June 5th: After last night’s 4-2 Colorado Avalanche win, coach Jared Bednar announced that Nazem Kadri would be “out the rest of the series” against the Oilers and “possibly longer” in case the Avalanche advance to the Stanley Cup final. Kadri reportedly left Rogers Place with his arm in a cast, as well. While we are awaiting full confirmation on the exact nature of Kadri’s injury, it’s clear this will be a significant one for Kadri and the Avalanche, and a play that Evander Kane may need to answer to the Department of Player Safety for. Kadri’s agent, Darren Ferris, relayed extreme unhappiness about his client’s injury to The Athletic’s Peter Baugh, stating:
I think it’s incumbent on the league to address this targeted hit on Nazem with an appropriate suspension. If they don’t address such a serious and dangerously callus hit, shame on them.
It’s unclear at this time whether Kane will face discipline for the hit, but we should get more information on that relatively soon. The Avalanche now have a commanding 3-0 series lead and are on the cusp of capturing the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl and heading to the Stanley Cup Final. Any discipline handed down to Kane may not end up making a major difference in the series and the Avalanche’s season, but Kadri’s absence likely will. He’s been one of the team’s most important players and is someone they have to hope will be ready for Game One of the Stanley Cup Final, should the Avalanche manage to qualify.
June 4th: Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri was forced to leave Game Three of the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers just a minute into the action after taking a hit from Edmonton’s Evander Kane into the boards. Kane was assessed a five minute major for boarding on the play, but was not ejected from the game. Kadri remained on the ice next to the end boards for several minutes before being helped off the ice.
After the play, referees Wes McCauley and Eric Furlatt conferred to discuss the call, initially ruling it a major penalty before reviewing the play, ultimately confirming their call. Losing Kadri for any stretch of time is a massive blow to the Avalanche, who are now without one of their premier offensive and defensive forwards and their second line center. On top of losing one of their most important players, Colorado will also have to play without a forward for nearly the entire game, unless Kadri should return. Though teams regularly play with 11 forwards in the lineup, they do so with seven defensemen dressed. On the same note, Edmonton came into the game dressing 11 forwards and seven defensemen, so the decision not to eject Kane from the game is a major relief for the Oilers.
The 2021-22 season has been nothing short of spectacular for Kadri, who amassed 87 points in just 71 games in the regular season, not missing a beat in the playoffs, putting up 14 points in 12 games coming into tonight. Colorado currently holds a 2-0 lead over Edmonton in the Western Conference Finals, giving them some room to breathe, however the team has not been this far in the playoffs in two decades and still must close out the series before winning another if they would like to clinch a Stanley Cup, and Kadri’s presence in the lineup could be imperative to doing so.