As the Colorado Avalanche SB Nation site, it hurts a little bit to see the Stanley Cup Final round about to take place.
Yes, it was a unicorn year, where the team wasn’t supposed to see playoff action at all. And yes, winning any playoff games at all was a ton of fun, especially when the Avalanche faced an opponent like the Nashville Predators.
Still, there’s always going to be a serious case of FOMO when it comes to things like the Stanley Cup, because nothing feels better than being able to cheer for your team in the most consequential games of the year.
That being said, Alex Ovechkin has finally done it.
The last time the Washington Capitals saw the Stanley Cup Final was in 1998, 20 years ago to the date. It’s one of only two other times in the team’s 44-year history that they’ve even reached the third round, and maybe the third time’s the charm; first they hit round three in 1990, then the Final round in 1998, now the Cup parade? Who knows.
People all have their opinions, but here’s a really good read on everything leading up to where the team is now. [The Washington Post]
We can’t forget, though, that they’ve got maybe the hardest opponent in the league: the Team That Cannot Be Beaten, aka the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas-Washington. A Stanley Cup Final involving one team nobody ever dreamed could get that far and Vegas.— DL (@davelozo) May 24, 2018
There’s been a lot of silliness surrounding the Golden Knights in recent weeks, with an absurd amount of revisionist history getting circulated to remind us all the Well Actually, people thought that the expansion draft was rigged and the Knights would be to good from the very beginning! (Of course, nobody thought this, but who doesn’t love completely making up an outrage opinion on the internet?)
In any case, they’ve been a lot of fun to watch this year, and people need to stop ruining that. [Vice Sports]
Before we take a quick look around the league, here’s what you’ve missed in Avalanche land in the last week:
Avalanche prospect Nick Henry is having himself one hell of a Memorial Cup, complete with a hat trick last night. We'll have more on this later this morning.
First, as the draft approaches (hell yeah, draft content!), here’s a look back at some of the best drafting in team history. [Mile High Hockey]
We’ve also got a look at the draft targets that the Avalanche should be eyeballing in the first three rounds... [MHH]
... and then the targets they should be looking at for rounds 4 through 7. [MHH]
One of those players, by the way, could be Ryan Merkley. Take a look at what he could bring if the Avalanche decide to bring him on board. [MHH]
By the way, if you speak French (or don’t mind reading the google translate version of the story), here’s a really awesome piece from back in Quebec on Samuel Girard. Huge hat tip to our writer Jackie, by the way, for finding this for me to share with you all so my sinus infection-y self didn’t have as much work to do! [Le Quotidien]
Also, big congrats to Sven Andrighetto on winning silver this past weekend with Switzerland at the World Championships!
Now, to take a look around the league!
For those with an Athletic subscription, here’s a guaranteed way to make you dry heave! This is the absolutely horrifying story of one Columbus prospect who had his life absolutely ruined for nearly a full year. [The Athletic]
I also don’t want to double back, but we need to talk about how Braden Holtby worked his way back into the conversation with the Capitals over the course of the playoffs. [NHL.com]
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), the Toronto Maple Leafs had some front office shakeups recently.
Former AGM Kyle Dubas is now the general manager of the team, and both former GM Lou Lamoriello and fellow former AGM Mark Hunter are out.
I’m sure you didn’t actually tmss This, since Toronto content finds its way to every single goddamn corner of the internet, so I’m not going to inundate you with thinkpieces about everything.
But this is a nice reminder: all the freaking out being done is, quite literally, just Toronto being peak Toronto media, and it’s fine if we all completely ignore it. [Maple Leafs Nation]