Avalanche raise Stanley Cup banner, start title defense with win
The Colorado Avalanche’s dream 2021-22 season ended with the organization’s third Stanley Cup championship and on Wednesday the team hoisted its banner at Ball Arena.
The Avalanche players started the week by receiving their championship rings, then the season kicked off against the Chicago Blackhawks. But not before Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus led fans into singing « All The Small Things, » the song that was a rallying cry for fans last season.
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Gabriel Landeskog hoisted the Stanley Cup and skated with the trophy and the fans roared as the banner was hoisted to the rafters.
« I actually got really emotional when they did the video before, » defender Jack Johnson said. « One day I can bring my grandkids or my kids, if they don’t believe dad played, and show them. »
Johnson currently plays for the Blackhawks. He was on the Avalanche last season.
Then it was all business.
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Arrturi Lehkonen and Valeri Nichushkin scored two power play goals. Andrew Cogliano scored the other goal, Mikko Rantanen had four assists and Nathan MacKinnon also had two assists. The Avalanche won 5-2.
« Our championship team is in the rafters forever, » Rantanen said. « You don’t think about it too much (now), but I think we’ll appreciate it later. »
Now, Colorado will be looking for back-to-back titles. Since 2005, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins have accomplished the feat.
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« By raising this banner, I just think it’s going to give us more motivation to do it again, » Colorado star Cale Makar said. « Knowing that we all accomplished this together and being together on the ice again, that will only keep us going. »
The Associated Press contributed to this report.