The Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights get an extended break between Game 1 and Game 2 of this series. Given how Sunday went, that is a much-needed break for Vegas. However, instead of tactics or systems, suspension talk has controlled the narrative during the break so far.
Ryan Reaves Suspended
It was announced on Monday night that Ryan Reaves will miss the next two games for Vegas. If you missed it, Reaves was given a match penalty for attempting to injure Ryan Graves in the third period of Game 1. He also got two minors for roughing which led to a full nine-minute Avalanche power play, not something you see too often.
Reaves was ejected from the game and then later given two more from the Department of Player Safety. Per usual, most people were disappointed with the lack of games given, but it is right in line with what they usually give out. The Golden Knights will be without their gritty fourth-liner who they look to for a spark when needed at times. It’s not the biggest loss in the world but it may make a slight difference. That being said, Vegas will want their skill players to play much more of a role on Wednesday if they want any chance of winning.
Nazem Kadri Appeals
On the other side, Nazem Kadri also made headlines yesterday. To start, his appeal of the eight-game suspension to Gary Bettman was denied. Meaning the league has officially upheld it. However, he still has the ability to go to a neutral outside arbitrator. As of last night, the NHLPA officially filed that appeal on behalf of Kadri.
Update: The NHLPA has filed an appeal to the neutral discipline arbitrator (Shyam Das) on behalf of Nazem Kadri. https://t.co/O3zoCVP798— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 31, 2021
Kadri’s suspension will now go to a separate arbitrator and both sides will make their case on why or why it doesn’t fit precedent in the NHL. For Kadri, the best-case scenario feels like it gets bumped down by a game or two. However, if it is upheld he will have no other option but to sit out the games.
As a fan, you want to see Kadri back helping the team as soon as possible. However, the hit was absolutely dangerous and something that doesn’t belong in hockey at all. If he has to sit the full eight games then so be hit, fans can only hope he has finally learned his lesson.
Around the League
In other news, round one of the playoffs officially wrapped up last night with the Montreal Canadiens coming back from 3-1 in the series to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7. Another heartbreaker for Toronto, but that also means we have semi-final matchups set! The winner of the Avs/Knights series will play the winner of the Habs/Jets series in the final four. You can’t underestimate anyone, but that feels like the best option for whichever team wins this series.
The New York Islanders also tied things up against the Boston Bruins in a 4-3 overtime win last night. That series is 1-1 now and headed back to Long Island where the building will be packed and loud. As well, the Carolina Hurricanes look to even up the series against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight after Tampa took Game 1.
Even though the Avs have the night off, the Hurricanes and Lightning should be a thriller to watch. It starts at 7:30est, 5:30 MT. As for the Avalanche, they’re back at it tomorrow night and should absolutely expect a better effort from the Golden Knights.