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Stanley Cup Final




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John Bazemore/AP

It can never be taken away: Colorado Avalanche, 2022 Stanley Cup champions. They did it. They did it. Wire to wire. Incredible.

It’s hard to describe. I’ve covered two previous winners, and it’s still just the most surreal thing – and I’m not a player.

I’ve never seen Nathan MacKinnon smile like that. I’ve never seen Erik Johnson smile like that. Gabe Landeskog. Mikko Rantanen. Joe Sakic.

Wait, yeah, I’ve seen Sakic smile like that. On Florida ice, 26 years ago actually.

What a team. They were consistently excellent ALL YEAR LONG. They were the favorites or whatever, wire to wire. They had injury issues, and overcame all that. They had other normal adversities and overcame that. They fell behind tonight 1-0, and everybody got real nervous again.

But then the Avs just went to work in the second period, got a 2-1 lead and locked that thing DOWN in the third period. Other than a later Nikita Kucherov slap shot, I don’t recall one good scoring chance for the Lightning in the third.

Superstreak Bonus!

Hats off to Tampa Bay for two straight Cups and a third Final appearance. But the Stanley Cup belongs to the Colorado Avalanche now. We’ll be seeing pictures all summer long of players posing with it, along with their families and friends.

Every player on the Avs, every front office staff member, gets to have the Cup for a day this summer. For Jared Bednar, a great guy and now proven a truly great coach, it’s a rich reward from that awful first year of 2016-17, that 48-point season.

He’s the first coach in hockey history to win a Kelly Cup, a Calder Cup and a Stanley Cup. What an accomplishment.

No more doubts, no more second-guessing of this team. They don’t have to hear it anymore.

That’s because, the Colorado Avalanche are the Stanley Cup champions.

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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Watched the 1996 finals with my brother in Germany, the 2001 finals when I lived in Colorado and now again for the first time since 96 with my bro who originally got me hooked on the Avs! Sports are really just a distraction from everyday life, but actually they also mean quite a bit to us fans! Having seen those 3 teams, you really gotta tip your hat to Joe Sakic for his painstaking work of assembling this team. And really who would have thought that at the absolute nadir, the 48pt season in 2016/17… he would lay the groundwork… Read more »


So much fun riding along with you Dater…thank you !!


Wait, the series isn’t over. Jon Cooper and his legal team are searching the rule book for a loophole . . .

Last edited 5 months ago by Paul

Meanwhile, Cooper rambled on in an 10-minute ESPN interview about his team and all its horrible injuries and torturous adversity and made sure to mention all the championships he had won, yet the guy never said a word about the best team in hockey. Whatta arrogant, self-entitled loser.

Last edited 5 months ago by Paul

Yeah no kidding! That was pathetic. I mean Tampa sure..great achievement and hats off! But not acknowledgment of the Avs..that’s just poor!

Karl Keen

Saw that. I can see why his players like him and he is a good coach and advocate for his team, but to not give the Avs any credit whatsoever shows what a douche he truly is. I respect TBL as a team (apart from Maroon -a St. Louis native unsurprisingly), but not their coach


The Avs had too many men on the ice in the post-game celebration.

Charlie Anderson

omg I love you Paul XD

Joel Stefaniak

You win the internet today sir! LOLOLOL!

John mauss

I’d rather play a team of goons than a team of lawyers! Tampa Bay-bies. Wonderful season from the Avs. Thank you every member of this talented and fun to watch ream.

Charlie Anderson

Tampa-Baybies XD

Roger Hutton

Congrats, Avs. First game this coming season; Avs-Lightning.


The Avs played a game that folks said they couldn’t play. A tight, low scoring game with excellent defense. A fabulous third period in staying on the puck and shutting down the Lightening.


Like them or not, the Lightning were the defending Cup champion and beating the champion is a hell of a lot more fulfilling then beating the Rangers. We don’t have to hear “they didn’t have to play Tampa” or “they had an easier path to win”. Playing St Louis was a blessing because they had to grind to win and couldn’t take their foot off the gas, or else and it paid off tonight beating the defending champs.on their home ice when they had momentum. This Cup was EARNED!

Charlie Anderson

Woooooooooooo!!!!!!!! Congrats Avs Nation! Eat it naysayers!


Wohoo 🥳🎉 21 long years is over 😁😁😁 Having been an Avs fan for almost 28 years, dating back to Nordiques days, living in Norway, this was surreal. My sleep schedule these last two weeks have been all over the place, game starting at 2am, finishing around 5, then having to get up at 7-8 again to go to work. So when those final seconds ticked down last night, I broke down. I was just so tired & drained after these last weeks, I couldn’t stop my happy tears this morning. After that I only got 2 hrs of “sleep”… Read more »

Dave North

Very similar story for me, but in Sweden instead of Norway. I started following the Nordiques when they drafted Sundin and followed the team to Denver. In a way that was quite similar in the way that Quebec finished dead last in the NHL and then became Stanley Cup champions as Avalanche.

This was a fantastic run and an amazing finish. I had tears in my eyes when Gabe handed EJ the cup. Now I look forward to several nights of uninterrupted sleep. 😴


It was Forsberg for me, so at least it was a Swede, right? 😉
Yes, sweet sweet sleep, come to me 😴
Gonna be some awesome dreams at least 🥳🎉🏆

Dave North

Yes well, if Sundin was the one who got me interested, it was Forsberg who got me hooked. 😊

Sleep well!


Yesterday was a strange day. Kinda moping around and not having a great feeling on how the game will go. After giving up that first goal, the stress level shot up, but then the Avs did what they do and went to work. I really couldn’t believe there was really only one scare in the 3rd. Talk about total domination in terms of dictating the play and keeping possession. What a win, congrats Colorado Avalanche!

Karl Keen


I’m realizing how wrong I was about so much this season…LOL I’ll recap it one day in the future but going to soak this in!

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