With Mikko Rantanen In His Place: No Kadri, No Problem. For Now
EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Nazem Kadri is back in Denver and recently had thumb surgery. The team has not announced how long he would be out for. The Stanley Cup Finals will start either the 15h or 18th, as Colorado Hockey Now reported exclusively today, and that will give Kadri about eight to 11 days to heal up and maybe – maybe – be able to play in the Finals against either Tampa Bay or the New York Rangers.
The second line was shifted and adjusted in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. The next guy up to take over the second line center role was Mikko Rantanen. He finished the game going 3-for-8 in the faceoff dot and one shot on net which happened to be a power play goal in the third period.
Switching to center isn’t completely new to the Finnish winger. During the regular season oach Jared Bednar was experimenting with lines throughout the season in case something like this happened during the playoffs.
Mikko Rantanen, who tallied his second goal of the playoffs in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, went on to score a goal in each game. Tonight’s goal gave the team a 5-4 lead late in the third period.
“We’ve been down and going into the third down a couple of goals and we always stick with it in the regular season too,” said Rantanen, ” You just have to put the second period past us and get over it.”
Rantanen was drafted 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in 2015. He finished the regular season with as the Avs leading goal scorer and point scorer with 36 goals and 92 points. Though he hadn’t been scoring a lot of goals before this series, he now has five goals and 12 assist through the playoffs. He is tied for third on the team with points at 17 with captain Gabe Landeskog. During his playoff career he’s played 57 games, with 23 goals and 46 assists.
“I think sticking with it always, you know, maybe not scoring but like I said before it’s the time of the year you know, you don’t think about it too much,” said Rantanen, “You try to do other things that help the team win. So that’s the biggest thing for every individual.”
The Avs power play were 2-for-2 tonight with Cale Makar and Rantanen each tallying a goal. The Avs power play continues to be top in the league with
The Colorado Avalanche will head to their first Stanley Cup Finals series in 21 years. This will mark the first Final for many of the players, including Rantanen.
Still some unfinished business, in other words. But the dream is getting closer to being realized.