2022 Stanley Cup Final preview

The Avalanche host Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday night at 6:00 PM
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 11:06 AM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Stanley Cup Final is finally here! After ten days off, the Colorado Avalanche are ready to go. The Avs host Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Ball Arena, with the puck dropping shortly after 6:00 PM Wednesday in Denver.

It’s been 21 years since Colorado hosted a Stanley Cup, finishing off the 2001 series in 7 games. The Tampa Bay Lightning have much more recent history with the cup, winning the championship in 2020 and 2021, now going for a three-peat against the Avalanche.

Tampa Bay lost the season series to Colorado, and they enter the Stanley Cup Final with very little rest. The Lightning won the Eastern Conference just three days ago. The Avalanche swept their last series over Edmonton, and haven’t played since June 6.

That layoff could help, it could hurt, but either way the Avs have to be at their best to beat the best.

“The challenges on the ice are pretty obvious,” says head coach Jared Bednar. “We are facing the best team over the last three seasons. They are highly committed defensively, and it’s gonna be difficult to create scoring chances. We have to stay patient and resilient.”

Bednar and General Manager Joe Sakic addressed the media Tuesday at Ball Arena. Both NHL veterans acknowledged the challenge of facing Tampa Bay, a two-time reigning champion. But Sakic in particular stressed the electric atmosphere at Avalanche home games, saying he believes the Colorado crowd is going to raise their game even further on the biggest stage.

“The atmosphere, the crowd, it’s been unbelievable all year,” Sakic told hundreds of reporters at Stanley Cup Media Day. “It’s electric in this building, and it’s only gotten more and more electric as the playoffs have gone on. We’re excited to play here in front of our fans.”

That electric energy will be on a whole new level Wednesday night. Game 1 starts just after 6:00 PM at Ball Arena, with ticket prices the highest for any hockey game in over a decade. The Avalanche are 2-time Stanley Cup champions, facing the back-to-back reigning champions.

Get ready, Colorado. The Stanley Cup Final is here.

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