Colorado Avalanche fans shouldn’t be too worried about the nine days off between NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games, even if it takes a period to find their legs. Just look at their adversaries, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bolts seemed to be a whole new hockey club after sweeping the Florida Panthers in round two and then waiting for their next opponent, the New York Rangers, to finish off the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games. The pause did them wonders. It wasn’t nine games of course, but I wouldn’t sweat it.
Now we’re hearing that the layoff might even allow for the return of both Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano for Colorado. Remarkable in that both are coming off hand surgery during the Western Conference Final. Kadri was knocked out of the series against the Edmonton Oilers by Evander Kane in Game-3 and Cogliano blocked a shot in Game-4. They’re not being ruled out of the series and are skating without sticks.
As reported, we could see Tampa Bay center Brayden Point as early as Game-1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, although the Lightning have suggested Game-2 is more realistic. Point missed the last two rounds after suffering a lower body injury in Game-7 in the opening round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Oh yeah, not sure if you guys heard, the Leafs got knocked out in the first round again. (Which elicits Mike Myers’s Scottish father’s character in “So I Married an Axe Murderer”, a highly underrated film, when he said, “SMART ASS!”)
The New York Rangers avoided Vitali Kravtsov becoming a restricted free agent (RFA) in July when they signed him to a one-year contract on Sunday. Kravtsov did not accept his assignment to the Hartford Wolfpack of the American Hockey League when he failed to make the Rangers out of training camp last fall, so the 22-year-old, left-shot forward was loaned to Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Russian KHL, where he tallied six goals and seven assists in 19 regular season games and seven goals and three assists in 15 playoff games.
The highly touted winger was the Rangers first-round pick back in 2018 and had 4 points in 20 NHL games for the Rangers in the 2020-’21 season.
National Hockey Now
— Who are the likeliest salary cap casualties for the Montreal Canadiens? Simply put, defenceman Jeff Petry, as well as Shea Weber’s contract, are apparently on the NHL trading block.
— It’s not quite an NHL trade rumour, but the Boston Bruins need a new head coach. Jimmy Murphy is all over this one. Sources told Murphy who the Bruins have interviewed thus far.
— Assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson got the boot, and interim head coach Andrew Brunette’s status is up in the air with the Florida Panthers.
Without the full history lesson, needless to say, Cam Neely won’t be hiring Ulfie in Boston. (Umm, let’s just say they really didn’t get along too well on the ice, Ulfie smashed Cam’s knee, and Neely was ready to kill him.)
Btw, it’s our 2nd movie reference; the large, angry Comox, BC native played the character ‘Seabass’ in “Dumb and Dumber”.
The Stanley Cup Final starts in two days. The NHL Draft begins July 7th. Here’s a couple of Vancouver Canucks related links if you’ve got the itch.