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Stanley Cup Final

DATER: Game 6 Avalanche Thoughts, Observations, Exclamations

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gabe landeskog
NHL Network

It used to be such old hat to me as a Colorado Avalanche chronicler. Division title. Ho hum. Presidents’ Trophy, ho hum. Trips to the Western finals, ho hum. A Stanley Cup? No, that was never a ho-hum thing, even in those early glory years of the Avalanche, from 1995-2002. In six of the Avalanche’s first seven years in town, they made the Western finals six times and won the Cup twice.

I have to admit: it was the strangest damn sight I think I’ve ever seen tonight, Avalanche players lifting that big silver chalice again. When the clock finally hit all zeroes at Amalie Arena and Avalanche players started throwing their helmets and gloves in the air and started hugging each other, it really did seem unreal for a couple of minutes.

After ALL the struggles for this team the last, oh, 10 years or so. After so many ups and downs and playoff disappointments and through all that talk, talk, talk about “learning to win” and “learning from mistakes” and…yes, they really did learn from it all, didn’t they?

$20 Dollar Bonus Voucher!

Here’s the best thing for all these guys: nobody can ever, ever, ever, ever take away what they accomplished on the mushy ice in Tampa tonight. These guys will have ups and downs to go in their lives. Some might not even be with the team much longer. But everybody who was on this team, along with coaches and support staff, will get their names chiseled on the Stanley Cup. They will be there, in some form, for all of eternity. That’s how powerful winning this thing is.

Some other thoughts, quotes, observations:

  • The Avalanche defense in the third period was absolutely phenomenal. Didn’t give the Lightning a sniff.
  • Artturi Lehkonen, with the game-winner. Just like we had it all drawn up, right? What a pickup by Joe Sakic at the deadline. And, he’ll be an Av for many years to come.
  • Darcy Kuemper? He made us all nervous many times, but he got the job DONE. He’s a Stanley Cup champion goalie.
  • Cale Makar’s year was just OK. Only a Norris Trophy, a Conn Smythe and a Stanley Cup. And he’s….23!
  • Makar’s brother Taylor, also an Avs draftee, sat with him on the podium after the game.
  • If Joe Sakic doesn’t win NHL executive of the year? Then, just never give out that award ever again.
  • Jon Cooper: “We’re not done. Today is a crushing loss … but the Colorado Avalanche is one heck of a hockey team.”
  • Cooper said this team is “right up there with the Islanders and the Oilers” of the 1980s. Not quite. A great run, but not that good. And, I’m sorry, but beating Montreal last year in a screwed-up playoff format – hats off, but that wasn’t a real Cup run. The format wasn’t their fault, but that wasn’t a real Cup IMO. Not trying to sound petty, but that’s how I feel.
  • Oh man, I don’t really want to admit here the number of DaterJinxes I worked tonight, privately. It would be embarrassing. Some day, I’ll reveal. But, yeah, I worked it tonight.
  • Nazem Kadri told his doubters they can “kiss my ass.”
  • That’s why I love Naz.
  • Can they keep him, though?
  • Let’s address that another time soon.
  • Andre Burakovsky had a broken ankle AND a broken thumb. And yet, he tried to play.
  • He’s probably going to leave as a UFA though. It’s a shame he couldn’t play in the final few games. A real shame.
  • Valeri Nichushkin was limping around all day, but he played – and played very well. As I said earlier today, skating on a bad foot can be different than walking on a bad foot.
  • Nathan MacKinnon had a great Game 6. Perfect shot on his goal.
  • He told Emily Kaplan: “Words can’t describe how I feel.”
  • Erik Johnson and Gabe Landeskog, the best of friends now, sat on the bench in full uniform long after the game, just soaking it in, taking selfies and laughing and smiling.
  • Stan and Josh Kroenke were both on the ice. Not a bad year for Stan the Man. A Super Bowl a few months ago as Rams owner, now a Cup. This is his second Cup as owner, by the way. He was there in 2001- having taken over not too long before from Bill Laurie.
  • My son, Tommy, a huge Avs fan: “I won’t be able to sleep tonight dad.”
  • The parade is Thursday.
  • Five players – EJ, Landy, MacKinnon, Compher and Mikko, along with Bednar and Sakic – remain from 2016-17.
  • Landeskog to old friend Lauren Gardner to NHL Network: “After 16-17 it could have been easy to fire the coach…after losing in the second round again, they could have blown it up again. But they just stuck with us.”
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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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kimjongwil

AD and staff- Great season covering the team!

Donald Victory

Touche AD and TF and KH and CHN staff. Look forward to maybe some player internviews if they stay in Denver for the summer, some of the courage playing through injuries, some insight as to some players not really showing but the depth prevailing, etc!

Donald Victory

And CHN thoguhts on next year’s roster, and now that we are the champions what free agent players might be willing to play for the defending champions for reduced cap hit to have this chance. So sick of TBL whining their two Cup success and using the cap as a qualifier. All teams faced the same cap, except TBL who used LTIR to cheat last year. Will the owners close down that loophole? Clearly Sakic could have played that game with LandesKog (he shook the Dog). How come the national media never brought that up? Good to see karma knock… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Donald Victory
Charlie Anderson

Wow. Sure didn’t expect you to show your troll face here again after the Avs actually win. Don’t you only show up for losses to rub it in? I’ll believe you are an Avs fan when the sun comes up in the West. Where’s your big huge apology to Bednar and all the Avs players you’ve been cursing and throwing shit on since you showed up to troll a couple months ago?

Matthew Benedetti

Good call Charlie, I seen that scumbag making comments on MHH as well, and I hate it. Dude is absolutely not an Avs fan, and I am so excited that he gets to see nothing but Avs are champs stories for the next 3 months.

Lets get a mute button on here so I don’t have to read that sad sack’s comments ever again.

Eat it Donald Losery.

Casey Pond

I like his posts. Does not sugar coat and not as blind so so many of you! Sometimes you have to be stern to get the most out of a team. Seems the all player meeting without Bednar paid dividends.

Many were doubting Bednar. It was said over and over last night. But I suspect you had your selective ear muffs on?

Jamie Frarck

2 questions dater. One: when do their names actually go on the cup? Before they get their day?2: when can we see locker room footage, disservice that abc/altitude/espn doesnt stay around for that like MLB

dp10

Tampa has had a lot of success in recent years…and yeah a team with Stamkos, Kucherov, Hedman and Vasilevskiy will always be hard to beat. To be honest I wasn’t so sure we’d come out on top. But I think all in all, the Avs really just wanted it more …MacKinnon dragging Landy off the ice speaks volumes!

Charlie Anderson

Wooooooooohooooooooo!!!! Congrats Avs Nation! Great work covering these Champs CHN.

ricoflashback

Fabulous year, A.D. And it was made that much better with CHN and all the contributions from you, the other writers and all the fans who posted here. For those younger fans out there – – enjoy this Avs Stanley Cup. World Championships don’t come along that often. Savor them. The glow will last all summer long.

Donald Victory

Anything beats the Denver Pravda. I will subscribe here but never DP!

dk

What a season! At times hard to bear, but in the end it’s all drowned out by the gleam of that shiny Cup.

It sure was great to see Dermie and Murray both in skates and hoisting the Cup. And all the other contributors too.

mattburns88

Loved seeming Demi on the ice! Murray… Meh… but glad to see all the guys who had ice time during the year got a chance to skate with the cup.

Justus, the 2026 starter??? Had a decent year in Loveland.

Bob Neal

Good stuff as always from you and the gang- When McDonough said about halfway through the 2nd period “the Avs are really back on their heels” I thought they’d win the game. I always love that east coast bias. Congratulations to the Avs. Great to see MacKinnon get the “monkey” off his back and The Johnson brothers finally get a Cup.

mattburns88

McDonough was TERRIBLE… he miss called so many Avs players and could hardly tell a shot on goal from a blocked or a missed net. Chicken Parm wasn’t a whole lot better either.

Paul

If McDonough didn’t have a famous daddy, he would be just another no-name broadcaster, And Ferraro is every bit as bad if not worse. #CareerHack

Paul

Feel good for a lot of guys, but Kuemper most of all. Not only did he outplay TGGITHOH (The Greatest Goalie In The History Of History) four times out of six, but he set up the biggest goal of the series. He proved a lot of people wrong in the process, but I never had a doubt, really. He should be at or near the top of the must-sign list.

mattburns88

Agreed. I think he’s been dealing with something, I hope we hear what’s been bother him and how long he’s been dealing with it.

That save in the 3rd was so much better then the TV crew gave him credit for.

Paul

One more SC ring, and Kuemper can drown out the noise, Patty Wah style. #47-14-4

Donald Victory

…beating Montreal last year… Precisely. Both years were the Lightening won the Cup were shorteded seasons. Not taking anything away from their two Cups, but they played two half-seasons! Not 82. And against Montreal — and you all know I love the Habs and the Havs as well — were a fluke to get to the Final. They finished dead last in 2021-22. Even lower than Seatlle and Arizona. Hardly a real run to compare to the teams of yesteryear. Cooper is a fake really, on a team full of poor sports who looked like old whores put up wet… Read more »

Charlie Anderson

Where’s your apology to Bednar and the other Avs you have been insulting since you showed up to troll here a couple months ago?

Chris Lesnansky

I’m with you. My goodness, even in victory, all he talks about is how the Lightning don’t deserve their cups. No positives. From Mikko being overpaid (for a multiple 30+ goal scorer) to ripping on Mackinnon (a top 3 player in this league) to Bednar (the mastermind behind this), think he should be grateful for the way they do things because they brought us the first cup in 20 years because of their play.

Donald Victory

You are one blind mouse.

Casey Pond

::!::

I’ll do it for him!

Donald Victory

Oh someone has some feelings hurt? Wahhhhhhhh! Many questioned Bednar, his ability to keep a team moving in the right direction. Please insert your pacifier and go to your crib.

Donald Victory

I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry Bednar, you have always been a championship calibur coach despite four years of losing in the playoffs. No one doubted you but me. I am so apologetic. I am sorry Nathan for callin you Happystick, your sucess rate of five percent splitting multiple defense and scoring on 10 percent of those was careless of me and totally false. You split and scored every time so why not continue soething that works constantly. I am sorry Gabe for calling you LazyDog for San Jose, that was not your fault. Nor were the cadre of penalties you took… Read more »

mattburns88

Kemps… you miss Kemps. You where a Frankie guy until he gave up some questionables in the WCF. Then I’m pretty sure you back to Frankie after game 3 of the SCF… so yeah, wishy washy.

I mean… typical Masshole/New Yorker/Queeb attitude. I live in in the NE so, nothing new for me but growing up in Denver… you dent some polite midwestern sensibilities.

AND you’re not wrong but no one’s perfect so to expect perfection for 100+ games a year… is a little over the top… but very “French Canadian” of you.

Oh wait you’re a Habs fan!

mattburns88

For as tough and “resilient” as the Bolts are supposed to be they sure looked like a bunch of spoiled brats during this series.

Cory Perry is a child…

Donald Victory

Moronoon was dirty, very slow too. Perry is worse than Stastny by team hopping in how of a SC ring. I think Perry has one. Where will he play next year, Havs? LOL!

mattburns88

The Big Rig really looked out of his league, besides the game 3 goal and that was just bad D and Kemps looking lost. So many times he should’ve sat for 2 for dumb stuff, if it wasn’t the finals he might have played his way to the bag skate list (healthy scratch). “The Worm” picked up one with the Ducks (07) the year AFTER Giggy played all world for that one playoff run.NO WAY they let the guy in the locker room, Beds and Landy wouldn’t want to deal with that, he can take his curse else where. Stammer… Read more »

Donald Victory

Come on Team, only four down votes? Where you (poor grammar) at? (Where are you? – proper). I will truly miss all of you. The mindless and meaningless simple minded attacks, the appreciative down votes, and the blind love for a misfiring team that needed to change to be better.

I will miss you! Victory is ours!

mattburns88

You’re our Cory Perry!

Since I don’t get paid to comment… grammar is not my concern, so if it get to you… GOOD!

John Mauss

Couple afterthoughts. Now we know a great team with an average goalie can beat an above average team with a great goalie. Let,s tackle that chicken and egg thing next. Also, wasn’t it great to see an Avs team with a third period lead, attack, attack, attack!

Donald Victory

Indeed!

mattburns88

I understand the perspective to the untrained eye. Yes he “struggled” in the playoffs but over the course of the regular season he was a top 10 goalie in the league… statistically. If I’m Joe, Kemps is #2B on my list of UFA’s to resign. We’re NOT going to get a great goalie… There are exactly 2 of them in the league right now, Demko might be a the third but the Chunks are terrible sooooooooo… (basically he’s another Kempuer) *Kads (Xmass wishes) 1 Val 2 Lehky (RFA?) 2B Kemps If someone is going to be held accountable in the… Read more »

Glendon Gulliver

The top two goalies lost. The Vezina Trophy finalists all lost. The Avs won because they were the best team from top to bottom and played like a TEAM. The team won. It was not because of Makar, or MacKinnon, or Kemper. Someone had a bad game? Someone picked up the load. Everyone contributed and no one gave up. Kemper is a good goalie, but like any good goalie, he needs a great team in front of him, playing great defense. The greatest goalie in the history of hockey gave up 21 goals in six games against the Avs and… Read more »

Karl Keen

It’s been fun complaining, critiquing, and rooting with all of you, particularly dk, rico, Bob Neal, Charlie, dp10, and even you Donald :).

What happened to Yan though? I swear he is actually Girard. He stopped posting the night Girard got injured.

Jeffrey Anderson

Avs are 2022 Stanley Cup Champs! They FOUND A WAY! Let that sink in…especially for all the haters on this site. I’ll have a smile on my face the rest of the summer because of this dominant run!!

Jim Cardenas

All in all this has got to be the greatest year for Colorado hockey;

1. East high school national champions.

2. D.U. NCAA champions.

3. Avalanche NHL champs!

Mic drop

Donald Victory

I heard this last night on ABC too. Thank you for the information!

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