Colorado Avalanche – Stanley Cup Champions

NHL Re-cap & Looking forward

A Champion Crowned – Avs victorious in 1996, 2001 and now 2022

All die-hard and casual hockey fans were treated to quite the finals this season. There were unbelievable moments, moments of doubt and moments of hope across the board. With the Tampa Bay Lightning winning Game 5 there were definite thoughts of pushing things to a Game 7 where anything can happen. Unfortunately for Bolts fans and fortunately for Avs fans everything ended in Game 6 with a defensive gem (especially in the 3rd) helping Colorado win their third Stanley Cup in franchise history. A reporter asked Gabe Landeskog since the NHL can be a copycat league, what can teams do to keep up with Colorado? “Get a Cale Makar somewhere” was his response. Just watching one Avalanche game shows you why Makar has been such a difference maker and why Avs fans chant “All Hail Cale!” any chance they get. Taking home the Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe shows that the experts know he deserves the special recognition. Proving that perhaps the President’s Trophy is indeed a curse (Florida Panthers this season) Colorado turned the switch during the playoffs and dominated 16-4 en route to victory. If you haven’t watched Landeskog’s speech from the victory parade do yourself a favor and find it now. Cheers to whatever hilarity and partying the cup is currently enjoying…

For the third straight season the Stanley Cup finalist that averaged more goals per game in the regular season emerged as the champion. At times Tampa definitely looked like a team who has logged an insane amount of games with not much rest in the past three seasons. Now Colorado will know what that short break coupled with mile high expectations feels like. A few chips have already dropped, re-signing Andrew Cogliano in the off-season and completing a trade for Alexander Georgiev. This all but seals the exit for Dracy Kuemper and confirms spelling or pronouncing Avalanche goaltender names won’t be easy still. Georgiev will pair with Francouz to form what the Avs hope will be an economical and efficient duo for their title defense. Most Colorado fans seem happy with this development as it could free up money for quite a few important free agent decisions. As for the Lightning, all is not lost, signing Nick Paul was a huge piece already and many of their key players are back for another run next season. Ondrej Palat will be an interesting story to watch as his contributions have been immeasurable for the squad over their 3-year run.

Conference Finals Predictions: 2-0

Finals Prediction: 1-0…finished strong!

Off-season burning questions

One of those questions was answered earlier today and addressed above regarding the Avalanche’s future direction in net. Francouz was responsible for 6 of the 16 Colorado playoff wins (37.5%) and had a slightly higher save percentage than Kuemper. We’ll see who else the Avs are able to re-sign for their title defense.

Kris Letang also re-signed with Pittsburgh today, helping answer the question of where he would end up and would the Penguins be able to afford both. Letang’s deal for just over 6 million per season shows they have a real shot at signing Malkin again.

Evander Kane…Vladimir Tarasenko…Ville Husso…Jack Campbell…Claude Giroux…Nazem Kadri…where will all these fantastic players end up? They could be the difference maker on a team somewhere poised to make a cup run. I could easily see all heading to new teams and I could also see a 50/50 split. Tarasenko seems the most sure to depart as his trade demands have been swirling for multiple seasons now. Kane proved his worth on the ice during Edmonton’s playoff run, but his price tag may necessitate a change to another squad. I’m always curious to see if players will play for a discount and a better chance to win the cup or go for the life-changing (and family changing) money no matter where and for who. It will also be interesting to see where the newest cup winning goalie heads…will Kuemper want Western Conference revenge and end up somewhere like Edmonton…or solidify a youth movement in the Eastern Conference with a team like New Jersey?

A look forward

Today kicks off the NHL Draft will some excellent talent in the top tier. Draft order is set with Montreal drafting first and hosting the event, followed by New Jersey, Arizona, Seattle and Philadelphia.

Mid-September (just over 2 months away) will see the start of NHL training camps. Should be a swift and short off-season with the regular season starting in October with NHL Global Series games coming this year as well in Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic and Finland.

We’ll also see the Winter Classic back at Fenway, the All-Star festivities in Miami and a Stadium Series game in Raleigh. The NHL is in a great spot…enjoy the off season and see you in the fall!

Also, if you haven’t watched Unrivaled covering the Avalanche-Detroit Red Wings 90’s rivalry…definitely find it. The ESPN + version is extended and absolutely incredible to watch.

About ccdgoalie

Contributor to Spinnable Sports. Amatuer goaltender and broadcaster. #NHL #BeerLeague

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