There was no update on Tuesday about avalanche center Nazim Qadri and his ability to play in the first game of the Stanley Cup Final. Qadri underwent surgery on his thumb after injuring him in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals. Since then, he has been skating in front of the team, but without a stick.
He hasn’t taken part in any team workouts as of this moment, so that’s a bad sign that he’ll be available for the first match. It would be difficult to throw him there for the cup final without practicing today with his teammates. But, we’ll see.
Otherwise, the stage is set and it’s almost time to play. Media Day was a real event at the Ball Arena, where cakes, food and “pods” were served to meet the Avalanche players. There were twenty players, along with coach Jared Bednar and general manager Joe Sakic. Bednar spoke about his team’s resilience and lessons learned from previous years.
“It’s the focus we’ve had from day one. I think what we’ve been through over the last two years has helped that mental resilience and toughness,” Bednar said.
Sakic was a spectator this time around and would instead watch from the top of the ball skate alongside his avalanche teammates Patrick Roy, Ray Burke and other teammates at the 2001 Stanley Cup.
“I’m excited about the players. After doing that, there are a lot of outside influences, there are things that happen that you have to deal with, you get a lot of phone calls that people want to come in, they get tickets and they wish you well,” Sakic said. But I think the closer you get to playing, as soon as you start playing, now you’re up and ready for the match.”
Today’s skate was optional and did not include Kadri or Andrew Cogliano. Other participants include Darcy Comber, Jack Johnson, Ryan Murray, and others.
Notes and notes:
- Media Day is as crazy as it is. There are people and cameras everywhere and you have to meet someone along bold name.
- Players seem relaxed and relaxed while talking to everyone. The focus remains on “the task is not done yet”.
- Ball Arena has been completely changed. Huge kudos to the staff, as it looks amazing. Not just for media day but with the signage, extra seating and media workplace – it’s top notch.
- Parking in Denver is going to be a mess. I would suggest going to Ball Arena as soon as possible or using public transportation. They even charge the media $40 to park their cars…bring your wallets.
- Bo Byram celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday and talked about playing with Eric Johnson, saying, “He’s a great friend but also a great captain in the locker room.”
- The Colorado Avalanche hosts a viewing party at the Tivoli Quad across the street from the Ball Arena. It is a parking room only and I would expect it to be packed. Ticket information here.