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Avalanche playoffs

Avs beat Blues in Game 3; Binnington throws object at Kadri after game

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Jeff Roberson/AP

ST. LOUIS – Now that was a GREAT win for the Colorado Avalanche. And, you know it’s a great win when opposing players are throwing objects at you when the game is over, in the locker room hallway.

That was playoff grit. That was desire. That was toughness. That was just a great win in a hostile barn tonight for the Avs, 5-2 over the St. Louis Blues. Home-ice advantage – back to the Colorado Avalanche hockey club.

The Avs started out with a shaky, nervous look, but, starting with a Logan O’Connor walk-in goal on Blues replacement goalie Ville Husso, the Avs simply played like they wanted it more than the Blues and got the much-deserved win. The Avs can take a 3-1 Round 2 series lead with a win Monday night here at Enterprise Center.

So many things about this game, but let’s start off with some bad news: Sam Girard will miss the rest of the playoffs with a broken sternum, after taking a hard hit into the boards in the first period from Ivan Barbeshev. Girard actually went to the hospital for evaluation, and the bad news came back quickly. I’m expecting Jack Johnson to step back into a top-six role for Game 4 in place of Girard.

The Blues have a 10-alarm injury on their hands, too. Goalie Jordan Binnington left the game just a little more than seven minutes into the first period and didn’t return, favoring his left leg. He was run into, on a combination of Nazem Kadri and former Avs defenseman Calle Rosen barreling into him as they battled for a loose puck in front.

This is going to be all that anyone talks about the next couple of days. Especially because, apparently, Binnington might have thrown a water bottle at Kadri while he was going a postgame interview on TNT. Look, see for yourself:

Let’s not kid ourselves here: The entire complexion of the game changed after the Binnington injury. The Blues looked shocked and stunned when Binner left the ice. But that’s on THEM in this case. Ville Husso played much of the season for the Blues, while Binner sat on the bench. But, the Blues’ body language just sagged when he came in, and, to their credit, the Avs took quick advantage.

The Blues had a 1-0 lead at the time, but O’Connor burst in and beat Husso in close to tie it. The Avs played a great second period in taking a 3-1 lead, starting with a tip by Kadri of a Cale Makar shot, and Artturi Lehkonen beat Husso from the short side on a 2-on-1 break-in with Bo Byram, for a 3-1 lead.

Ryan O’Reilly (of course) made it a 3-2 game with a last-minute goal in the second. But the Avs really came out with a great work ethic in the third period. They were on pucks, with small defensive gaps, and just didn’t give the Blues much offensively. Still, the Avs had a hard time getting that key insurance goal, until they were able to do it after the Blues muffed the transition of taking Husso off the ice for the extra attacker. The Avs stole the puck in the neutral zone and Gabe Landeskog had an empty-net bunny to salt the game away, with Lehkonen getting one more empty-netter.

Blues coach Craig Berube, never one to say anything complimentary about the other team after a loss, made the following comment about the Kadri-Binnington collision:

“Look at Kadri’s reputation, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Berube told reporters in his post-game podium talk.

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That drew an uncharacteristically angry response from Jared Bednar:

“It’s either a legal play or it’s not,” Bednar said. “The D and Naz are both going for a loose puck. Unfortunate, but … a legal play.”

Here’s what Kadri said about it:

“I just see a loose puck. Just kind of sitting behind him. The defenseman kind of collided with me and pushed me into him. If it hadn’t been for him, I don’t think I would have touched (Binnington) at all,” Kadri said. “I think we definitely earned that one. I just try to compete. If they take that personally, that’s on them.”

Yes, they did. The Blues were outworked on their home ice by the Avs after roughly the 15-minute mark of the first period and, frankly, I didn’t think it was even close after that. The Avs outscored the Blues 5-1 after that early Parayko goal. They have home-ice back, the Blues don’t have Binnington anymore (I’m hearing it’s going to be at least a few days before he can even think of playing again) and life is good again in Avs Nation.

But hear me now and believe me later, Avs Nation: Put this game behind you. Celebrate it tonight, but be ready to tough out a really hard Game 4 Monday night. And, don’t be at all surprised if “Chief” Berube and his aging team try some really dirty stuff in Game 4.

This Blues team isn’t going to go out quietly I don’t believe.

But we, again, found out who the better team is between these two, tonight. That was the Colorado Avalanche.

Great win for the Avs.

NOTES, THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS

  • Again, I expect Jack Johnson to get the call to replace Girard. No question about it, to me anyway: he deserves it. He played 74 regular-season games for the Avs. He deserves to get the first call. I would be shocked if Jared Bednar didn’t put him in. But maybe – maybe – Bednar will want more of an offensive presence from the back end in place of Girard in the lineup, and go with Ryan Murray. I doubt it, though. And it’s not like Jack Johnson can’t do something offensively now and then either. He scored the first Avs goal of the season, let’s not forget lol.
  • Flew into St. Louis this morning, and I think we might have gone through something of a twister. Believe me, if you are a nervous flyer, you wouldn’t have wanted to be on my flight this morning. But I’m still here, in one piece (and, I have more people to thank for donating to the Avs Travel Trip Jar for helping make this trip easier on the wallet. You guys and gals are the best, and I mean it).
  • Let’s give Bednar some serious credit here. Putting Logan O’Connor in for Nico Sturm really paid off tonight.
  • Geez, if Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon can just put up their normal point production the rest of the way, this series should be over in five games.
  • I think Rantanen is pressing too much. He seems nervous, for some reason, out there. But he’s the guy, to me anyway, who could bust this thing wide open if he just gets his scoring confidence back. He’s due.
  • MacKinnon? Trying to do too much again. Stickhandling through five guys doesn’t work as well in the playoffs as the regular season. That said, I thought he played pretty well away from the puck tonight.
  • Bednar said he thought the Barbashev hit on Girard was a “hockey” hit and not dirty.
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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

You have to be happy about how the Avs responded to what was kind fo a no-show in Game 2 especially because they took it to the Blues in a very close and grinding game instead of the kind of open ice, high scoring affairs where the Avs typically excel. As for the Kadri/Rosen/Binnington incident: All you have to do is look at the penalty that Nichushkin got in Game 2 for barreling down on Binnington. And while you are at it, you can also rewind the tapes from the hit on Faulk last year if you want to see… Read more »

Casey Hughes

the blues player left his feet as he hit Girard. Should have been called charging. I didn’t notice it at first but another commenter mentioned it. It was an illegal hit.

dp10

…on replay, it also seemed a bit late actually! It’s funny to me how people consider that a clean hit but then Kadri got demonized for hitting Faulk last year. I mean I get that it is a thin line between a clean and a dirty hit and that ice hockey is a physical game and that hitting is part of it. But when on the one hand, they make such a big deal about whether a player gets injured from a high stick, why does it not matter if the hit (one that seems unnecessary to me) results in… Read more »

David Zarrick

Surely you jest. I have no dog in this fight. I am just a hardcore hockey fan with no biases towards either team. Well, not really. I was an Avalanche season ticket holder when I was in law school (front row, dead center ice, between the penalty boxes) from their first through second Cup wins. So deep down, a part of me is probably pulling for the Avs; I’m just in denial. That said, Barbashev’s hit was absolutely not late. He had Girard lined up while he still had the puck and was speeding towards him. By the time Girard… Read more »

David Zarrick

We’re you watching the same game the rest of the world was? That’s a rhetorical question, because obviously you were not. At the time of the hit, Barbashev’s skates were clearly on the ice. The momentum of his speed and his hit propelled him off the ice.

If you take what “another commenter”, on a website for Avalanche fan, said as gospel, rather than listen to a man who refereed in the NHL for more than 30 years, and analysts who played the game, you need serious help.

Ryan Krueger

The “Water Bottle” game it will become in Avs lore. Plus Girard out with a broken sternum.? Mercy Lord. Bring on the battleships, this series could get really ugly. Frankly better be ready…

Jim Strohmeier

Suit up MacDermid for game 4, just to keep the Blues in check.

Flounder

Nope. This isn’t the reg season. Can’t afford dumb penalties and guys that can’t play a lick. MacD has his place during the season, but there is a reason why enforcers never play in the post season. The stakes are too high. JJ is 100% the guy.

Dave North

I fully agree. In addition, MacDermid is too slow on his skates. A nightmare with the transition game that the blues (and the Avs) are playing.

Donald Victory

But MacDermid is faster than JT and Miakko!

Sean Washington

What about Jacob?

A bigger and better version of Girard? Though JJ deserves his shot. And all the overemphasis Avs management places on rest and relaxation he out to be ready to rumble!

ricoflashback

There wasn’t any dirty stuff by the Blues. Just hard nosed, physical hockey. The hit on Girard was clean and as I’ve said before, an undersized Girard is heavily exposed along the boards and especially on the end boards. This is playoff hockey, folks, and the ice shrinks and the physicality goes way up. The Avs were very fortunate that Binnington was knocked out of the game. The Blues were playing with great confidence and pressuring the Avs with their physical style of play. That said, adding JJ’s size on defense will help but the Avs better be ready for… Read more »

Aaron Rud

Thank God you’re here, Rico. Always enjoy your thoughts. I’m not being facetious.

Last edited 6 months ago by Aaron Rud
Donald Victory

Agreed Flashbackrico. The dasherboards are four feet in height. M49s head was just about it as he as not fully prostrate. And the hitter was. I applaud the little guy for trying to play the sport, he is a good skater, but is hampered by his small size and an obvious easy target.

Fractured sternum means the hit collapsed it. That has to be painful. Rest in peace little guy, and enjoy the games from the comforts of home!

GWood

Rico, initial contact with Girard, however brutal, his feet are on the ice, but as he follows through, they leave the ice. That’s charging, illegal hit aka dirty. Its also the classic, pick on somebody your own size wuss move. That hit, where he made contact, where he was positioned, that was a take out hit if I’ve ever seen one on a smaller guy. Punk move 100%.

David Zarrick

You’re insane!! By your own words, the hit was legal. “(I)nitial contact . . . his feet are on the ice. (B)ut(,) as he as he follows through, (his feet) leave the ice. That’s charging, illegal . . ..” I’ll say it again for you: (I)nitial contact . . . his feet are on the ice. (B)ut(,) as he as he follows through, (his feet) leave the ice. That’s charging, illegal . . ..” One more time: “(I)nitial contact . . . his feet are on the ice. (B)ut(,) as he as he follows through, (his feet) leave the ice.… Read more »

Ogie Oglethorpe

To G wood. Dirty hit? See what Kadri did to Faulk in 21. Or to Ovechkin in 17 or DeBrusk in 2019 or Glendening in 2016 or Backstrom in 2013. I could go on. He has a reputation as a rule-breaker and cheapshot taker; add Binnington to his list of victims. Avs won over St. Louis like this last year. History appears to be repeating. A Kronke team never plays by the rules. Go Flames.

Last edited 6 months ago by Ogie Oglethorpe
GWood

Great win, great game. Binnington is like that kid who can’t control his emotions and totally spazzes out. What a little Karen. My god, thats embarrassing. Punk.

David Zarrick

What?!?! Kadri himself said that he didn’t even know if it was Binnington. Listen to his interview , dipstick, rather than go off what a clickbait title says.

And, “embarrassing” and “a little Karen” and a “Punk”. Tell me, pray tell, who has zero suspensions, and who has multiple suspensions?

Oh, and tell me who has a big fat, diamonds encrusted ring that has Stanley Cup Champions engraved into it?

Then, tell me who makes an ass out of themselves on Avalanche websites with stupid takes like yours?

GWood

Dipstick? Stupid takes? Slow down pal, a lot of words all of a sudden, whats up with that anyway? I don’t care who threw the bottle although he probably did. Doesnt change the fact that he has shown to be emotionally unstable. So ya, Binnington gets his feelings hurt quite a bit and I think its funny.

Ghost of Roy

I’d be embarrassed to have Kadri on my team. A tiger don’t change its stripes.

peter martin

I am Hans and he is Franz and we are here to Pump you Up!

Thomas Wilgus

“What goes around, comes around.” That hit on Sammy G may have been legal but came with vicious intent to injure. Gerard is the smallest guy on the ice and Barbeshev spotted his opportunity and crushed him. Leave it to the most hated guy in St Louis, Nazim Kadri, who never fails to find the limelight on the ice there–good or bad–to be involved in a hustle play that took out nemesis Jordan Binnington. Kadri was all over the ice and was a big difference in the outcome. ’nuff said; justice served.

Flounder

I didn’t see any intent to injure there. Just a hard clean hockey hit. Girard is short and unfortunately his face was lined up with edge of the boards and glass. We all know Girard has physical limitations and he must be very alert regarding checks. He failed to look out for that hit and left himself a bit vulnerable. Girard usually does a good job spinning out of hits, but he didn’t that time and it was just an unfortunate play.

Agree on Kadri. His play was also clean. Just an unfortunate pile up that injured Binnington.

David Zarrick

It’s nice to hear from a voice of reason. Blues fans dislike Kadri immensely, but most of them know hockey very well. Very few blame him for Binnington getting utterly.

I salute Kadri for going hard to the net. I don’t want to see goalies get hurt, but I wish more players would go hard to the net. I also would like to see teams establish more of a net front presence. It seems to be a lost art these days.

GWood

Totally agreed, talk about poetic justice. MOMENTUM SHIFT, game over, thanks for coming.

David Zarrick

“”That hit . . . may have been legal [sic] but came with vicious intent to intent to injure.”

WoW. Do you foresee the future, or just read minds?

radiorethink

A couple of musical observations. Did we get a little help from John Denver tonight? The Blues really needed some energy in the third and the crowd broke out into “Take Me Home Country Roads” – not sure a lullaby is what I’d choose to fire up my club in round 2 of the playoffs. But you do you St. Louis. On another note, I think the organist for the Blues really captured the vibe of the building after the empty netter when they immediately broke into an instrumental version of CeeLo Green’s “F@#k You”. Nothing beats a live organist… Read more »

JD16

I totally cracked up when they played that. “Are they really playing John DENVER”…singing about West Virginia?”
Weird. But I’ll take the W. thanks John.

Sean Washington

The Blues fans drink straight out of the confluence. And it impairs their brains!

David Zarrick

The Blues play that stupid song every game, not just last night’s, you dope. And please tell me, why do you have to beg for money to pay for travel expenses to go to the games of a team you cover?

I went to college, law school, and practiced in Colorado for more than 20 years, and I know your story very well. It’s obvious what you’re using the money for. You know that there are plenty of resources out there. Please avail yourself of them.

GWood

Again with the law school blasts, uh, okay. Wow, man thats impressive… And now practiced 20yrs and you know it all. Your takes are weak. Nobodys perfect, but AD fly’s Frontier, stays near the airport and takes public trans to these games AYFKM?

GWood

Between Frontier and the economy lot, no price gouging there. Thats pure dedication to me.

David Zarrick

That “Country Roads” song has been a thorn in the side of Blues fans for years. Well, I should say less than half of the Blues fans. Hard as it is to believe, whenever the issue of moving on from that cheesy song comes up on the Blues’s website or in their chat rooms, the majority of the people not only say to keep it, but they go one step further and say that they really like (or worse, love) it. And I’m not just talking about the old gummers, a lot of the younger people like the song, too.… Read more »

JD16

You’re not going to win them In an all out manner, especially in the playoffs. I think the struggles in the middle of the season where they had to grind out wins really helped here. The just kept on it. Digging away until they got their shot.

Dave North

Just goes to show that Kadri was the missing ingredient last year against the VGK. He really got in the face of the Blues tonight, an added a pretty goal as insult to injury.

Also LOC, NAK, Cogs, Lekhonen – they bring such great energy. Now, if only the star players can bring some of that intensity, this series will be over in 5. I thought Makar picked up his game in this one, but MacK and Rants were disappointing again.

Aaron Rud

It’s funny how all the “fans” get defensive over MacKinnon, buts it’s a legitimate point- he’s been a disappointment.

Ricardo

As already noted, MacK is trying to do too much by himself. Time to use both brain and skill.

Sean Washington

Assuming he has the former. He cannot get out of his own way. Frei pegged it months ago. His game needs to evolve.

David Zarrick

Don’t get ahead of yourself. It was a tight, one-goal game until the final two minutes. If you’re going to play the “if” game, play it on both sides. If Binnington returns, the Blues have a good chance of winning this series. Because there is absolutely no indication that McKinnon and Rantanen are going to turn things around against the Blues’s smothering game plan, which is specifically designed to keep them in check. Further, other, than an an assist on what was actually an errant shot, Makar has been a total non-factor this series. And, IF you’re going to assume… Read more »

Reginald Wynn

Kadri will sing the Blues soon enough. Count on it!

Ghost of Roy

Yep. What goes around comes around. Kadri doesn’t strike me as much of a singer though

Sean Washington

Binnington is done. A fair trade to say the least with Girard. Agreed Mac and Mikko need to carry their weight. Just passengers…

dk

I’d rather see Murray than JJ. He’s simply a better hockey player than Johnson.

Also, I love the Binnington drama. Whatever that play was, good on Kadri. If you’re not making someone angry in games like this, you’re just not trying hard enough.

Ted Grycel

Last year the AV’s loose this game. I loved the grit, nastiness and heart to win this game. My emotions want MacD to play in game 4, but my senses and brain tells me that JJ is the one to pay the most dividends. I love his shot blocking plus he’s a veteran and played well through the season. Murray hasn’t played in forever and I would be nervous not knowing what to expect. I didn’t like the hit on Girard, but it’s been coming for a long time because of his size which is a liability with the size… Read more »

GWood

I still can’t believe that kid Benningtion is so weak he can’t refrain from chucking a water bottle at a guy who is getting interviewed on TV. That reminded me of when he swung his stick at his head, ya, remember that? What a baby, they need to fine that kid heavily. I think I hate STL now as much as Minny. Freakin’ hose hounds.

David Zarrick

Not another one. Listen to the interview. When you do, you will hear Kadri HIMSELF say, in perfect English, that he does not know who threw the water bottle.

And remind me, who’s the player who has been suspended like a gagillion times, Binnington or Kadri? And while you’re at it, tell me, which of the two has a big fat diamond-encrusted ring, that has his name and the words “Stanley Cup Champions” engraved into it?

Voltair

Great take on a tight game! Would love to hear your thoughts on getting pinched trying to pull the Goalie on a one point deficit with the puck in the neutral zone.

Bob Neal

As a former Girard detractor, I must say he has played very well in the playoffs. I think that we are missing a key point when a guy gets run like that, breaks his sternum and there is no penalty. I wonder if that will be a potential career ender for him as that’s a pretty major injury. Hard to believe the League thinks this outcome is just another “oh well” situation. If Bennington did actually throw that water bottle at Kadri I hope he loses some money. First he swings a stick at Kadris head with no ramifications and… Read more »

Sean Washington

Good comments on the missing Big Two. Rat has been invisible (sure he has a few cheap assists, big whoop) and shying away from battles. The rest did him some good, huh? And Mac was the reason the Avs died at the hands of the last three opponents. He is simply not a big-game hunter. He is a regular season guy, has no clue how to change his game to benefit the team. Turnovers are so frequent is it now the norm.

Nathan

I myself thought it was an eye for an eye! Yeah Girard is small and it was a very hard hockey hit. But don’t you think he knew he was trying to take Girards head off? So I am glad Kadri went into the net hard and took full advantage of the perfect timing to use Rosen as the blockade to push harder into that immature sissy Blues Whiny netminder. I do think Jack Johnson will be even better then Girard on the back end, as he is seasoned hungry, tougher, can check super hard and the Avs already have… Read more »

Ghost of Roy

Dont be suprised if “Chief” Berube and his aging team try some dirty stuff… Really Dater? That’s your take? Trying to get the refs ear ahead of the game? What a stupid comment. Who has been suspended the most of anyone in this game? Hint: they don’t play for St. Louis. I really hope it doesn’t turn ugly. To be the best you need to beat the best at thier best. Forget the cheap shots and just out play the other team. The NHL has repeatedly not taken care of business when it comes to penalizing and suspending players. When… Read more »

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