girl: Okay, that was fun. And spectacular. The Avalanche not only won the Stanley Cup, taking it from the two-time defending champions, but marched through the playoffs with a 16-4 record. Wow! So let’s post a question that’s sure to spark a heated debate between old-school supporters and fans who’ve recently jumped on the bandwagon: Who will win a seven-game streak between the 2001 Avs and this year’s team?
chambers: This team. That third period was incredible. In 2001, the Avs had to sweat it out in the third period to stay the course and win the trophy with a 3-1 Game 7 win over the New Jersey Devils. The third period of this team was an operation. Colorado dominated the Lightning, limiting a desperate team to four shots. With a 2:1 lead, the Avs kept their place. They had Tampa Bay on their heels. Impressive way to end an incredible 16-4 run.
Take part in our survey
girl: Back in 2001, it took Colorado seven games to survive and get past the LA Kings in the second round. But please remember: Captain Joe Sakic missed part of this series with a shoulder injury. So I view that fear as a badge of honor and adversity at least as significant as the absence of Nazem Kadri and Sam Girard during this run. There’s no denying the dominance of Nathan MacKinnon and the boys. But is it fair to say the Avs had a tougher road to the Cup in 2001?
chambers: The 01 team also lost Peter Forsberg and his whim after Game 7 to the Kings. That was a close streak. But the road to winning the cup is always a mighty grind. I don’t think the 2022 run was less difficult. Just more dominant. Injuries are a staple in chasing the trophy and this team prevailed with ease. The 16-4 despite losing Girard early in the second round and Kadri in the middle of the third round was very impressive. And losing Andre Burakovsky in the cup final hurt. But this team is so deep – deeper than the 01 team. Credit to Joe Sakic and his associates for building this machine.
girl: Let’s toast to Coach Jared Bednar, who rises to every challenge, especially every smart move from Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper. And I’ll always cherish the cigars you and I smoked after Game 6. But I have to say the 2001 Avs were better because it all starts with the goalie in hockey. And nobody has ever been a better money goalie than Patrick Roy. But I’m curious. Can this group of Avs win another championship or two? Am I greedy to believe the answer is yes?
chambers: The cigars were delicious. I’m sure Bednar had an even better one. He deserves it. First head coach to win the Kelley Cup (ECHL), Calder Cup (AHL), and Stanley Cup. A great coach and an even better person. But I’m taking this team over 2001 because outside of the goalie they’re just a better hockey club. And Darcy Kuemper came through in the end. He stopped 21 of 22 shots (.957) in Game 6. He played three excellent games, down three. Roy will always win the comparison, but let’s congratulate Kuemper on getting his job done.