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Awaiting Kadri appeal decision; Byram possible option for G5

June 7, 2021, 6:31 PM ET [3 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
As of late afternoon, early evening Monday the Avalanche and Nazem Kadri were still waiting to hear independent arbitrator Shyam Das’ ruling regarding the appeal of his eight-game suspension.

Kadri has served six games already, and he and the Avalanche are hopeful the final two games will be eliminated, allowing him to play Game 5 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday at Ball Arena.

“I think we may get some information today on how this suspension’s going to finish out or continue, which is good; you get closure, you know,” coach Jared Bednar said Monday morning. “I think that knowing that it was eight games to start that we really weren’t expecting a ruling prior to today because it’s now six (games) and we’ll just see what their answer is today.

“Yeah, it’s frustrating not to have him, but the league made their ruling and we live with it. We’re not the only team facing adversity in the playoffs, missing guys due to injury, COVID, suspension. It happens all the time and it’s part of the game, so we have to find a way to work around that as a group. But he’s a guy that we could use and could help us right now.”

Vegas won both games on home ice, 5-1 on Sunday, to tie the best-of-7 series at two wins each.

The schedule, all times MT
Game 1 --– Avalanche 7-1
Game 2 -- Avalanche 3-2 (OT)
Game 3 -- Vegas 3-2
Game 4 – Vegas 5-1
Game 5 Tuesday -- at Avalanche, 7 p.m.
Game 6 Thursday -- at Vegas, 7 p.m.
*Game 7 Saturday -- at Avalanche, TBD
* If necessary


Kadri was suspended by the NHL Dept. of Player Safety for his illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2 of the first-round series. League commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the suspension’s length following Kadri’s first appeal.

The Golden Knights have dominated the Avalanche in the last three games, outshooting them 119-63, even though Colorado won Game 2 in overtime 3-2 on Mikko Rantanen’s power-play goal.


Rookie defenseman Bowen Byram might make his playoff debut Tuesday, especially after the performance by veteran Patrik Nemeth on Sunday, which included a dreadful giveaway that allowed Vegas to tie the game 1-1 early in the first period and change the momentum in the Golden Knights favor.

“Bo is a guy we’re considering, there’s no question,” Bednar said. “The concern with Bo is he hasn’t played a lot of hockey in the last year in a half, and he hasn’t played in three months.”

Byram, 19, missed the final 24 regular-season games and 34 of the final 38. He last played March 25 against Vegas when he sustained an apparent concussion on an unpenalized hit from Keegan Kolesar.

“Going into a game against a team like Vegas is a tall task for a young player,” Bednar said. “We’ll balance all that stuff. We’ll dress the best lineup that we feel will give us the best chance to win tomorrow night, that’s our focus, it’s one game.”

In keeping with a positive front, Bednar said the Avalanche are in a better spot than they were after four games against the Dallas Stars in the second round last year in the Edmonton bubble; they were down 3-1 and without injured goalies Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz.

“The part that gives me confidence is the way our team’s played at home and the energy we’ve been able to come up with in our legs and our skating and our tenacity on pucks, so that’s been a positive,” he said.

“We have two of the next three at home, so I know our guys will be excited. I think also some of the things we went over before last game, I thought our guys did a good job in getting involved in the battle a little bit more and doing some things. Obviously we had some breakdowns and it cost us, but there were some steps in the right direction.

“Keep in mind we’re playing a team that we tied with in points over 56 games and now we’re tied in the four-game series, and they’re going to make it hard on you. Right now they’re making it harder on us than we are on them.

“It’s a mental grind, you’ve got to face the adversity head-on, you got to be confident in what you do, there has to be trust within your group that each guy is going to do their job.”

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