DENVER (KDVR) — The Stanley Cup Final between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning begins Wednesday at Ball Arena and coach Jared Bednar is keeping it a mystery who will start in net.
Bednar said Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano are listed as day-to-day but beyond that, he’s relying on everybody against a deep Lightning team.
The Bolts have won the Stanley Cup the last two years in a row and with their third straight trip to the Final, there’s no doubt they have a plethora of experience in the postseason.
“Lots of experience, they know how to win, we get it,” Bednar said in a postskate conference Wednesday morning. “I feel like we’ve been preparing our team for this moment since day one of training camp plus the experiences we’ve gained over the last few years and I feel like our team is on an even keel right now.”
The question of experience versus deep-playoff inexperience has been raised but Bednar is not worried about that factor.
“Love our leadership, starting with Landy all the way down and we’re prepared and ready to go play our game. That’s the most important thing,” Bednar said. “I don’t think we’re going to shy away from the moment. I think our focus is good and they may have more experience but we’re here to try and prove that we’re the best team in the league. That’s where our mindset is at.”
Bednar and the players are dialing in their nerves and coach said it is more anxiety for the guys after having a lot of days to rest.
“I mean I think just excited, this is what you dream of,” J.T. Compher said at the conference. “Last night just mentally getting ready for the game. I think we’re all just super excited. It’s a great opportunity for this group.”
“I think nerves are inevitable, I think nerves are good. We’ve all played in big games but this is sort of a different type of microscope,” Logan O’Connor, who won a national championship with the University of Denver hockey team in 2017 said. “But we’re trusting our preparation over the last eight days and then, you know, over the last year.”
FOX31’s Myck Miller will be discussing the team’s preparation for Game 1 at 3 p.m. on FOX31 NOW. Check back to watch in a player above in this story.