Nichushkin no longer flying under radar with Avalanche during Stanley Cup Final

Tampa- Andrew Coriano I have seen the metamorphosis directly.

Coriano saw after joining the Dallas Stars in the second half of the 2018-19 season Valerie Nichushkin At the lowest point of his career, he struggled hard to find his confidence, not to mention the other side of the net.

When you see how influential you are Colorado Avalanche Winger has finished the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s stunning to think that there was actually a time in Nichushkin’s NHL career when he went through the entire season without scoring a single goal or recording a minor penalty.

Avalanche took the lead in the 2-0 series and the series shifted to Florida for the next two games, scoring two goals in a 7-0 blowout on Saturday and continuing to play fiercely in these playoffs. For Nichushkin, it should feel like eternity at that time. ..

“In Dallas, that was probably another scenario. I don’t think he was comfortable there. I think a lot of things were happening,” Coriano said. “Honestly, I can’t even explain Val’s type. He’s amazing. He’s just a guy who drives play all night, he’s relentlessly working on the forecheck and scoring. But that’s the details of his game.

“In Dallas, he was always very defensive. I think he was rutted in terms of scoring. But since I came here (March 21st), I’ve been consistent. And haven’t seen the level of play from the guy. It’s an aggressive and defensive 200-foot game like I saw from Val. “

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar has been asked regularly about Nichushkin, and these questions have surged for good reason recently, given how well he is playing.

In this latest question on Saturday night, Bednar shrugged.

The outside world only understands how valuable Nichushkin is to an avalanche, but those who see him on a daily basis were ahead of the curve.

“I think he was built at this time of the year. That’s my view,” Bednar said. “He’s nothing different from what he did first for most of at least two seasons.

“That is, I said that before. Big, long, strong, fast, tenacious, hungry, relentless in the pack. After the chance he gets, he can play with the top guys. , You can move him up and down the lineup, do power play, penalty kills, that is, I don’t know what else to say about that guy. “

Bednar wasn’t negative at all. He’s probably a little surprised that it takes so long for others to notice.

This is what Nichushkin is doing, and although he may fly under the radar in terms of domestic or international attention, his contributions are highly valued.

The timing of the best season of Nichushkin’s career included 25 goals and 52 points in 62 games and added 8 goals and 13 points in 16 games, as he is one of nine pending unlimited. It wasn’t the right time. Avalanche roster free agent.

And he certainly plans to make a sound source from the $ 2.5 million modest AAV that he’s made in the last two seasons after being acquired by Star.

Do you think Nichushkin, 27, will get a lot of attention as a free agent if he doesn’t stand up again by July 13th?

Adding an extension to Nathan McKinnon is Avalanche’s top priority, but keeping Nichushkin in the fold is at the top of the list of general manager Joe Sakic.

A man of his size (6ft-4,210lbs) can skate like him, and few have the strength and wisdom to win as many pack battles as he does. not here.

Tools and skill sets have always been obvious to Nichushkin, the tenth overall winner in the 2013 NHL Draft, but it was just a matter of putting everything together on a regular basis.

“I’ve played against him. I remember him driving wide, slipping, slamming into the net and getting stronger,” said Avalanche defenseman Josh Manson. “But he now feels much more consistent. He fits the structure very well, he foresaw very hard. He’s a very big and strong guy. He’s skinny. It’s always strong enough to put pressure on you and turn the pack over. He’s been great since I came here. “

Nichushkin is not only influencing the attackers, but also highly defensively responsible and a key member of the Avalanche Penalty Kill-so far, six opportunities to hold Lightning without a favorable goal. doing.

“That is, he’s the train for us. He’s a very hard-working guy, showing it on the ice,” said Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar. “He’s invaluable to us in all zones, whether he’s speeding up in the neutral zone to get that ozone entry or helping a breakout in the D zone. Obviously, you know he’s. See his aggressive talent that he recently showed. He’s a complete package. That is, he was a great presence for us. “

Given its full package, Nichushkin could receive over $ 5 million in offers per season.

Can Avalanche reach that price range?

Or does Nichushkin appreciate the suitability and opportunity he has been given since he participated in the avalanche?

This is a question that can only be answered at the negotiating table and can be expected to be factored into the equation, but the answer will not be known until a later date.

Nichushkin’s high level of play helped Avalanche overcome the defeat of Center Nazemkadri, who had broken his right thumb and missed the last three games.

Kadori is approaching returning to the lineup, but Bednar wasn’t ready to put a timeline on his potential return, but still calls him everyday-Game 4 of the possibilities. It may not be out of the realm.

“Obviously, he’s making progress,” Bednar told reporters before the flight departed for Florida. “He skates every day. He put a stick in it. He’s now starting to shoot the puck, handling the puck more, catching it and releasing it, so I can meet him someday. I hope that. “

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *