Colorado Avalanche Jerseys Win Stanley Cup
It’s hard to believe now, but five years ago the Colorado Avalanche Jerseys were the worst team in the entire National Hockey League. No team finished the 2016/17 season with fewer points than the team from Denver, which finished at the bottom of the league’s then-30-team standings with 48 points (22-56-4). At the time, the organization’s players, staff and fans could only dream of playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, let alone winning a Stanley Cup championship.
Now, in June 2022, the Colorado Avalanche Jerseys went a combined 16-4 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning 4-2 in the Stanley Cup Final over the double-defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, proving to the hockey world that the rebuilding effort driven by general manager Joe Sakic and his team and coach Jared Bednar is ready for the crown.
It was the franchise’s first championship since 2001, when the current GM was still on the ice. Sakic was correspondingly pleased after the game: “It feels great. It’s amazing. It’s something to dream about.” The GM struggled for words at first.” I’m just so proud of the players, especially the veteran players who have been around for a while. Since last year, our team has come to camp with a lot of commitment. Nothing is going to get under their skin this season. They are ready to get better every day, and the coaches are prepared for that. Every player has contributed. It’s a great group, a close group, and they really fought and they fought for each other. It was a great result. I’m happy for all these players.”
“It just evolved over time,” said defenseman Cale Makar.
Colorado took the final step Sunday night, winning Game 6 of the series against the Lightning at Amalie Arena after a hard-fought battle that saw Colorado win 2-1 and, as a result, earn its second point and lock up the best-of-seven series. In the process, the team showed impressive maturity and transcendence both on and off the ice, weathering the late stages of the encounter in style and proving to be deserving new champions after Friday’s 3-2 loss at their home arena. The fact that they managed to beat the dominant team of the past few years twice on their own field is the sporting foundation of this championship.
This championship is not only an interim coronation of an impressive and highly successful rebuild over the past few years, but also a well-deserved reward for the end of an overall strong season in 2021/22, where the team has finished second in the 82-game regular season with a record of 56-19-7 and 119 points.
In the ensuing Stanley Cup playoffs, only the St. Louis Blues and Lightning won two games each in a seven-game, two-win series against the Colorado Avalanche Jerseys. But that didn’t stop them from losing their respective series by a score of 4-2. Nashville Predators by Roman Josi Leon Drake of Switzerland Roman Josi Leon Draisaitl of Switzerland
Coach Bednar’s reaction to his team’s successful end to the season in Florida after the decisive win was a mixture of joy and relief: “I’m carrying every emotion you can imagine right now. I’m just very happy and proud of these guys and what they’ve done. It’s indescribable to see their hard work pay off. There’s a feeling of relief, a feeling of satisfaction. It’s not quite clear right now. When the buzzer went off, people could hardly believe we had actually done it. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m just grateful that I’ve been able to be with this team.”