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Avalanche playoffs

‘Nothing We Can’t Handle’ – Tyson Barrie on Old Friend Nathan MacKinnon



Tyson Barrie
Mark Terrill/AP

OK, so I’m really not trying to do any clickbait here. First off, Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon are real good friends and right before he said this, Barrie gave MacKinnon some high praise as a player. But, hey, Tyson Barrie did say this yesterday, when asked about Nathan MacKinnon for the upcoming Western Conference finals between the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers.

“He’ll be a handful, but nothing we can’t handle,” Barrie told reporters following Oilers practice Saturday.

Here, see for yourself. Fast forward to about the 5:15 mark:

Like I said, not trying to clickbait here. But if the Avs and MacKinnon are looking for any bulletin-board material for the series – like Nazem Kadri did the last series against St. Louis – they might just want to put “Nothing we can’t handle” in big bold letters on the dressing room wall.

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Barrie is just trying to sound confident for his team. Nothing wrong with that. But the Avs have used verbal disses to their advantage before. Not only against Craig Berube, but remember the “We’re going to have some fun and we’re going to beat them” comment by Ryan O’Reilly before the first-round series last year.

You gotta use any advantage you can get in the playoffs.

The Oilers, by the way, flew into Denver today, presumably to better acclimate themselves to the altitude. The altitude thing is mostly a myth, as it doesn’t really affect already highly-trained athletes. It actually works to the Avs’ advantage the most when they go on the road at sea level. I’ve done past articles on these, but couldn’t find them.

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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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Matt Briggle

I am really curious as to how Bednar chooses to match up against the Mcdavid – Draisitl – Kane line. Will he choose to go best on best like he has in other match ups? Will they just try and focus a hard match up with Makar and Toews? Will they put together a line like Nichushkin – Kadri – Lehkonen to try and slow them down and let the big 3 try and feast on a better match up? Will they switch the D pairs around and have Makar play with Byram and Toews play with Manson as a… Read more »


Totally agree on a Makar/Byram pairing. A look at their stats as a pair early in the season shows just how ridiculously good they are together.


One line shouldn’t beat the Avs. That being said, I’m all for a checking line, especially with Lehkonen, matched against that big three. Edmonton doesn’t play as tight a game nor are they as physical as St. Louis. There should be a lot more room for the Avs to skate thus opening up more scoring opportunities for Rantanen and Makar, as well as from secondary scoring.

Matt Briggle

When that one line is Kane – McDavid – Draisitl anything is possible. Limiting the damage those three can cause (nobody is actually going to shut them down) is going to be a top priority. The more I’ve looked into this, the more I realize it will largely have to be by committee. That being said, I think that getting either Makar or Toews out against McDavid every shift possible will be the most important priority. Other than that, it will become a team effort and require constant and clear communication between forwards and D. I wouldn’t be surprised to… Read more »

Bob Neal

Good to see some tactical discussion. I’m with Rico and play the checking line especially with Lehkonen on it. Kane makes this line a real handful.

greg detter

Curious why you think the altitudinal advantage is a myth. Teams in the NFL and NBA have been talking about what a tough adjustment it is for years. It’s a highly noticeable difference and if you’re not used to it, you get tired quicker.


Let us know if you find those articles, but I concur. For one you only hear about it as a talking point when National TV broadcasts our games (evidently to sound more interesting) and secondly you’d assume that all it takes is to shorten your shifts a bit.

Kurt Scherer

No bulletin board material there. Two hockey players with typical hockey player cliches.

At the risk of pendatic: the two are “really” good friends, not “real” good friends. “Good” is an adjective, and cannot be grammatically modified by another adjective. You’ve been a professional writer for a long time, but could still benefit from an editor. Or sophomore English.

Go Avs!!

Skyler Thomson

Yes but you do know “real good friends” is a relatively common phrase?

Bob Neal

AD, I think Kurt is looking for a job as your editor. Frankly, I like your writing as it is.


Pedantic. There, fixed that for ya.

Dwayne Hall

If the Avalanche play their game from start to finish, the altitude can be an advantage. Push McDavid hard enough he will slow in the third period. He’s shown that. I think the player that concerns me most is Evander Kane.

As far as Barrie is concerned, what was he supposed to say, “we don’t have a chance against MacKinnon.” If he says nothing he’s got the highly critical Edmonton media asking why he’s not confident against his former team.


Interesting about the Avs having an advantage at sea level, never really thought about that with a football team. This particular group is a phenomenal road team. If it does, I love that.


So less oxygen up high means nothing, but more oxygen down low does? Solid reasoning there.
Should be a good series but ultimately I think the Oilers will triumph. If the Avs are to have a good chance they need to take the lead early and shut the oilers down. Tough task.


Will this be on the mid-term exam?

Matt Briggle

I’m not a scientist, but my understanding of the theory that AD is getting at here is that when you live and train at high altitude your body creates more red blood cells to help get the most out of the thin atmosphere that we live in here. When you train at high altitude and then go compete at a lower altitude those extra red blood cells are still working, but now they’re delivering more available oxygen at a higher efficiency level to the muscles than those who live and train at that altitude which would give the Avs the… Read more »

Bob Neal

Well put but they still have a big advantage playing at altitude. I will always think that’s a bigger advantage then going down to sea level with the advantages you so aptly listed.


Just copy Matt’s paper.

John Klingenstein

The Oilers are completely overrated. Recency bias. People are getting lost with the show that McDavid has put on, but they are not a great team by any strech. The Blues are way better than them. The Oilers went to 7 games against the Kings!! In the 1st round who were missing Doughty and Arvidsson. They beat a flames team that beat them 9-6 in game 1 and blew a bunch of leads and just objectively are nowhere near as good defensively as the Avs especially with Tanev out or playing with 1 shoulder…and say what you want about Keumper… Read more »


Agreed. Anything can happen in the playoffs but the Avs are the much better team if you’ve watched these guys at all during regular season. Oilers are going to have to have McDraiKane continue to come through huge if they stand a chance.


We shall see. Go Oilers.


I’ll start by saying I always loved Barrie and still do. He worked hard to be an.NHLer and earned his spot (and then some). With that said, it sure seems like the Avs have a leg up on the blue line considering Barrie would be a 2nd or 3rd liner on the current roster. Considering the forward groups are somewhat comparable (and absolutely amazing), it sure feels like it sways towards the Avs. It is going to be fun to see how it pans out. Go Avs!!


Last edited 5 months ago by sjavsfan

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