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Stanley Cup Final

KADRI CLOSE: Avalanche Center Stickhandling Well; Burakovsky Update Not As Good



Photo by Terry Frei

TAMPA – Nazem Kadri was stickhandling the puck well today at the Avalanche’s optional practice at Amalie Arena, as our Terry Frei reported today.

Is he good enough to play again?

Jared Bednar wouldn’t get into specifics, but when he was asked if Kadri was making progress, he responded: “I thnk he is.  He’s been making some nice progress, He’s back on the ice today, joining the guys  out there in the skate right now with some of the extras and some of the guys who want to get in a little work.

“He seems to be getting better every day, so I believe he’s an option for us at some point. I’m not sure how soon.”

We’ll see, also, if Kadri is able to take faceoffs much moving forward. That is something he may not be able to do because of all the pressure you have to put on the stick when taking them.

On the Andre Burakovsky front: Not as good. “Burky hasn’t joined the team yet,” Bednar said.

Burakovsky did not travel to Tampa Monday, as the Avalanche had hoped.

“He’s getting some treatment back in Denver,” Bednar said. “And I believe if he doesn’t skate today, he’s going to skate tomorrow.”

Burakovsky has a suspected hand injury after blocking a shot from Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman in Game 2. So, he’s out for Game 4 as well.

The Avalanche had an optional skate, but most players took part, including Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.

The Avalanche will face a Lightning team in Game 4 that has won eight in a row at home. Colorado is no longer unbeaten on the road in the playoffs (7-1).

Bednar plays his goaltending deployment close to the vest. Asked if he would stick with Darcy Kuemper as the starter, he said: “Yeah, that’s one possibility.”

Kuemper allowed five goals on 22 shots in the Lightning’s 6-2 win in Game 3 before Pavel Francouz came on after Pat Maroon’s goal at 11:15 of the second period put the Lightning up 5-2.

In the playoffs, Kuemper is 8-3. His goals-against average is 2.76 and his save percentage is .892.

Francouz is 6-0 with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.


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