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No bottling him up: Nazem Kadri paces Avalanche, frustrates Blues in Game 3 win – The Athletic



ST. LOUIS — The water bottle, mostly empty, sat on the black rubber floor surfacing in the hallway between the Avalanche and Blues dressing rooms. With one flick of the wrist and a moment caught live on national TV, it had become the story of the hockey world.

Standing against a TNT backdrop for his postgame TV interview, Nazem Kadri started to answer a question about a first-period play Saturday that left Blues goalie Jordan Binnington injured. Midsentence, he looked over his shoulder as an Eternal brand water bottle hit the ground. He paused for five seconds before continuing. Then, at the end of his answer, he explained his silence.

“I’m not sure if he just threw a water bottle at me,” he said, then laughed.


Kadri meant Binnington. And according to multiple people who saw the exchange that followed Colorado’s 5-2 win in Game 3, the throw did in fact come from the Blues goaltender, who might miss multiple weeks with a possible knee sprain, per The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford.

Binnington’s injury came less than seven minutes into the game. The play started when Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen flew down the ice and flung a wrist shot on net. Binnington got in front of the puck but allowed a rebound. The rubber disk sat just in front of the crease, and Kadri bolted for it, colliding with Blues defenseman Calle Rosen. The two tumbled into Binnington, with Rosen making first contact, and all three players went sprawling into the net.

It was hard to tell if Kadri would have or could have avoided contact if not for Rosen, though he said after the game that “I don’t think I would have hit him at all” if the defenseman — whom the Avalanche once acquired with Kadri in a deal for Tyson Barrie — hadn’t been there.

“I just saw a loose puck,” Kadri said after the Avalanche win, which gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven second-round series. “It was kind of just sitting behind him, and I just tried to poke it with my stick. I think their defenseman kind of collided with me and pushed me into (Binnington).”

Binnington tested out his legs in hopes of staying in the game, but he eventually left with the St. Louis trainer, giving way to backup Ville Husso, who allowed four goals and took the loss. And though Kadri wasn’t assessed with a penalty, the St. Louis crowd took exception to the play, booing him every time he touched the puck for the rest of the game.

That only seemed to fuel the center. He tipped in a Cale Makar slapshot to put the Avalanche up in the second period, going down to a knee and punching the air in celebration. Then, later in the period, he made a long pass to Lehkonen along the boards, setting up an odd-man rush. The Finn beat Husso with a wrist shot and immediately pointed to Kadri as the Colorado players gathered for a post-goal huddle.

“When you get the whole arena booing you, you up your game for sure,” Logan O’Connor said. “That was nice to see him have a great game tonight.”

The win showed Kadri at his most effective: playing with an edge, making skilled plays and occasionally agitating, as when he and Jordan Kyrou got tangled up and he skated away with the 24-year-old’s stick. But Kadri didn’t cross a line, at least in the eyes of the Avalanche and the officials.

That hasn’t always been the case in the postseason. He served two playoff suspensions while with the Maple Leafs, then another with the Avalanche in 2021 after a high hit on St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk. Kadri sat out the final two games in the first round last year, then all six second-round matchups against Vegas.

The Blues clearly haven’t forgotten about the Faulk hit, and St. Louis coach Craig Berube didn’t hesitate to link it to Binnington’s injury Saturday.

“Look at Kadri’s reputation,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

When Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, who had just informed reporters that Samuel Girard would be out for the season with a broken sternum, heard about Berube’s comments, he looked frustrated.

“It’s either a legal play or it’s not,” the coach said. “Both guys go in there, they’re both going after the puck the same way, and they collide before they go in. Again, unfortunate, the same as Girard for me. That’s a legal play and it’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”

The Binnington injury and the water bottle throw are bullet points on a long list of Kadri’s history with the Blues over the past 12 months. He fought Brayden Schenn and Faulk in the first and second regular-season matchups of the season to answer the bell for his playoff hit on Faulk. In their second game of the season, back in October, Binnington swung his stick at Kadri’s head.

Is there anything personal going on between them? Not in Kadri’s eyes.

“I’m just going out there to try to win and compete, and if people take that personally that’s on them,” he said. “For me, what happens on the ice kind of stays on the ice. I’m a competitor. I want to win.”

That’s what he did Saturday, leaving behind a frustrated Blues team and a mostly empty water bottle on the floor.

Key moments

• Early in the game, Girard skated behind his own net to grab a puck. Ivan Barbashev followed and drove himself into Girard’s shoulder, sending the defenseman flying into the glass head first. His face appeared to slide along the boards before the back of his head landed on the ice. With blood on his face, Girard had to be helped skating off and was taken to a hospital.

The play left Girard with a broken sternum. He will miss the rest of the playoffs.

“You know, I didn’t love it seeing it live,” Bednar said. “Looking back on it … I thought it was a legal check, to be honest with you. He kind of goes in on his head side, but he got a lot of body there. He was turned the wrong way, and he went in awkward. It was a heavy check. Unfortunate, but to be honest, I think it was a legal check.”

Darcy Kuemper allowed a bad rebound, leading to Ryan O’Reilly’s second-period goal to cut the Avalanche lead to 3-2. But he also made a big right-pad stop on Robert Thomas, who had a partial breakaway early in the third. That kept the score tied.

• Ville Husso started to come off the ice for an extra attacker with time winding down in the third, then Mikko Rantanen stole the puck from Scott Perunovich. He got it to Nathan MacKinnon, who suddenly had a two-on-one with Gabriel Landeskog. With Husso scrambling to get back, MacKinnon got the puck to Landeskog, who shot into an empty net. That made the score 4-2 and all but eliminated the chances of a Blues comeback.

• Bednar scratched O’Connor for the first two games of the series, but he inserted him for Nico Sturm on Saturday. The move paid dividends during a first-period penalty kill.

As Josh Manson, who committed a holding penalty, came out of the box, teammate Darren Helm flipped him the puck high in the air. Manson snagged it at the blue line as he headed into the offensive zone. He passed the puck across the slot to a charging O’Connor, who beat Husso’s left pad to score. Berube considered challenging for offsides but decided against it. And just like that, the only lead St. Louis held all night was gone.

Said O’Connor: “It was definitely awesome getting that one after sitting out the last couple games.”

(Photo of Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon celebrating a goal: Dilip Vishwanat / Getty Images)

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Garnacho on target as United beats Crystal Palace in League Cup defence



MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Seven months after lifting the trophy, Manchester United made a successful start to its defense of the English League Cup on Tuesday by beating Crystal Palace 3-0.

Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro fired the holders into a 2-0 first-half lead at Old Trafford and Anthony Martial added a third after the break in the third-round match.

It is now back-to-back wins for Erik ten Hag’s team, which has endured a disappointing start to the season.

The dominant performance against an understrength Palace followed Saturday’s narrow victory at Burnley and will give United fans hope the team has turned its form around.


“The mood is always good, but of course when you are not winning at United there is disappointment, and there is frustration, but the togetherness is always there,” Ten Hag said. “We know we are not now in the position where we want to be. So we have to build up, we have to catch up and then you have to go from game to game, working on the process and working on the results. Don’t get too far ahead.”

The League Cup ranks fourth among English soccer’s most important trophies. But Ten Hag still savored last season’s success.

Victory against Newcastle in February’s final at Wembley Stadium ended the club’s six-year wait for a trophy and saw Ten Hag deliver silverware in his first season at the club. He went on to also reach the FA Cup final, only to lose to Manchester City, and also guided United back into the Champions League to mark an impressive campaign.

Things have not gone so well this term, with his team losing four out of five games before beating Burnley 1-0.

This latest victory was far more convincing, even if Palace benched regular starters Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Joachim Anderson and was also without forward Odsonne Edouard.

Ten Hag also made changes with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund on the bench and Christian Eriksen absent.

Mason Mount, however, made his first appearance since Aug. 19 after returning from an injury.

Garnacho fired United ahead in the 21st minute after converting Diogo Dalot’s cutback in the box.

His low shot had too much power for Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who had only just come on as a substitute for the injured Dean Henderson.

Johnstone was tested again moments later when Dalot blasted an effort from an angle, which the keeper blocked.

He was beaten again, however, in the 27th, this time by Casemiro, who headed in Mount’s corner to double United’s lead.

Martial added a third 10 minutes into the second half when firing across goal after meeting Casemiro’s looping ball to the far post.

United plays Palace again in the Premier League on Saturday and the Londoners showed their threat when twice forcing saves from ‘keeper Andre Onana later in the match. But manager Roy Hodgson did not sound confident about securing a different outcome when the teams next meet.

“We are going to have to become a totally different team in the way we approach the game and the way we play the game,” he said.


Third-division Exeter produced a shock 1-0 win against Luton to knock the Premier League club out of the competition. Luton made 10 changes from the team that picked up its first topflight point of the season against Wolverhampton on Saturday, but the result will still go down as a big upset. Demetri Mitchell scored the winner in the 83rd, but Exeter had to see out the game with 10 men after he was sent off in the 88th.

Wolverhampton was also eliminated after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at second-division Ipswich. Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti Gomes had seemingly put the visitors on course for the next round after goals inside the first 15 minutes. But Omari Hutchinson, Freddie Ladapo and Jack Taylor sealed a comeback win for Ipswich.


Burnley is still waiting for its first win in the league this season, but it is powering on in the cup after a 4-0 win against Salford City, the fourth division club co-owned by Manchester United greats including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

Elsewhere, Middlesbrough beat Bradford 2-0 and Port Vale won 2-1 against Sutton United.

Fourth-division Mansfield beat third-division Peterborough 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Lucas Akins’ penalty to even the score in the 93rd had sent the game to a shootout.


James Robson is at


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Matt Irwin Deserves a Spot on the Canucks’ NHL Roster, Right?



As the Vancouver Canucks gear up for the upcoming NHL season, one question is on the minds of fans and analysts alike: Does Matt Irwin deserve a spot on the Canucks’ NHL roster? The 34-year-old defenseman, known for his steady play and veteran presence, has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks, and there are compelling arguments in favor of giving him a roster spot.

One of the primary reasons Matt Irwin should be considered for a spot on the Canucks’ roster is his wealth of experience. Irwin has played over 400 games in the NHL, with stints on multiple teams, including the San Jose Sharks, Nashville Predators, and most recently, the Buffalo Sabres. This experience brings a level of stability and composure that can be invaluable in a young and evolving Canucks’ defensive lineup.

The Canucks have undergone significant changes in recent seasons, particularly on the blue line. Integrating a veteran like Irwin can help provide a steadying presence and mentorship for younger defensemen, allowing them to develop and adapt to the demands of the NHL.

Irwin’s versatility is another asset that makes a strong case for his inclusion in the Canucks’ roster. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the ability to play in various defensive pairings and adapt to different playing styles. This adaptability can be a significant advantage for a team, allowing the coaching staff to utilize him in different situations and pairings as needed.


Furthermore, Irwin is known for his reliability and consistency. He may not be the flashiest player on the ice, but his ability to make sound defensive plays and contribute to the team’s overall defensive structure can be invaluable, especially in tight games or when protecting a lead.

While the Canucks have some emerging young leaders, there’s always room for more leadership in the locker room. Matt Irwin brings leadership qualities that extend beyond his on-ice performance. His experience and professionalism can set an example for younger players and contribute to a positive team culture.

Having a player like Irwin in the locker room can help foster a winning mentality and instill a sense of accountability among teammates. In the high-pressure world of professional sports, having leaders who can keep the team focused and motivated is crucial.

Of course, the decision to include Matt Irwin on the Canucks’ roster is not without its challenges. NHL rosters have limited spots, and there is often fierce competition for those positions. Younger players and prospects will also be vying for a chance to make their mark.

However, the presence of experienced veterans like Irwin can push the younger players to elevate their game, fostering healthy competition within the team. Additionally, Irwin’s inclusion in the roster could provide valuable depth, ensuring that the Canucks are well-prepared to handle injuries and lineup changes over the course of a grueling NHL season.

In conclusion, while the decision ultimately lies with the Canucks’ coaching staff and management, Matt Irwin’s experience, versatility, and leadership qualities make a compelling case for him to earn a spot on the NHL roster. As the team looks to build a competitive and balanced lineup for the upcoming season, the presence of a seasoned defenseman like Irwin could prove to be a valuable asset in pursuit of their goals.

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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada



Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.

Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation

One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.

Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.

Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures

Security is paramount when it comes to online gambling. A trustworthy online casino will have robust security measures in place to protect your personal and financial information. Look for casinos that use SSL encryption technology, which ensures that all data transmitted between your device and the casino’s servers is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers. Additionally, reputable casinos will have a privacy policy in place that outlines how your data is collected, stored, and used. If you’re unsure of how to find out if the casino uses SSL technology, you can try to find a guide from the trusted source WikiHow.


Examining the Casino’s Game Selection

Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.

Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.

Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support

Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.

Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms

Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.

In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.

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