As colleague Scott MacDonald documented in a piece yesterday, Alex Newhook could see his name called by the Avalanche to join them soon – particularly if injuries to other forwards, such as the one that happened to Brandon Saad the other day, keep happening.
Newhook is, indeed, a bright prospect and the Avs have bright prospects as a team. They have secured a berth in the playoffs and are among the NJ sports betting sites favorites to win the Stanley Cup. William Hill has them priced at 4.8 for the title and bet365 4.0 in the same market.
“I think I am ready to make the jump to professional hockey and I think I’ve had a great two years at Boston College; I really enjoyed my time here, but I think it’s the right time for me to move on,” Newhook said recently.
“I think a few of the guys on our team have made similar decisions, and I am really happy to be taking this step now. It was definitely a hard decision. Looking at coming back and with my sister coming in and the group of guys we have here, so it was a hard decision, but I think it was the right one and I am really excited for the future here.”
The Avalanche have won the Stanley Cup twice. They did so in 1996 and again in 2001. Marc Crawford was their coach the first time and Bob Hartley the second. Their first title came on the back of four straight wins in the series against the Florida Panthers. The second time was somewhat more challenging, as it took all seven games to decide the series with the New Jersey Devils.
Whether the 2021 unit will be able to match the title-winning heroics of yesteryear’s teams remains in the balance. Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic certainly hopes so.
“We love the way the team is coming together, love the way they’re playing. Management, fans and everybody in the dressing room believes this is a time we need to compete for the Stanley Cup,” he said.
This is the fourth consecutive season the Avs have qualified for the playoffs. It is their second-longest stretch. They had done so 10 times in a row from 1995-6 to 2005-6. Of course, coach Jared Bednar trusts they’ll go all the way this time – and gift fans a third Stanley Cup title.
“My thoughts on the four playoff years is, it has been a lot of fun. I enjoy the heck out of coaching this team and these players. When they work like this and you start seeing the results coming year after year, getting better and better every year, it’s highly encouraging as a coach,” Bednar was quoted as saying by the Denver Post.
“I think our buy-in in a bunch of aspects of our game – especially on the defending side of the puck – and just getting more committed to a good all-around team game and being great teammates, I like what’s going on around here.”