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Stanley Cup Final

DATER: Game 4 Pregame Thoughts on Avalanche



Colorado Avalanche

This is a big one tonight for the Avalanche. That observation brought to you by Captain Obvious.

Here are some other observations and thoughts about Game 4 that have been on my mind:

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  • We’ll find out soon, but my hunch now is that it’ll be Pavel Francouz in goal tonight. That .892 save percentage of Darcy Kuemper is sticking out like a sore thumb. Frankie is 6-0 in the playoffs with a .906 SP. The numbers would suggest Frankie is the better play right now. I don’t like changing goalies in the middle of a series, but Kuemper just isn’t projecting a lot of confidence out there. He’s just been playing on his knees too much, overcommitting too much, just not stopping the puck enough.
  • Speaking of sore thumbs, I’d say it’s 50-50 Nazem Kadri plays tonight. Way to go out on a limb, right?
  • It’s obvious, after looking at all the video of him at practice, that he can stickhandle with a puck. But can that thumb take all the intense stick battles it requires to play this game effectively? And what happens when Corey Perry takes a tomahawk chop to it, which you know damn well he’ll do? Or, some other Lightning player. My hunch is the Avalanche would like to wait until Game 5 for a return. But this is a big one, and even Kadri at 80 percent could give a big lift.
  • Cale Makar deserved the Norris Trophy. Full stop.
  • He is the first Avalanche player to ever win the Norris.
  • Devon Toews finishing seventh was a nice thing for him, too.
  • Avalanche are -110 to win tonight at SuperBook Colorado, which lines up with most other online sportsbooks in Colorado.
  • Free watch party hosted by the Avalanche tonight on the Quad at the Tivoli. More info here.
  • I don’t see why it would be such an outlandish idea to dress Kurtis MacDermid as a forward tonight. I’d put in him for NAK, who’s been doing a whole lot of nothing in these playoffs (14 games, zero points). I’d love to see Big Mac give a good hard hit to Perry or a Nick Paul or a Steven Stamkos even.
  • No goals in the series so far for Nathan MacKinnon. Tonight wouldn’t be a bad time to get that first one.
  • Makar and Toews need to be much better tonight defensively than Game 3. That observation brought to you by Captain Obvious.
  • Hey look, if this is another loss tonight, it’s still a best-of-three series with home-ice belonging to the Colorado Avalanche. That’s something we’d all have taken before the season, right?


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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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I agree on going with Francouz. He isn’t the ‘best goalie in the world’, but he is a winner. Since he has been a Av, he has proven over and over that he can come in and be very effective. He’s quick and he is mentally tough it seems. Put him in and let’s roll. Big day in Avs history for sure. Great honor for Cale last night, I’m sure he is going to channel that in game 4. Agree on MacK, he is due and is going to hit the back of the net tonight, more than once. Make… Read more »

Aaron Rud

I still think Kuemper starts but is on a short leash.


Teams leading 2-0 in SCF are like 47-5 to win the cup. I don’t believe the Avs are the kind of team to blow this, they are too good.

Aaron Rud

I want to like your comment, but I don’t want bad karma. Hahaha


I’m keeping Kuemper in net one more game. He won game 1 and 2. Last game, his defensemen were softer than the goals he gave up. Kuemper deserves another chance at it.

peter martin

Those DAL series were so close, and I pray to God this doesn’t end up like that. The games were won/lost on razor thin margins. 2022 feels different tho, and it seems the Avs as a whole were a bit hungover after the giant Game2 party on the ice. Manson, Toews, JT, Darcy, Mikko, and more just seemed off. I also won’t wring my hands about the lineup, as Bednar has made all the right moves so far. I expect Kuemper for G4 as Bednar gives his #1 the chance for redemption, which he’s done consistently with other vets in… Read more »

Ryan Krueger

Agree on everything especially the goalie change and McDermid.


Love the MacDermid idea. Been screaming for it since Kane started trying to cripple all our skill players.

Ryan Wolf

I hope Bednar rolls the dice on Frankie. He is one of the biggest “team guys” in the locker room and it seems like the boys always rally behind him. I also think it will throw Tampa off a little with the southpaw factor and a new Tender in Net that they haven’t seen much of


If Frankie starts, that will be the end of Kuemper in Colorado. I just don’t see the Avs signing him for $6M a year plus. If he starts, then he has to play well or it’s Frankie’s series the rest of the way. Very disappointing. I also wonder how much the eye injury has affected Darcy. At any rate – – his save percentage and play is sub par and that can’t happen right now.

Bob Neal

Good to see you back. I agree with all your comments but your last sentence needs to govern right now and the other issues dealt with later.


Kuemper will not be back either way. I think we can all count on that.


Mack gets a hat trick tonight

Dave Jones

At some point – NOW! – AVS fans need to just trust in the players to get the job done. Captain Not-so-Obvious

Lou (80sRockNut)

AVs fan from Maryland who just landed at Tampa airport. Really hoping to see Frankie in the net tonight, and Big Mac sporting a hat trick. GO AVs!


Big Mac = MacDermid. The time MacDermid gets a playoff hattie is when hell freezes over.

Ted Grycel

Oh Captain, my captain (obvious that is) lol, I would like to see Frankie, but I don’t think we will. I would love to see Dermy play, he’s been solid and is a physical presence I think is needed but we won’t. Would rather see him duking it out then Cog’s with one hand. Honestly, will Kadri be any more healed in 48 hours than he is now? If he’s ready, cut him loose, they are going after him whether it’s tonight or Friday. There is always the possibility they go after him and it draws penalties like St Louis… Read more »


There is zero point in putting in MacDermid. Sorry, guys. He can’t play anywhere near a playoff level with his lack of speed and skill, etc. NAK might have no points but at least he can forecheck and get into the corners. All MacDermid crushing Perry would do is put the Avs on the PK (as much as I would love to see Perry on his behind). There is a good reason guys like him don’t play in the playoffs. I love him on the team too, but he’s not a playoff guy. Rest up for the next regular season.… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Frank Fish
Karl Keen

I like putting MacDermaid in too, but wondering if they are leaning towards Maltsev? Yikes! NAK was pretty worthless last game (although he has brought valuable grinding at times and I like him being a depth player). Just get the job done tonight and bring it home for the big win in Denver for Game 5! Got Covid from attending Game 2. So did my wife. Maybe exposed my elder parents. If you go for game 5, think about a mask. They suck. I completely agree, but spit was flying everywhere after each goal and bathrooms are a petri dish.… Read more »

  • I don’t see why it would be such an outlandish idea to dress Kurtis MacDermid as a forward tonight. I’d put in him for NAK, who’s been doing a whole lot of nothing in these playoffs (14 games, zero points). I’d love to see Big Mac give a good hard hit to Perry or a Nick Paul or a Steven Stamkos even.

I second the motion! Corey Perry needs to be reined in, and Avs players are (wisely) staying disciplined. Bring in the Big Guy to make some Bolts players feel the love.


Not a huge deal, but Toews was eighth in Norris voting, not seventh. I think a 75% Kadri would help more than NAK or Dermy. Win tonight so my tickets on Friday give me a chance at seeing a Cup presented!

Dave A

Already wrong Adrian. 😞

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