Avalanche long layoff before Final discussed on ‘NHL @TheRink’ podcast

JackJohnson isn’t worried about the Colorado Avalanche being rusty from a long hiatus before they play Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

In fact, the Avalanche defenseman said on this week’s NHL @TheRink podcast that the long layoff — it could be up to 11 days — will be good for Colorado.

“We had a big, long break after the first round to play St. Louis and that team didn’t have a rust to shrug off in Game 1 against St. Louis,” Johnson told co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P Roarke. “People just assume you’re going to be rusty. I think every team, every series has a life of its own. It’s a unique, different animal and a different challenge. We don’t go into that thinking, we’re going to be rusty because we did that after the first round, had a long hiatus and it proved beneficial for us to get well, rest and prepare to to get going again for Game 1.”

The Avalanche did not play for seven full days between beating the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Western Conference on May 9 and Game 1 against the Blues in the second round on May 17.

They won Game 1 against the Blues 3-2 and beat them 54-25.

“We’re making the best of the situation,” Johnson said. “We’re on hiatus, which means we’ve got some guys with bumps and bruises who are healing. And the guys who are healthy, we can take the opportunity to practice to refine things. You can train and make sure you’re going to hit the ground running when the next round starts.”

Johnson said he pays more attention to the Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers than any other series that could have impacted the Avalanche.

“You’re definitely taking some mental notes in your head, but when we find out who the next opponent is, we’ll get a lot of information from our coaching staff, so you don’t have to worry about dissecting them a lot. But I’m more careful now than I was in the last three rounds of the playoffs.

Alongside the Johnson interview, Rosen and Roarke spoke about everything Avalanche-related, including the argument over where Kal Makar Ranked among the best defensemen in the NHL.

They also talked about coaching positions in the NHL and which of them (Vegas Golden Knights, Philadelphia Flyers, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets) are the most enticing.

The NHL @TheRink podcast is free and listeners can subscribe across all podcast platforms. It’s also available at NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and on the NHL App.

Listen: New episode of NHL @The Rink

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