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Dater’s Daily: Avalanche Need Response To McAvoy; Blues Coach Calls Out Binnington

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Avalanche

BOSTON – It’s hockey, and rough stuff happens in the blink of an eye and everything isn’t all premeditated 99% of the time. But if the Colorado Avalanche have the same “We’re not going to take any $$%^” mentality that very much helped win them a Stanley Cup last season, they need to respond to either Charlie McAvoy directly in a rematch with the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night in Denver, or respond to a top player of the Bruins for what McAvoy did to Artturi Lehkonen tonight at TD Garden.

McAvoy slammed Lehkonen to the ice in the first period tonight, causing an injury that forced him from the game. It might be a concussion.

Here’s the play:

I get what McAvoy was doing here. He was just trying to get Lehkonen off the play, in a dangerous scoring situation. He wrestled him to the ground, and things happen out there. It wasn’t like some outrageous thing really.

Doesn’t matter. The Avalanche have to respond to this when they play the Bruins Wednesday night. They have to make him pay for it. Period. Or, they need to make another top Bruins pay for it. Period.

Otherwise, they’ll quickly gain the reputation around the league – which dogged them for the few years they were contenders, but never could quite win the Cup – that they can be physically bullied again. I don’t care what anyone says on this subject; If you don’t stand up for yourself physically, as a team in the game of hockey, you lose.

Look, I’m not calling for some kind of Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore thing here, OK? All I’m saying is: the Avalanche have to respond when their top guys are injured from things like this. You can’t just see one of your top guys get pile-driven into the ice and injured – possibly seriously – and let it go.

Sure, winning on the scoreboard is a fine response and maybe that will happen Wednesday. But I truly believe that a big reason why the Avalanche won the Cup again finally is because opponents knew they’d pay a serious price if they did anthing remotely dirty against their top players. Kurtis MacDermid’s presence absolutely had a lot to do with that. He’s still injured and unable to play – not because of a dirty play against him, mind you.

But, other guys stepped up physically last year, too. Tonight in Boston, the Avalanche played a meek game, even after Lehkonen was hurt. Nobody seemed to get too upset by what happened.

That’s a problem.

Right now, half the team or so is made up of guys from the minors or from the waiver wire who don’t have the same chemistry with the regulars as the group that won the Cup. They are just trying to survive at the NHL level and probably have their minds full of too much other stuff to really feel the anger that comes from seeing a veteran hurt like that. Last year’s team was all for one, one for all. Right now, this team is a few remaining core guys and a bunch of fill-ins who have little to no connection from the group of last year.

Anyway, the Avalanche not only were embarrassed on the ice tonight, but lost a really good player because of a WWE move from a Boston defenseman. And, it must be addressed in the next meeting.

Period.

LINKS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE

  • Jordan Binnington was totally called out by his coach tonight, after a blowout Blues loss in Pittsburgh. All questions asked by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, my buddy from covering all of the 2020 bubble playoffs in Edmonton. (Only three media outlets from the United States actually spent the money and time to cover those Western Conference playoffs: Colorado Hockey Now, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Star-Tribune from Minnesota). Enjoy:

  • I actually like guys like Binnington. I like rebels, S-disturbers, hotheads, sore losers. Do they remind me of me? Maybe. The thing about Binner is: he’s just a really intense competitor. He does not taking losing well. I can respect that. But yeah, if you don’t keep winning all the while doing stuff like this, you’re going to get what you get, especially on social media. And, now, from the coach.
  • I went into Ray Bourque’s restaurant in the North End of Boston after the game tonight, Tresca. Just had a quick refreshment and that was it. Ray wasn’t there, but I am glad I went in finally, for the first time. It is a really nice restaurant setting inside, right in the heart of the North End. It was after 10 p.m., and the place was still packed with diners. That’s the sign of a restaurant that will last and last.
  • Despite having his second stroke as a player in the NHL, Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang seems to be doing well in his recovery (Pittsburgh Hockey Now).
  • I miss a lot of my old New England scenery and lifestyle. So, it’s been a great last few days being back here. But, OMG do I not miss Boston when it comes to traffic and BS parking rates. Quick story: Parked in what I thought was a $25 lot next to TD Garden for the skate this morning, after driving in from New Hampshire. I mean, the damn sign said “$25, til 6 p.m.” right on it. When I got to the gate to insert my ticket and get out, after the skate? $48.75. No reason given, no attendant to talk to, nothing. Just pay $48.75 or else the gate won’t lift and you’ll never get out. Let me say this for all the world to hear: BOSTON SUCKS, when it comes to all things parking. A bunch of thieves. It’s a HORRIBLE city in that regard. Thank the LORD ABOVE I don’t live anywhere near there anymore, when you come right down to it. Boston parking and traffic management: corrupt, rotten beings. $48.75 for two hours of parking. Welcome to Boston! Good riddance. You just have to take your loss and be thankful you got to leave whenever you visit the city of Boston – when it comes to pahkin’ the cah. Oh, and the name of the corrupt, thievery parking company: ProPark. Don’t let the young, smiling faces in the link fool you. It’s a den of thieves.
  • My buddy Phil from Boston drove me to the game and picked me up afterward (I stayed at the Red Roof Inn in Saugus). So, I guess he saved me three thousand dollars or so for what it would have cost to park during the actual game. Despite me having to listen to Phil literally sing every lyric from songs blaring from the car stereo of his favorite singer, Bryan Adams, I remain thankful for the lifts.
  • Mitch Marner has a 19-game point streak (NHL.com)
  • Patrick Kane got his 1,200th point tonight in a Blackhawks road win over the Rangers (NHL.com)
  • One of John Tortorella’s many teams is losing again, which always means one thing: it’s the media’s stupid questions (Philly Hockey Now)
  • We’ll see Torts on Monday in Philly. Echoing my thoughts on Binnington: I like Torts. He’s never dull as a coach. I like sore losers. If I was a beat writer covering one of his teams though? Oh yeah, I would have shouted back at him at some point, with as much likewise bitter sarcasm as I could muster, which is considerable. I’m surprised the media is so meek around him. Larry Brooks is really the only guy who’s ever stood up to him.

  • That’s why Larry Brooks is a Hall of Famer in the media business.
  • I’ll still never forget Torts use profane words in a press conference after a Lightning loss to the Avalanche way back when, about his goalie, John Grahame. I was shocked. Guess I shouldn’t have been.
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Daniel Vartanian

I also think if 92 was in line up, teams would think twice before pulling BS.
He always steps in and handles it.

LeafsWillWin2023

Oh yea like when 92 wouldn’t fight Lucic haha. Gabs is no tough guy trust me.

Trenton Dunn

Gabe was 20 when that happened? 21? Different player now

Ryan Krueger

Agree but who? Can’t even afford to lose AJ or O’Conner. Adrian, any updates on McDermid?

jayclem

Nice shoutout for the Red Roof Inn in Saugus.

dk

I totally agree, AD. A price must be paid. But who’s left to exact the toll? No Derms. No Manson. Can’t ask Mack, Mikko, Cale or Toews to do it. EJ maybe. Englund (I love how he handled the scrap with Foligno)? Which Eagle could be called up who also has the chops for such a job?

Chris DeMott

Exactly, just like Detroit did, the Avs will have to wait. Maybe until next year. Fans love to demand players put their bodies on the line but there is a cost to the player. Englund might be able to fight again in two games or he might not. Players like EJ and Mack would be drawn into an emotional battle and do the fighting. They would spend time in the penalty box in a game where Boston would take those trade offs every time and most likely, Boston would win the fights and the game in the Avs own building.

Glendon Gulliver

I agree with you AD that the Avs need to respond. If MacDermid was healthy, he definitely would play. With Manson also out, the team does not have anyone big and tough, other than Englund. England had a good fight against Foligno. What I do not want to see is MacKinnon feel that he needs to fight someone. The team cannot afford to lose another star. The Avs brought in guys like Blidh and Hunt to be bottom 6 tough guys. Those guys need to show it. When all the injured players return, Blidh, Hunt, Megna, Kaut, Foudy, and Galchenyk… Read more »

Karl Keen

Boston bullied us around like it was a 2019 2nd round playoff game. These AHL guys we have are mostly worthless. At least Englund properly stood up for himself. Him and Foudy have a chance in the NHL, all these other scrubs we keep bringing up lack both toughness and skill. Not good. Hopefully Lehky only has a minor concussion.

ricoflashback

Absolutely. No skill, no guts and no toughness is not a recipe for success in the NHL. Give me a gritty guy who will fight and play physical, any day, over these NHL imposters who have been called up by the Avs.

Bob Neal

I think that everyone is on the same page regarding this topic. Unfortunately, there is no one left that can handle the task except for maybe Englund. The Av’s are in a bad spot until they start getting healthier. It seems like they get hit worse than most teams every year with injuries and I always wonder if it has something to do with their conditioning program maybe being too intense.

Robert Gray

Totally agree. They are taking 25 penalties a game anyway, make one of them count.

hockeyhacker5

Agreed. With MacDermid and Manson out, can we sign someone from ProPark? They know how to exact a toll! I love Boston, hate anything to do with driving there. Barring that, it seems the Englund is about the only candidate. Maybe we should have outbid Minnesota for Ryan Reaves.

Marie Roberts

If the refs didn’t call a penalty what do you expect. Bruins fans are ok with the play and says Lehkonen ran the goalie. But if you watch the play #37 pushed him and #73 also landed on Lehky. That could of been very dangerous. But with Lehkonen going out with an upper body (concussion) that’s bad. For what I could tell Bruins were targeting Lehkonen all 1st period. What’s next on Wednesday having a Avs player removed by a stretcher and the Avs get a penalty for that too. I believe the refs want to injure every Avs player… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Marie Roberts
Tom

Tom,
Agree 100% on response to Bruins!! Plus that I believe the superstars on the team, as great as they are, need to pay more attention to their defensive responsibilities as well as simplifying the power play when they are being challenged? Just get the puck to the net or shoot. Quit looking for the one timer. Shoot it when you have the opportunity. Real lack luster played game except for maybe the 1st 10 minutes. Start taking penalties and no response? Newhook all alone, dosen’t shoot, that mentality drives me up the wall!

The Ghost of Mike Eagles

Too late. The time to respond was McAvoy’s next shift. When Wilson *didn’t run* Carlo a couple years ago and hit him directly in the head forcing him from the game with no penalty….Tinordi gave him a beating at the start of the next period after Bergeron told him it was coming. Waiting until the next game is chickens#&*t and will proably result in a Boston pp.

Tobbot

I can’t believe I’m going to be the contrary voice on this and it’s not really contrary but…I think the need for a response isn’t quite as black and white as put forward in everything said in comments and article. I don’t think McAvoy had intent to injure and I don’t think he has a history of such. Correct me if I’m wrong. And I keep remembering Horvat elbow to Byram last year that had Bo questioning his hockey future soon after. Given Bo’s history, this was horrible!…to watch for fans, entire organization and I’m pretty sure players were furious,… Read more »

Aaron Rud

Can’t stand McAvoy. Didn’t like him last year; like him even less this year.

gbaldwin61

Bennington might not be well, his behavior goes beyond hating to lose, and in fact he has been losing a lot the last few years. Blues kept the wrong guy

Diane

Dater calling for a bounty on another players head. That isn’t how the Avs work, not that kind of team and if the shoe was on the other foot it would be okay. STFU YOU CLOWN!

Trenton Dunn

It’s not like he called for a cheap shot….. a physical response is a part of the game

Stripes

Sorry, but i feel Lehkonen deserved that. He was looking to land on top of Ullmark. As a ref, i’ve always told players “if you’re going to knock someone down, push them away from your goalie, not on top of him… your goalie will appreciate it”.

Wesley

LOL this ain’t it buddy. If you think the Colorado line-up of AHL players who are getting ice time because the Aves are made of crepe paper are going to play a physical game against actual NHL players then expect another loss. Good thing coaches don’t listen to these “articles” (lets be honest I’m using the term as loose as humanly possible here, this shouldn’t qualify as journalism, it hardly qualifies as a HS essay).

Adrian Dater here knows as much about sun tans as he does about hockey apparently.

Dino

This usually happens after teams win the Cup.
A more relaxed atmosphere after an accomplishment that they rest their laurels on.
They muster up enough to make playoffs, figuring they will turn in on at that point.

REALITY
The name on the back doesn’t mean anything…. only the name on the front. 92 or not,
Nobody stepped up.
There is always a hungrier team and don’t touch the goalie if you don’t want to be confronted.

Bucyk’s Bartender

He wasn’t just trying to get him off the play. He was trying to get him off his Vezina competing goaltender who just so happened to come back from an injury. If the roles were reversed I think you’d have a different take.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Adrian Dater, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2019 National Hockey Now and Adrian Dater.

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