St. LEOUIS – Avalanche captain Gabi Landskog spoke frankly about the threats to teammate Nazim Qadri ahead of Monday’s fourth game. At the same time, St. Louis Blues had nothing or little to say about the situation in which the local police are investigating and the NHL is involved.
“It’s sad,” Landeskog said after the morning ski he was the only player not to participate in. “But at the end of the day, we are in the public eye and anything we do is seen from the outside and can be judged however we like. Unfortunately, people think they have the freedom to say and do whatever they want. But we always have security and that is no different. We focus on the game. The Big 4 is here tonight. That’s really our main goal.”
In the Blues press room, manager Craig Behrop refused to comment on threats to Qadri, who some Blues fans have blamed for injury to goalkeeper Jordan Bennington early in the third game. Lewis and substitute goalkeeper Phil Hosu 5-2 on Saturday, although two goals were empty in the last two minutes. Binnington was disqualified on Sunday for the remainder of the series.
Landeskog would like the Blues to help defuse public anger toward Kadri. He said that Qadri’s connection in Twelve with Bennington was the result of a loose puck in his fight with Saint. Louis Defenseman Callie Rosen. Rosen seemed to push Kadri towards Bennington.
There was no penalty for the play and the National Hockey League said the Players Safety Department had cleared Qadri of any wrongdoing.
“At the end of the day, it’s a loose puck and he’s walking for it. The fact that this is a conversation is kind of crazy to me, but it’s just the way they want it,” Landeskoog said.
Blues winger David Peron described the threats to Qadri as “unfortunate”.
“We don’t want that to happen, of course, but hopefully it will be taken care of. I’ll just leave it at that,” he said.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he had “nothing” to say about the threats before being asked if it was sad or unfortunate.
He replied, “Two good words to describe it.” “It’s superfluous, really, that would be my third time.”
Landeskog doesn’t think Kadri – who has been suspended for eight games to check St. Lewis Defensesman Justin Wohlt in the qualifiers last year – he will be targeted on the ice by the Blues.
“It’s a watershed series. They try to control the conversation and that’s okay. We’re here to play hockey,” Landeskog said. This is a big game for both teams, so that’s the bottom line.”
Henceforth, the Avs continue to go ahead without defender Sam Gerrard, who fractured his sternum on his first turn in Game Three. But Gerrard was back with the team on Monday and was seen early in the morning.
“It’s a bit of an afternoon, but it’s good to see him in good shape and in good spirits here with the guys for sure,” Bednar said.
Jack Johnson is expected to replace Girard on the blueline and make his post-season debut with the Avs, but with rookie Bo Byram moving on to his second pairing with Josh Manson. Johnson, who played 74 of 82 regular season games, is likely to play in the third pair with Eric Johnson.
Based on special teams training in the morning skating, Byram will step in for Girard in first place. 2 unit power supply. Bednar, as usual, declined to specify the lineup, but rising striker Alex Newhawk could step in for Andrei Burakowski or Nicholas Ob-Koppel and make his post-season debut. Both Burakowski and Obi Kopel have played in the previous seven matches.