The Avalanche enter the Stanley Cup Final without their second-line center. They might not get him back at all for the series.
Nazem Kadri was knocked out of Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Oilers after he was cross-checked from behind by Oilers forward Evander Kane. The hit sent Kadri flying into the boards. Kadri was slow to get up and appeared to be laboring with his upper body before he was helped to the locker room.
Five minute major to Evander Kane for boarding Nazem Kadri pic.twitter.com/tmgyJzWrps
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) June 5, 2022
Kane received a five-minute major for boarding, but he was not given a game misconduct despite Kadri’s apparent injury. He was eventually suspended for Game 4, which the Avs took 6-5 in overtime to clinch a series win.
Colorado will certainly miss Kadri. He was having a career year prior to the injury. After an 87-point regular season, he had notched 14 points in 13 playoff games.
SCF SCHEDULE: Dates, times, TV channels for Avalanche-Lightning
When will Nazem Kadri return?
The forward was forced to undergo surgery to repair an injured thumb. Despite the unlikelihood of a return, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar did not rule out a potential return at some point in the series.
Jared Bednar on Nazem Kadri: “We’re really hoping that Naz will be able to play. I don’t know that it’s going to be in the start of the round, but we’re really hoping he’s going to be able to come along with this injury and get back in the lineup.”
— 303 Hockey (@303Hockey) June 14, 2022
He did not play in Games 1 or 2, but will travel with the team to Tampa. He’s considered day-to-day and it unclear if he’ll dress for either of the two upcoming games at Amalie Arena.
Bednar said Kadri is flying with Avs to Tampa. Hopeful he’ll play in series, not sure if it’ll be in Game 3 or 4. Still considers him day to day
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) June 19, 2022
Who will replace Kadri if he can’t play?
The Avs have a number of players who can fill Kadri’s top-six role, although none who can replicate his production.
During Friday’s practice, J.T. Compher filled in as the second-line center, with Andre Burakovsky and Mikko Rantanen flanking him on the wings. Compher had three goals in four games against the Oilers and two goals in Game 6 against the Blues.
Bednar slid Rantanen to center for Game 4 of the Oilers series.
STANLEY CUP FINAL PREVIEW: Avalanche vs. Lightning
When is Game 1 of the Avalanche-Lightning Stanley Cup Final?
Game 1 of the Avalanche-Lightning Stanley Cup Final is Wednesday, June 15, at 8 p.m. ET. It will take place at Ball Arena in Denver.
Viewers in the U.S. can watch the game nationally on ESPN. The Canadian audience can watch the game on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports.
|Game||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV channel (U.S.)||TV channel (Canada)|
|Game 1||Avalanche vs. Lightning||8 p.m.||ESPN||Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|