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Evan’s NHL Daily: Former Avalanche Defensemen Writing Different Stories In Vancouver



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Both Ian Cole and Nikita Zadorov have bounced around to different NHL teams since leaving the Avalanche. They’ve had solid careers, with Cole playing over 800 games and Zadorov passing the 600 game threshold this season. However, their current stories couldn’t be any different out in Vancouver. Zadorov is turning into a god-like figure on the Canucks with the playoff performance he’s putting on, while Cole probably shouldn’t see the ice again against Edmonton.

With the Avalanche, we took a look back at the Game Two loss, and I gave my thought’s on the Jamie Benn hit. We also got an update on Gabriel Landeskog at media availability on Friday. I think he’ll play NHL hockey again at some point, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be this season.

All that and more in this Saturday edition of Evan’s Daily.

Colorado Hockey Now

The Avalanche didn’t get much out of the Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Casey Mittelstadt on Thursday night. By nothing, I mean zero five-on-five shots combined between the three of them.

Jared Bednar gave an update on Gabriel Landeskog, one year to the date of his cartilage transplant surgery.

Game Three takes place on Saturday. I’ll be at morning skate and the game for everything, and I’ll probably have another road blog up from our adventures in Dallas.



Different Stories In Vancouver

Nikita Zadorov played five seasons in Colorado, while Ian Cole made it just a little over two seasons here. Right now, both are in Vancouver, playing together on the third pair for the Canucks. They might be playing together, but things couldn’t be going more differently for the two of them.

Zadorov, who everyone knows I love, is earning himself a hefty payday from some NHL team this summer. He has scored four goals through eight playoff games with the Canucks, and a few of them have been absolute snipes. He scored again on Friday night from a really tight angle.

The 29 year old is set to become a free agent this summer, and you know an NHL GM is going to be ready to throw a ton of cash his way. It could very well be the Canucks that do it, as he’s become a huge fan favorite in a short period of time. None of that surprises me, though. He’s a big personality and the city of Vancouver has already fallen for him.

On the flip side, you have Ian Cole, who also scored a big goal on Friday night.

He just happened to score it for the wrong team.

This comes just a few days after he had a brutal turnover that led to an Oilers goal early in Game One. At 35, he might be nearing the end, and I’m not sure the Canucks will be keeping him in the lineup when the series switches to Vancouver. I’m going to guess we see Noah Juulsen.

That deflection by Cole allowed the Oilers to tie up the series. Both Western Conference series will go at least five games, and possibly more, as they’ve been tight games.

National Hockey Now

It’s never good to get booed at home, and that’s exactly what happened to the Boston Bruins.

If you’re Mike Grier, you can finally smile after a rough start as the San Jose Sharks GM. He’s getting a franchise player in Macklin Celebrini.

The Florida Panthers are the nastiest team in the NHL, and became even nastier with Sam Bennett returning.

Taking a big picture look at last season with the Nashville Predators.

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Bob Neal

Zads and Meyers are a pair of the type of defensemen that I think teams need to prioritize having in their lineups. Leave it to Foote and Tochet to prioritize size and strength over other attributes in their defensemen. Bad own goal by Ian. Ouch.

Daniel Greenberg

Zadorov is going to get way overpaid this summer. He’s still a third pairing D on a good team with OK but not particularly impressive underlying numbers, but has an outsized presence out there often enough for fans to love him. (I often do. I still remember that hit on Scheifele) He has scored a few timely goals these playoffs including two shortside goals that should have never gone in. That booming shot from the point that tied the game at 4 in game 1 was impressive, though. Even before his own goal last night, Cole was struggling. I kinda… Read more »

Joe Cerwinske

You mentioned Sam Bennett, and I saw an article about how Bruins players and coaches were upset about his hit that knocked out Marchand. I watched it live and have seen the replay a couple times. I’m not sure what Boston is upset about. Marchand goes in trying to make a reverse check, misses badly, and Bennett makes him pay by crushing him. I don’t see any moves by Bennett’s hands to cheep shot Marchand, at least not from the angles available. I think the B’s are just upset that Marchand wasn’t the one doing the injuring, as he usually… Read more »

Joshua Canfield

Personally, I loved Big Z. I thought he was fun to watch, primarily after the game in his interviews. However, as a fan who watches every game closely, every other Avs game was frustrating when it came to Zadorov. Some games he would lay down a few big hits but was a defensive liability, esp in his own end. Good for Big Z, finding a home in Vancouver.

Dave North

The own goal last night was a bit unlucky (but why have his stick there?), but Cole had a terrible first game against the Oil too, basically causing two goals against. I kept thinking that the Avs D are so much better now and Cole would not even qualify as 8th on the depth chart.

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