Hockey

J.T. Compher – Sometimes you’re not a prick, you just keep scoring against the Hawks even if you’re no damn good. Compher might be good, he might not be, but against the Hawks he’s some sort of HYDRA creation. Five games last year, four goals and five points. He scored a goal against them last time the Avs were here, and three of his 17 points are against the Hawks this season. All in one game. He hasn’t scored more against anyone else in his career than he did against the Hawks last season. He has two goals this year. He’ll probably double that total this weekend.

Nazem Kadri – Ah, here’s our prick. Maybe being out of the pressure cooker of Toronto will un-fuck his brain, but Kadri has helped torpedo a couple seasons with selfish and dirty hits that ended in suspensions. A wonderful checking center who can score, that is when his brain is turned on. But can’t help himself with being a dipshit, and the Avs can only hope that doesn’t rear its ugly head again at the absolute worst time.

Ian Cole – BAYBAY!

Hockey

J.T. Compher – Sometimes you’re not a prick, you just keep scoring against the Hawks even if you’re no damn good. Compher might be good, he might not be, but against the Hawks he’s some sort of HYDRA creation. Five games last year, four goals and five points. He hasn’t scored more against anyone else in his career than he did against the Hawks last season. He has two goals this year. He’ll probably double that total this weekend.

Nazem Kadri – Ah, here’s our prick. Maybe being out of the pressure cooker of Toronto will un-fuck his brain, but Kadri has helped torpedo a couple seasons with selfish and dirty hits that ended in suspensions. A wonderful checking center who can score, that is when his brain is turned on. But can’t help himself with being a dipshit, and the Avs can only hope that doesn’t rear its ugly head again at the absolute worst time.

Ian Cole – BAYBAY!

Everything Else

Ian Cole makes $4.2M. Just ruminate on that for a second.

Ian Cole has never managed more than 25 points in a season. He averages somewhere around 11 points for his career. He’s been pretty ho-hum metrically for his entire career, basically being just below whatever his team’s averages are for possession and chances. Ian Cole is just there. And the Avs handed him $4.2M per year.

Why? Because there are still far too many GMs who go tumescent at any player that’s won a Cup, even though they were about as important to it as the attendant on the team’s charter. Cole was on both of Pittsburgh’s recent Cup wins. He wasn’t anything more than a third-pairing player, averaging 17 minutes per game between the two. But any bum get a special kind of gloss on them when riding all the way to an end, even if it’s on the coattails on Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

It’s particularly acute in GMs who used to be players, like Joe Sakic, who have spent a career not taking credit and deflecting it to . various punters and squeegee-men on their team. It’s no wonder that Sakic was the one to literally double Cole’s salary from last year, even though he barely knows which was is forward.

Here’s what you need to know about Ian Cole. He was a first-round pick for the Blues. So that tells you he’s basically a clod who can’t move but makes angry faces a lot of the time. Cole hasn’t torpedoed the Avs, because he’s gotten to play with Tyson Barrie and more importantly, spent most of his time behind MacKinnon, Landeskog, and Rantanen. If you want to pay $4M for a player who needs to be propped up by the best you have a majority of the time, then by all means, Cole is your guy.

But hey, he’s got those rings. And he’ll get to profit off them for years more.

 

Game #41 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Perhaps the oddest component of the Penguins’ back-to-back championships is that only two defensemen played every playoff game both years. One is Ian Cole, who obviously doesn’t matter. And the other is Brian Dumoulin.

It’s been a strange cast rotating through. Two years ago Ben Lovejoy played every game, and Kris Letang only missed one. Olli Maatta, Justin Schultz, Trevor Daley, and Derrick Pouliot also saw time in the playoffs.

Last year, Letang missed the whole playoff campaign, and Maatta, Ron Hainsey, Cole, and Dumoulin went the route. Schultz and Daley played most of them but missed a couple games each. Mark Streit and Chad Ruhwedel also came up for air at various points.

So with Letang’s body basically being constructed of balsa wood, is Dumoulin now the most important d-man in Pittsburgh?

Everything Else

Perhaps the oddest component of the Penguins’ back-to-back championships is that only two defensemen played every playoff game both years. One is Ian Cole, who obviously doesn’t matter. And the other is Brian Dumoulin.

It’s been a strange cast rotating through. Two years ago Ben Lovejoy played every game, and Kris Letang only missed one. Olli Maatta, Justin Schultz, Trevor Daley, and Derrick Pouliot also saw time in the playoffs.

Last year, Letang missed the whole playoff campaign, and Maatta, Ron Hainsey, Cole, and Dumoulin went the route. Schultz and Daley played most of them but missed a couple games each. Mark Streit and Chad Ruhwedel also came up for air at various points.

So with Letang’s body basically being constructed of balsa wood, is Dumoulin now the most important d-man in Pittsburgh?