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Jost: Do or die Game 5 tonight; Kadri suspension upheld

June 8, 2021, 3:23 PM ET [15 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Independent arbitrator Shyam Das has upheld Nazem Kadri’s eight-game suspension, meaning he will complete the penalty by sitting out Games 5 and 6 of the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup second-round playoff series with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Here’s the official release:

Kadri will be eligible to return if there is a Game 7 on Saturday or, if the Avalanche win Tuesday at Ball Arena and Thursday in Las Vegas, in Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals.

The announcement was made shortly after coach Jared Bednar finished his morning skate remarks.

“Until we get word that it’s not eight (games), we’re presuming we’re going without him,” he said.

So that’s that.

Here are the GAME NOTES.

The focus remains on getting back on track and grabbing a 3-2 series lead against a Vegas team, that has outplayed and at times dominated play in the past eight regulation periods.

“The guys are very excited, we know what’s at stake here,” Tyson Jost said. “It’s do or die and now we’re back in front of our home fans, so that’s exciting and I know the guys are going to come out flying tonight. The guys are really energized and ready to come out flying tonight.”

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

Bednar said he would shuffle some lines based on what they’ve seen during games, on video and analytics.

“We’ve got some numbers on what’s happening right now and some of them aren’t favorable (and some are) favorable for our group, so it’s important to have the home ice here for sure,” he said of matchups. “We’ll try and take advantage of at least the positive numbers on our side of it and we’ll mix up our lines here a little bit and try and do that.

“We’ve got some guys playing real well and some other guys are still trying to find their game in this series. We’re going to be moving some things around trying to be neutral in some cases and positive in some other ones.”

Logan O’Connor is expected to play for the first time since he sustained a lower-body injury March 31 against the Arizona Coyotes.

“Logan is game ready, he’s ahead of schedule,” Bednar said of the speedy forward. “This guy’s a worker, he’s had to earn everything he’s got as a professional hockey player and one thing he’s never going to cheat you on is his commitment and his work. He’s done an amazing job getting himself ready. He’s an option for us.”

Forwards J.T. Compher and Kiefer Sherwood didn’t skate in the morning but are healthy and available, Bednar said.

Defenseman Erik Johnson also skated, but he isn’t ready to play. He’s been sidelined since sustaining an upper-body injury Jan. 30 against the Minnesota Wild.

“I think our guys are feeling good about it,” Bednar said. “I think they know that for a couple games they weren’t where we needed to be in a series like this. This is a very difficult team that we’ve played, a team that doesn’t give you a lot of space and they were working and competing in certain areas where we sort of hadn’t entered that fight and last game we did and I expect us to even moreso tonight.”

The Avalanche have won 13 straight home games, four in the playoffs, and are 20-0-1 in the building since a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on March 8.

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