Just got back in the door at home, after a four-hour bus ride from Edmonton to Calgary, then a two-hour flight to Denver. Thanks, by the way, to all who read our content this weekend. To say the traffic was huge would be an understatement. Some bad news, though, which was revealed by Avalanche coach Jared Bednar today while I was en route back (with bad wifi): Andrew Cogliano is hurt, and it seems iffy whether he’ll be back for the start of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Yeah, I guess we can safely guess that the injury is to the right hand. The social media crew at Denver International Airport are the ones who posted this, not me. So, it’s public information now I guess.
Cogliano blocked a shot last night and the hand took the brunt of it, obviously. If he can’t play in Finals, it’s another loss for the Avs. Bednar, in fact, said the Cogliano injury is similar to the one Nazem Kadri suffered. If anyone can play through it, it’s Cogs – who was the NHL’s longtime ironman for years until a bogus suspension by the NHL Department of Player Safety, when he was with Anaheim, ended that.
But, I mean, if it’s a broken hand? He’s not Superman.
“He’s out for now,” Jared Bednar said. “Similar situation to Kadri. We’ll see how things go. We’re not really sure yet on either of those guys, what the timeline’s gonna be.”
We still don’t know when Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be. It’ll either be June 15 or June 18, a league source told Colorado Hockey Now yesterday. Tampa Bay tied up their series with the Rangers tonight, so that series will go at least through June 11. The latest that series can go is June 14. Game 6, which is now a certainty, will be on June 11, and if it goes the distance, there’s a three-day break there between 6 and 7.
Sooo…. A bit of waiting around again for the Avalanche. But in this case, with Kadri and Cogs hurt and some other guys probably banged up too, the extra time off might prove very handy. No pun intended.
“We have one step left. I don’t feel like any of our guys are satisfied,” Bednar said. “Advancing has been great, but it hasn’t been our goal from the start. Winning the whole thing has been. Our guys are focused on that. Seems like they’ve been determined, and now we’ll get some much-needed rest. Hopefully we can get more healthy than we are now and get ready to go whenever this starts.”
Asked about the job Pavel Francouz did last night and assessing the goaltending situation moving forward, Bednar said this:
“I think we were just taking it game by game. If he had a good game and was able to get the job done, then we go back to him, regardless of where Darcy’s at. It’s just kind of the circumstances you’re put into. And, you might as well ride it out and see how it goes,” Bednar said. “If, at any point, Frankie stumbled, then we had the option to go back to Kemps. Now, we’ll rethink that and try to come up with our best possible plan for starting the Finals.”
This will be a hot Avalanche topic until Game 1, no doubt. Who should be the starter in goal? We’ll get into that more tomorrow and beyond. For now, it’s lights out. Long day.
Ryan Boulding contributed to this report