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Jordan Binnington should play goalie, not the villain

It’s Mile High Hockey Lab time, and we just released our 13th installment!

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like two years have passed since the Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen, and Jordan Binnington collision occurred. In truth, it's only been about eight months since the infamous water bottle toss. That incident wasn't Binnington's first display of frustration against the Avs. However, it did solidify a disdain for Binnington in Colorado, and that disdain appeared mutual again in Colorado's victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. Once again, it occurred while the Blues were losing to the Avalanche.

In this week's Mile High Hockey Lab episode, we conducted a live poll that pondered how the Avalanche should approach the trade deadline. Jackie and Evan think that the Avs shouldn't be trying to fill the 2C role but instead add some center depth further down the lineup. The best thing Colorado can do, given their cap and draft capital situation, is look at players returning from injury as deadline aquisitions. There isn't any sense in depleting an already shallow pool of picks and prospects for a rental player.

The Mile High Hockey panel of writers discussed Colorado trading Martin Kaut and Jacob MacDonald to San Jose for Matt Nieto and Ryan Merkley and broke the Bo Horvat trade live mid-broadcast. Acquiring Nieto aligns with bolstering bottom-six forward depth, and Horvat is the first and most talked about 2C to leave the board heading into the deadline. For Colorado to address that need, they'd almost have to find a three-way trade to save draft and prospect equity. Doesn't seem all that likely.

The Colorado Avalanche were never really "just a 2C away" from winning a cup. Just because they had Nazem Kadri and he had a career-high season doesn't mean there aren't other ways to find success. It's not about having a successful 2C. It's about being strong up the middle, and while having a serviceable 2C helps, strength up the middle can be acquired and accomplished in different ways.

Although Nazem Kadri's playoff production was paramount to Colorado hoisting, I would argue that the contribution from the defensive unit is really what put the Avalanche over the top. Jordan Binnington and Colorado Avalanche fans should learn to let go of Nazem Kadri. It was a sweet ride, but all good things must end. Winning the cup validates last season's approach, but other strategies can and will work too.

As for Binnington, watching him have an outburst while his team loses is just getting stale. We all know he doesn't have to answer for his antics, and most of them incite a reaction when it's too late. He's a solid keeper who, more often than not, has been the best player for his team against Colorado. That should be enough for him.

Don't forget to listen to this week's episode for even more Avalanche talk! Like, subscribe, and share! All episodes are broadcast live on our YouTube channel, so head over there and subscribe.