alexander A

This playoff vs. regular season penalty thing needs to get put to bed.

This dude’s evaluation of the data is sound. It surprised me as I always thought that fewer calls were made in the playoffs.


That is actually really interesting. But I will throw a very simple rebuttal at you. Those stats only document the quantity of penalties assessed in the regular season and playoffs. This data actually says very little about the quality of the penalties/infractions, which is the argument.


That’s fair. It also doesn’t, an cannot, take into account the calls not made. By this I mean perhaps players are playing loose with the rules and pushing their play into the gray areas more so than if it were regular season.

Lots of variables at play here that can’t be quantified. But the ones that can be are pretty clear, this results in a definitive fact that more penalties are called per 60 on average.

Matt Zmuda

I’d love to see these mailbags more often. They are always a fun read.


It’s pretty much a guarantee that Joe can’t keep Kadri, Burkey, and Nichushkin? Personally, I think we need to lock up Nik for the long term and I think Burkey is great, affordable mix-six player that we need. Unfortunately, Kadri is going to be way too spendy and I don’t think he’ll come close to replicating this season ever again.


I agree on Val. And I think that deal can get done as there is some loyalty to Sakic and the Avs for resurrecting his career – – or at least giving him the chance to resurrect it here in Colorado. Burky will be approached with lots of offer. While he doesn’t consistently play a two way game and can be a turnover machine, you don’t find many players with his shot at his age. Kadri? Even more interesting. Does he want to roll the dice with another organization? He appears to be comfortable in Denver. If the Avs win… Read more »

Jared Moss

Dater can we get eagles updates I see they blew out the team they played 10-1 but I have no access to (well I’m lazy to look) for general updates like points who’s playing well blahblah, are the eagles that good or the team they playing that bad? Any info is good info

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