It wasn’t the kind of morning Jared Bednar and the Colorado Avalanche wanted. Instead of a champagne hangover, he and the rest of the Avalanche boarded an early-morning flight to Tampa in preparation for a Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final Sunday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning rained on the Avalanche parade plans with a gutsy 3-2 at Ball Arena last night in Game 5. Of course, the Avalanche still have two chances to win one game, all that’s required to then lift the most famous trophy in all of sports.
A loss Sunday, and it’s a Game 7 at Ball Arena Tuesday night. The Avalanche are 0-5 in their last five Game 7s. But, hey, nothing to worry about right?
The Avalanche might get a fresh body back in the form of Andre Burakovsky for Game 6. He accompanied the team to Tampa – unlike for Games 3 and 4 – and Bednar said he’s a possibility to play again. He was for Game 5, too, but the decision was made for him not to play.
“Burky is still considered day-to-day. He’s a possibility for us. He’s traveling with us, so hopefully he can get in the lineup,” Bednar said, with our own Ryan Boulding on hand at DIA before the team took off.
Bednar tried to sound as upbeat as he could moving forward – and looking back at last night’s disappointment.
“Our guys played hard. It was a hard-fought game,” he said. “We created enough chances to win the game. We gave up a few more than I’d like too, and took some penalties that kind of hurt us. But all-around, pretty game, didn’t get it done, now we have to go on the road and win a hockey game.”
Josh Manson also talked before takeoff, and had this assessment:
“You have to have that desperation, because it’s the Finals. You have to be desperate every single game and I think it’s something that we’ve talked about at least,” Manson said. “In St. Louis, they came back on us and we felt like we kind of had to get desperate.”
For the 12th time in 15 years and 43rd time overall, the Stanley Cup Final will require at least six games – with the host Lightning looking to force the 18th Game 7 in Final history.
Tampa Bay became the 17th team to avoid elimination when facing a 3-1 series deficit in a best-of-seven Final (of the 37 who trailed by that margin). Only six have gone on to force a winner-take-all showdown: the 2006 Oilers (4-3 L vs. CAR), 1994 Canucks (4-3 L vs. NYR), 1987 Flyers (4-3 L vs. EDM), 1954 Canadiens (4-3 L vs. DET), 1945 Red Wings (4-3 L vs. TOR) and 1942 Maple Leafs (4-3 W vs. DET).
So, the odds are still in the favor of the Colorado Avalanche. But they’re a little slimmer than they were yesterday afternoon.
AVALANCHE WRAP: Stanley Cup will Travel to Tampa for Game 6
Avs just need to follow the example of TBL captain Steven Stamkos and apply their stick to the upper body of every player when the refs arent watching. Simple.
Maybe our bigger and stronger captain can learn and do same?
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