AVALANCHE

Avs head coach Bednar has simple, perfect response on Kane suspension

Jun 6, 2022, 12:49 PM
Jared Bednar...
(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Colorado Avalanche are looking to clinch their first Stanley Cup Final berth since 2001 tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.

They will have to do it without one of their best players in center Nazem Kadri, who’s out for at least the rest of the series (if not longer) thanks to a nasty cross-check from Oilers forward Evander Kane. The NHL suspended Kane for Game 4 on Sunday, so the Avs can end his season with him in street clothes.

Ahead of tonight’s potential series and conference clinching game in Edmonton, Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was asked for his reaction to Kane’s punishment. He was concise, but gave a fantastic answer.

“I haven’t even thought about the Kane suspension. It’s irrelevant for me. I’m trying to focus on what we have to do in order to have success here tonight,” Bednar said.

There’s so much to like about that. Basically Bednar doesn’t want to even waste his breath on the dirty player that Kane is. It also has a tone of ‘look buddy, I don’t care. We’re trying to play for a Stanley Cup.’ Kane can hit the golf course soon, and his scummy actions aren’t even worth Bednar’s time. It’s the perfect response from the man in charge, as the Avs never took the bait from the Predators or the Blues and won’t against the Oilers, either.

A couple of other housecleaning notes from Bednar. First, he wouldn’t say whether his starting goalie will be Pavel Francouz or Darcy Kuemper in Game 4. Francouz has played brilliantly the last two games, but Kuemper was on the ice this morning. Bednar has a decision to make there, provided Kuemper is healthy enough to play.

Second, without Kadri, the Avs will have to shuffle their lines and power play units. It appears Andre Burakovsky will be back in the lineup after missing Games 2 and 3. Mikko Rantanen could center the second-line with Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin on the wings. The top power play figures to feature Arturri Lehknonen in place of Kadri.

The Avs will look to sweep the Oilers tonight at 6:00 p.m. MT on TNT. Evander Kane won’t be there, and Jared Bednar really couldn’t care less.
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