Nazem Kadri will, indeed, rejoin the Avalanche squad for tonight’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Colorado Hockey Now.
As we reported earlier today, the signs were pointing to a Kadri return but coach Jared Bednar would not confirm whether he was in or not for the game with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. That decision has been made now, sources said. He’s in.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel is expected to be a scratch to make room for Kadri.
Kadri suffered a broken thumb in Game 3 of the Edmonton series, an injury that required surgery. That thumb may not be 100 percent, but as Bednar noted this morning, not many guys are 100 percent these days. Nazem Kadri has 14 points in 13 playoff games. We’ll see if he can take faceoffs tonight. My hunch is he won’t, but let’s see what happens. He’s a tough customer, and faceoffs are a specialty.
But getting your hands whacked is something that happens a lot to faceoff guys. So, the Avalanche may not want him doing that. Tampa Bay players are likely to target that thumb as is.
(UPDATE: Kadri will NOT take faceoffs tonight, a source said).
This will be Kadri’s first career Stanley Cup Final game.