Game 5 tonight should see the same Avalanche lineup as Game 4 with Alex Newhook still in. He was one of two players released to the media this morning – along with Jack Johnson – which is a strong sign they will be in the lineup in the Avs’ attempt to finish Round 2 against the St. Louis Blues .
When asked about his thoughts on being scratched for the first six games of the playoffs, Newhook said, “You’re just doing what you can to stay ready. You could be there anytime. Of course it’s not fun to be there, but we have a strong team. We talked a lot about not having egos and I think the guys settled on that.”
I thought Newhook played pretty well in Game 4, coming in with an assist on Erik Johnson’s goal that put the Avs on the board in the second half.
“Adrenaline comes in a big game like this,” Newhook said. “There’s no real time to be rusty.”
I also thought Jack Johnson played very well in Game 4. He ran well, moved the puck well.
So the Avs have three chances to win once and finish a second round for the first time since 2002. The chances are good. But as the guy who’s overseen this team since Day 1, I’m here to just offer a friendly reminder: don’t count those chickens. They haven’t hatched yet. I was there when the Avs took the 3-1 lead against Edmonton (1998), Los Angeles (2001 and 2002 – yes, the Avs won the Game 7s in both series, but still…), Minnesota (2003, and, not to mention a 3-2 lead against the Wild in 2014), not to mention a 3-2 lead against Dallas in 1999.
I think the Avs will win the series, mind you. But – it’s not over until it’s over.
Jared Bednar was asked if he thinks the Avs will have to “weather a storm” from the desperate Blues to start the game.
“We’ll try to create our own storm,” Bednar said.
Unlike before Game 4, Blues coach Craig Berube commented on the Nazem-Kadri situation this time:
“I’m not on social media. I was aware of a threat against Nazem, not the racist stuff. In no way is it acceptable for the St. Louis Blues or anyone else to have to go through this. Being a Native American myself, I’ve heard it all, I’ve dealt with it. It’s not a good thing. So I just wanted to put that out there, there’s no room for that anywhere.”
Blues will play with 12 forwards and six Ds tonight. Calle Rosen, Scott Perunovich out, Nathan Walker, Marco Scandella in.
Remember it’s a 6pm start. If you can’t go to the game, it will be shown on national television and there will be a watch party at the Blake Street Tavern. Get the prime rib sandwich au jus when you go.
Until this evening.