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Vendetta’s April 2022 NHL Power Rankings

NHL Power Rankings

Trade deadline acquisitions Andrew Copp (No. 18) and Frank Vatrano (No. 77) have the Rangers on the cusp of clinching their first playoff berth since 2017. (Paul Sancya/AP)

Trade deadline acquisitions Andrew Copp (No. 18) and Frank Vatrano (No. 77) have the Rangers on the cusp of clinching their first playoff berth since 2017. (Paul Sancya/AP)

Vendetta’s April 2022 NHL Power Rankings

The end of the 2021-22 NHL regular season is in sight. No team has more than fifteen games remaining in their schedule. A few teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention. A few others could lose out and still make the playoffs (although that certainly isn’t recommended). Perhaps most importantly, we’re on the other side of the trade deadline, which means we have a pretty good idea of what each’s team roster will be come playoff time… if they’re lucky enough to make it. Which is exactly what our final NHL power rankings of the season set out to measure.

The top eight in the East is as set in stone as ever, though seeding is largely up for grabs. The West is much more wide open, with five teams competing for two wild card spots, baring a surprise collapse from one of the teams currently sitting in a divisional spot. It should make for a thrilling finish, especially if one specific high-risk gamble comes to a shocking conclusion.

Since this is the final power rankings of the year, and I’ve said just about everything that can be said about these teams already (no one’s on-ice performance in March dramatically moved the needle), I’m switching things up a little bit. Instead of focusing on the team itself, I’m going to zone in one player who could either be a key piece or valuable trade chip of the (more or less) guaranteed non-playoff team’s future and someone who could make a difference in this year’s playoffs for every team still in the hunt. Don’t worry, Trey Daubert is here to provide general team insight as well. Without further delay, welcome to the beginning of the end.

32. Seattle Kraken (21-41-6, March: T-31)

Andrew: 32, Trey: 32 (Average: 32)

Andrew: Since I can’t feature the seven(!) 2nd round picks the Kraken have over the next two years, let’s go with Jared McCann. It was a big month for the 2014 1st round pick, who passed his previous career-high point total and signed a 5-year, $25 million extension. Seattle desperately needs talent upfront, which McCann certainly provides. Get him some help next year, Seattle.

Trey: Seattle is bad. We knew they would be. What’s worse is they’re now stuck with the worst goalie in the league – Philipp Grubauer and his .888 save percentage. His GSAA (per Hockey-Reference) is -25.8. Good luck trying to build this team while you’re handicapped.

31. Arizona Coyotes (21-42-5, March: T-31)

Andrew: 31, Trey: 31 (Average: 31)

Andrew: Last summer, the Coyotes acquired Shayne Gostisbehere as a cap dump from the Philadelphia Flyers alongside a 2nd and 7th round pick. The defensive concerns are real, but Gostisbehere is turning in his best offensive season since 2017-18. With just one year left on his deal, Arizona seems in a prime position to turn around and flip him, either during the summer or at the deadline, for even more picks.

Trey: Clayton Keller is out for the season which basically zaps any offense they had outside of Nick Schmaltz. Hey, we still have Karel Vejmelka trying to be a hero every night?

30. Philadelphia Flyers (21-36-11, March: T-27)

Andrew: 29, Trey: 29 (Average: 29)

Andrew: Just about every move the Flyers made last off-season fell flat on its face. Ryan Ellis played just four games. Rasmus Ristolainen is as divisive as ever and isn’t going anywhere. Derrick Brassard was traded. Fans probably wish Martin Jones was traded if only to give youngster Felix Sandström an extended look. The less said about Keith Yandle, the better. But there is one exception: Cam Atkinson. He’s scoring at a 28-goal pace, has been an effective penalty killer, and is on track to be the team’s only iron-man. Here’s to more players who turn out like him, Chuck.

T-28. Montréal Canadiens (19-39-11, March: 28)

Andrew: 27, Trey: 30 (Average: 28.5)

Andrew: Cole Caufield has been so much more fun to watch since Martin St. Louis took over. Granted, that’s true for just about every Canadiens player. But it’s amplified for Caufield, who’s tied for 19th in the NHL with 13 goals since the coaching change. I don’t think the Canadiens want to stay down for long, and any path towards a rebound involves Caufield lighting it up.

Trey: The Canadiens have been way better under St. Louis. Wait are we waiting for here? Remove the interim tag and get this thing moving for next year!

T-28. Chicago Blackhawks (19-39-11, March: 29)

Andrew: 30, Trey: 27 (Average: 28.5)

Andrew: If Chicago is going to have any chance of competing in the future, Seth Jones will have to be a huge part of it. Even if that’s not the plan, Jones’ 8-year, $76 million extension not becoming an albatross would certainly be good for new GM Kyle Davidson. Jones will almost certainly finish with the second-most points of his career, but his overall play wasn’t worth the costly cap hit or trade capital it took to bring him to the Windy City. That needs to change going forward.

Trey: The fire sale is coming. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will likely be sent to contenders this offseason. Does that also include Alex DeBrincat? Cause I want in!

27. Ottawa Senators (24-37-6, March: T-27)

Andrew: 28, Trey: 28 (Average: 28)

Andrew: Between Matt Murray and Anton Forsberg, the Senators have a chance to get some really good goaltending every night next season. You probably know about the former, but the latter has quietly snuck between the cracks to provide some really solid numbers. His 7.5 goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (min. 15 games played) are 13th most in the entire league. Some notable goalies he’s ahead of: Thatcher Demko, Ilya Sorokin, and Jacob Markström, among others.

Trey: Thomas Chabot is done for the season. He’s the anchor of their defense. It’s hard to see them playing spoiler with him out.

T-24. New Jersey Devils (24-38-6, March: 25)

Andrew: 24, Trey: 26 (Average: 25)

Andrew: Jack Hughes is the obvious pick here, but he’s going to need help on the wings. The biggest source of that for the Devils this season? Jesper Bratt. The steal of the 2016 draft, Bratt is putting up one of the quietest point-per-game seasons in recent memory. And it’s not one driven by a shooting percentage bender. A full season of those two together should at least be enough to push the Devils into the wild card chase next year as long as they receive some semblance of goaltending.

Trey: Jersey really isn’t a bad hockey team. Jack Hughes is turning into a superstar! The offense is really coming together. They just have no goaltending. After the 7-6 loss to Florida, the Devils have now used a league-high seven goalies, which is one shy of tying the NHL record. Obviously, not a winning formula, but they’re getting close.

T-24. Buffalo Sabres (25-33-11, March: 30)

Andrew: 26, Trey: 24 (Average: 25)

Andrew: Few players needed a bounce-back year more than Rasmus Dahlin. The No. 1 pick from 2018 hasn’t lived up to the pedigree over the last two years, but this year was a much-needed step forward. Dahlin should set a career-high in points and is second among Sabres defensemen in expected goals percentage. Getting to see him and Owen Power on the same blue-line could be the injection of fun that is well overdue for Sabres fans.

Trey: Buffalo is obviously a bad hockey team but they’re starting to turn the corner. Rasmus Dahlin is starting to really find his groove. He looks way more comfortable handling the puck and being more aggressive in the offensive zone as of late. Tage Thompson might be the most underrated player in the league. He’s been awesome. 30 goals for him this year. Really interesting player. Moves way better than a guy should at 6-foot-7. Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs have been great for them, too.

T-24. Detroit Red Wings (26-33-9, March: 22)

Andrew: 25, Trey: 25 (Average: 25)

Andrew: Where would the Red Wings be if Jakub Vrána had been healthy the entire year? Ok, probably not much higher than they currently are. But he’s got 7 goals in 12 games since coming back. Finding a legit second-line center to play with Vrána next year should be a big priority as the Red Wings look to seriously contend for a playoff spot for the first time in over a half-decade.

Trey: Detroit has fallen off a cliff since the deadline. They have won three games since March. The Wings have a bright future but they’re still young and look like deer in the headlights. The goalie duo of Thomas Greiss and Alex Nedeljkovic has been horrendous.

23. San Jose Sharks (29-31-8, March: 23)

Andrew: 23, Trey: 22 (Average: 22.5)

Andrew: It’s a shame he got injured because Erik Karlsson was in the middle of a big bounce-back season in 2021-22. Before injury, Karlsson was scoring at a 68-point pace with strong underlying numbers to boot. The Tomáš Hertl extension symbolizes that the Sharks aren’t looking to rebuild. If they’re going to succeed in the short term, Karlsson needs to be both healthy and good.

Trey: Rebuild? Nevermind. I don’t have anything to say.

22. Anaheim Ducks (28-30-12, March: 18)

Andrew: 21, Trey: 23 (Average: 22)

Andrew: Let’s see… two lacrosse goals in one season and another one where he faked the move and lobbed the puck over the net for an assist on the game-winning goal? Yeah, there’s no other option than Trevor Zegras here. Not only do I admire his talent, but his willingness to stick up for his teammates. Here’s hoping he has some better ones next year.

Trey: The Ducks are brutal to watch. I’m not the biggest fan of John Gibson, who has soured towards the second half of the year. The Ducks are pretty unwatchable outside of any second Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry take the ice. Then cool stuff happens. They still have a long way to go.

21. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-32-5, March: 19)

Andrew: 22, Trey: 20 (Average: 21)

Andrew: Columbus’ defense has been among the league’s worst all season long. Zach Werenski is still solid, but he needs help. And the most likely source for that is the big prospect from the Seth Jones trade, Adam Boqvist. His first year in Columbus was a mixed bag; he scored at a solid rate but was gashed for about 45% expected and on-ice goals for rates, although those were still good enough for the middle of the pack among Blue Jackets. Boqvist taking the next step forward could re-establish a formidable top pair at Nationwide Arena and expedite Columbus’ turn-around.

Trey: Columbus is so bad defensively they just don’t have a shot. They’re not going to catch Washington anyway. The most interesting part of this team right now is what happens with the Laine contract this offseason? Cause that guy has been on a tear.

T-19. New York Islanders (31-27-9, March: 22)

Andrew: 20, Trey: 19 (Average: 19.5)

Andrew: Fun fact: since Christmas, the Islanders are 10th in the NHL with a 23-15-3 record. That’s a little deceiving; they are just 14th in points percentage, but the general point still stands. It helps when you both actually get to play home games and are benefitting from a career year from Brock Nelson. He’s got 36 points in that span, which isn’t too far off from his career-high of 54, which he should break this season.

Trey: The Islanders have rebounded after a really tough start. I will say the same thing I’ve been saying. I don’t think this team is talented. Noah Dobson has taken a leap. Anders Lee and Mat Barzal are finding a groove. What do they have outside of Adam Pelech’s defense?

T-19. Winnipeg Jets (33-27-10, March: 21)

Andrew: 18, Trey: 21 (Average: 19.5)

Andrew: Don’t look now, but the Jets have won seven of their last ten and are back in the thick of the playoff race. Meanwhile, after years of being miscast as a true number one defenseman, Josh Morrissey has been dynamite this season for the Jets after years of being in a role way over his head. Winnipeg is still as weak a play-driving team as ever, but you can’t say that about Morrissey, who leads Jets blue-liners in Corsi For% (52.11%) and expected goals% (53.22%).

Trey: I’m done watching Winnipeg. They’re so boring. The Patrik Laine trade was a failure. Connor Hellebuyck is incredibly overrated. Outside of Kyle Connor, I have no interest in even watching this team.

18. Vancouver Canucks (32-28-9, March: 20)

Andrew: 19, Trey: 18 (Average: 18.5)

Andrew: When Vasili Podkolzin sniped on the Flyers in their season opener, I wondered if I should be regretting not putting Podkolzin on my Calder radar. Podkolzin was seen as a high-risk, high-reward pick when Vancouver took him 10th overall in 2019. While he’s certainly flashed that skill at times, he needs to establish more consistency. Being able to slot him in a top-six role going forward would be huge for Vancouver (especially if they look to trade Brock Boeser or/and Conor Garland), but Podkolzin needs to earn that jump.

Trey: It’s a shame Vancouver isn’t good, because J.T. Miller is having a damn year. Miller has 81 points already which is far and away a career-high. Elias Petterson is starting to find the back of the net again. They just feel like a team stuck in the middle that really needs to pick a lane. Probably the rebuild lane.

T-16. Nashville Predators (39-25-4, March: T-16)

Andrew: 15, Trey: 16 (Average: 15.5)

Andrew: Not long ago, Nashville’s right side was stacked with household names like Shea Weber, P.K. Subban, and Ryan Ellis. Dante Fabbro was supposed to be the next thing for Nashville there, though he stagnated for a while at the NHL level. This year, however, he’s started to live up to his potential, leading Predators regulars with a 54.05% expected goals rate and has an even better on-ice goals differential. Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm can’t do it all, and because of Fabbro’s emergence, they don’t have to.

Trey: Roman Josi needs to stop. God, this guy is good. He’s not Cale Makar but it’s a miracle he’s even made the Norris a conversation. 28 points in his last 15 games will help aid that talk. I really don’t know how they’re even this good. Especially since Juuse Saros has been less heroic as of late.

T-16. Los Angeles Kings (38-23-10, March: T-10)

Andrew: 17, Trey: 14 (Average: 15.5)

Andrew: In stark contrast to last month, I’m a bit worried about the Kings right now. They’ve lost Drew Doughty for at least the rest of the regular season, and are just 5-4-3 since he went down. Sean Durzi, one of the prospects acquired in the Jake Muzzin trade, has quietly had a strong season. He’s obviously no prime Doughty, but the Kings need him to step up in the short-term if they’re going to return to the playoffs, and in the long-term as well. Their 5-on-5 numbers are still strong though, which is encouraging for their chances.

Trey: These guys are just nasty. They hit you. They win face-offs. They’re scrappy as hell. Have plenty of guys on the shelf and are finding ways to win. Have some young players helping out too. Think this Durzi might be pretty good. He’s showing out without Doughty out there.

15. Washington Capitals (37-21-10, March: T-16)

Andrew: 13, Trey: 17 (Average: 15)

Andrew: Though they’re fairly even with a few other teams in the East, the Capitals have been regarded as the easiest round-one out for a while now. A lot of that has to do with goaltending, especially since they could be facing the likes of Frederik Andersen or Igor Shesterkin in the first round. Vitek Vaněček looked like he could’ve done well in last year’s playoffs, but was injured less than 20 minutes into Game 1 and never returned. He’ll get a chance at redemption this year, and the aging Capitals are depending on him to make it count.

Trey: Do you trust Vaněček? No? How about Ilya Samsonov? No? Well, you’re shit out of luck! It’s a really old Capitals team that’s hanging around because Alex Ovechkin won’t stop scoring. I can’t see any way how this team isn’t a first-round exit.

T-13. Vegas Golden Knights (38-28-4, March: 12)

Andrew: 16, Trey: 11 (Average: 13.5)

Andrew: There’s no way this actually happens. A team that was essentially a lock for the playoffs along with only Colorado and Tampa Bay, one with gobs of high-end talent and in an all-out sprint for the Stanley Cup, and they might just miss the playoffs. Vegas needs Robin Lehner back, and they need him to rediscover 2019-20 form when he returns. Just imagine what the takes would be if Vegas misses the playoffs and Marc-André Fleury wins the Cup with the Wild.

Trey: You can call me a homer, but I do think the VGK finds a way in. It’s a really light schedule and they’re starting to get healthy. Alec Martinez and Brayden McNabb make such an enormous difference. They look like the shot-blocking menace team from a year ago again. Jack Eichel just had a two-goal game and is starting to heat up. Lehner is coming back soon and the kid Logan Thompson has been hot in net. They might not make the playoffs but they’re storming. You don’t want to see them if they find a way into the dance.

T-13. St. Louis Blues (38-20-10, March: 14)

Andrew: 12, Trey: 15 (Average: 13.5)

Andrew: Remember a few months ago when we were wondering what team was going to steal Vladimir Tarasenko away from the Blues? Turns out the answer to that question was the Blues themselves. Tarasenko stayed put despite a trade request and looks like the dynamic scorer he did pre-shoulder surgeries. Tarasenko has been vital (32 points in 46 games) in St. Louis’ two Western Conference Final runs since 2001. He’ll need to be great again for them to make a third this season.

12. Dallas Stars (39-25-3, March: 15)

Andrew: 14, Trey: 12 (Average: 13)

Andrew: By virtue of only playing 66 games so far, Dallas is actually sitting someone pretty in the playoff race. After a nightmare start to the season (1 point in 9 games), Roppe Hintz has been basically a point-per-game player ever since, establishing himself as a legitimate first-line center and proving last year’s breakout was no fluke. It would be great to see what he can do at this form in the playoffs; this level of Hintz might’ve been enough to lift the Stars over the Lightning in the 2020 Final.

Trey: I think Dallas is going to find a way into the playoffs. I don’t think they’re going to choke this away. Jake Oettinger has really settled in as the number one guy. Miro Heiskanen is back from the sickness. They’re a really good defensive team and they’re always a tough out.

T-10. Toronto Maple Leafs (44-19-5, March: T-7)

Andrew: 10, Trey: 10 (Average: 10)

Andrew: William Nylander was Toronto’s best forward in last year’s playoffs. He hasn’t been quite at this level this year though, as inconsistency and attention to detail have frustrated Leafs fans and head coach Sheldon Keefe. Secondary scoring is always vital in the playoffs, and Toronto needs Nylander at peak powers to maximize their second line and push past the first round for the first time since 2004.

Trey: Jack Campbell is back which is good news. They might have been screwed without him despite some brutal stretches. Petr Mrazek is non-option. The kid Erik Källgren isn’t either. They can win a first-round series. The Atlantic is just brutal. Auston Matthews leads the league in goals. This offense is dirty. If Mark Giordano can help the defense, maybe this is the year.

T-10. New York Rangers (44-20-5, March: 13)

Andrew: 7, Trey: 13 (Average: 10)

Andrew: While I liked the move at the time, even I wasn’t expecting Frank Vatrano to be this good since coming to New York. Vatrano’s got 5 goals and an assist in 10 games as a Ranger, and while his pie-in-the-sky 23.4% shooting is due for regression, don’t tell that to the Rangers. After all, New York has been fighting off a seemingly inevitable decline all year. Vatrano’s just another addition to that mentality, and the early returns couldn’t be better.

Trey: I have officially moved the Rangers up in the power rankings. Am I a believer? No. They’re awful five on five. BUT the deadline moves really help. Andrew Copp was a big get. Call me crazy but the Vatrano move was even bigger. I don’t get why Florida gave him up. He’s been perfect next to Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider thus far.

9. Edmonton Oilers (39-25-5, March: T-10)

Andrew: 11, Trey: 7 (Average: 9)

Andrew: Unlike Seth Jones, Darnell Nurse is doing at least a decent job at proving he’s worth the massive extension handed to him last summer. Nurse isn’t having the best offensive season, sure, but his overall play has been very solid. He leads the Oilers’ back-end with a 54.29% expected goals share, and if his actual on-ice goals percentage trends closer towards that number in the playoffs, it would give Edmonton a solid shot at advancing.

Trey: I’m in on Edmonton. Dude… they score buckets of goals every night. At some point, you just have to respect it. I know they’re not perfect but they have been better since the coaching change. I’m not betting against Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

8. Minnesota Wild (42-20-5, March: T-7)

Andrew: 9, Trey: 8 (Average: 8.5)

Andrew: For just about every team in the playoffs, there is still a path to victory (albeit a much trickier one) even if your best player is neutralized. That path, however, shrinks more for Minnesota than perhaps any other team. That’s not a dig at the rest of the Wild, but a compliment as to just how good Kirill Kaprizov is, and what he means to their identity.

Trey: Minnesota is just damn good. 4th in goals scored. Now they add the legend Marc-André Fleury. Since the trade, Cam Talbot is 3-0-1, giving up more than two goals just once. Weird how that works.

7. Pittsburgh Penguins (41-19-10, March: T-7)

Andrew: 6, Trey: 9 (Average: 7.5)

Andrew: Perhaps no player will be gunning for revenge in the playoffs harder than Tristan Jarry. The Penguins’ goaltender was simply brutal in his first playoffs as a starter last spring, posting an ugly .888 save percentage and literally handing the Islanders a series-swinging double OT goal. That blemish is smushed between two very strong regular seasons in 2019-20 and this season, but all of that will be forgotten if Jarry chokes again.

Trey: Pittsburgh is just good. I’m done doubting them. Sid the Kid puts on a clinic every night. Even Malkin looks world-class right now. When Kris Letang looks like this, I’m not putting anything past this team.

6. Boston Bruins (43-20-5, March: 6)

Andrew: 8, Trey: 6 (Average: 7)

Andrew: Depth scoring (or lack thereof) has made the difference between early exits and deep runs just about every year since 2017. Charlie Coyle was excellent in their 2019 Finals journey after coming over at the deadline from Minnesota, scoring 9 goals including an OT winner. Now as Boston’s second-best center, he’ll be counted on more than ever to help the Bruins maximize what’s less of Patrice Bergeron’s illustrious career.

Trey: This Bruins team feels different. Hampus Lindholm has been fantastic despite the high acquisition cost. It’s hard to second guess it right now. More importantly, they have more than one line that can score now. Nobody wants to play this team right now. Nobody.

T-4. Calgary Flames (40-19-9, March: 5)

Andrew: 4, Trey: 5 (Average: 4.5)

Andrew: Hard to believe it’s been 7 years since the young gun, “find-a-way Flames” made Calgary’s lone second-round appearance since 2004. Then Calder finalist Johnny Gaudreau was at the center of that run, scoring a team-leading 9 points in 11 games. Since then, Gaudreau has 10 points in 19 playoff games, including just one assist in Calgary’s stunning first-round loss to Colorado in 2019. Needless to say that the pending UFA needs to be much better this year, for both his team’s and wallet’s sakes.

Trey: Our Gavin Daly can count the Flames out. I won’t. My preseason pick as the Flames being the surprise team looks better by the day. 3rd in shots for. 5th in shots allowed. The goalie tandem has been strong. The offense is even better. Johnny Hockey is firecracker hot. They’re too good at this point to be counted as a fraud.

T-4. Tampa Bay Lightning (43-18-7, March: 4)

Andrew: 5, Trey: 4 (Average: 4.5)

Andrew: Only one Lightning player not named Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, or Brayden Point has more than 30 points across Tampa’s back-to-back Cup runs: the ever underrated Ondrej Palat. He’s finally started saying healthy over the last couple of years and continues to be a great wingman whoever is centering him (currently Anthony Cirelli). Tampa Bay will need all cylinders firing to have a chance of emerging from the gauntlet that is the Atlantic Divison, and that obviously includes Palat.

Trey: Two-time defending champs. We know what they are. Brandon Hagel for the record looks really good. Could be the trade of the deadline.

T-2. Carolina Hurricanes (45-16-8, March: T-1)

Andrew: 2, Trey: 3 (Average: 2.5)

Andrew: The biggest consistent issue for the Hurricanes over their ten-year playoff drought was goaltending. It’s been one of the biggest factors for their last three playoff eliminations (especially in 2020). Frederik Andersen has shown he’s capable of stealing games in the playoffs… and also capable of costing his team there, too. Which version of Andersen shows up will be the biggest determinant in Carolina’s playoff success this season, and perhaps beyond.

Trey: Carolina is damn fun to watch. They just don’t give up goals on the powerplay. They just don’t. Freddie Andersen has arguably been the best goalie in the league not named Shesterkin. It’s the best defensive team in hockey. Carolina is a very real Cup contender that could win it.

T-2. Florida Panthers (47-15-6, March: T-1)

Andrew: 3, Trey: 2 (Average: 2.5)

Andrew: The MacKenzie Weegar-Aaron Ekblad doesn’t get talked about often as one of the game’s best, but both players have been stellar in their own right for the last few seasons. With the possibility of Ekblad missing games in the playoffs for the second straight year (he didn’t play at all in last year’s round one loss), Weegar becomes even more important to Florida’s success. He’s more than capable of leading a defense, but it won’t be easy to stop an offense led by Alex Ovechkin, David Pastrnak, Auston Matthews, or Nikita Kucherov right out of the playoff gates.

Trey: God, Florida is good. They’re must-watch every night. They just came back down 6-2 yesterday and won. They score more goals than everybody else in the league. Spencer Knight is starting to steal the goalie job. If he performs, this team can and should win it.

1. Colorado Avalanche (49-14-6, March: T-1)

Andrew: 1, Trey: 1 (Average: 1)

Andrew: There are three constants in life: death, taxes, and Nazem Kadri getting suspended in the playoffs. Well, at least that’s the way it feels after Kadri’s been suspended for 41% (16 of 39) of his team’s playoff games since 2018 for three separate incidents. It’s even more imperative that he stays in the lineup this season, as he’s having a career year (even if his shooting percentage is slowly coming back down to Earth). Like Gaudreau, doing so is not only crucial to maximizing Colorado’s Cup chances but Kadri’s paycheck as a free agent this summer.

These are the playoffs you’ve been waiting for, right?

Trey: Not sure we need to see anything from Colorado at this point. Darcy Kuemper is making me shut up right now. Bad news, Nazem Kadri is hurt now but it’s expected to be a short-term thing. They need him. Kadri is having the year of his life.

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