Colorado Avalanche: Will winning Stanley Cup mean as much this year?

If the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup, it will still mean greatness

It has been interesting watching the discussions from fans and others about the [*] asterisk they believe will go beside the name of this season’s Stanley Cup winner. There has been discussion about it not meaning as much and I’m struggling to see how that can be the case.

Look at the season that the Colorado Avalanche has had and the journey they have taken to get to the place of playing for the Stanley Cup. Their regular season, cut short though it was, was hampered by a number of their core players being out with injury for weeks.

That didn’t stop the rest of the team from stepping up and stepping in to take on key roles which meant that the team finished the regular season with 42 wins (the same as the St Louis Blues), ending with a total of 92 points and finishing second in the Division.

Every Player on the Colorado Avalanche Contributed

Each and every player played the season with the grit and determination to win more games than they lost. They set out to be the best in the West and had it not been for the COVID 19 virus and the season being stopped before all games were played, that was highly likely to happen.

Then you throw the team the curveball of giving them what would normally be their Summer break, right when they were geared up to play for the Stanley Cup in the playoffs. Mentally that must have been a letdown.

Three months later the players are told that the season is recommencing, with a modified format and that their chance to play for the Cup is still very much on. Players had to then get themselves into not only ‘play hockey mode’ again, but ‘play Stanley Cup Playoffs mode.’

Playoff Hockey That’s Not Normal

After having experienced playoff hockey live for the first time last year, there is a totally different intensity to each and every game, so the players have been asked to switch themselves from off to full-on mode in the manner of a couple of weeks.

Then, to top it all off, they are sent into an unreal environment of living in a closed-off bubble, playing games with no fans, which ultimately means no added adrenalin and hype to spur them on and living without their families.

Okay, so they do that when they are on a road trip normally, but that’s for a few nights during the playoffs normally. We aren’t talking about weeks.

For any team to come through all of this and win the Stanley Cup I say they deserve extra kudos. That asterisk beside their name on the Cup might mean to some people that it’s not as valuable as other years.

To me, it means that the team that has won has met more challenges than normal and played the game in a way like never before.  They deserve the utmost respect.

Sure, playing hockey is their day job. And they are paid millions for it. But would you do what they’ve all done for the love of the game, hockey?  Would you leave life and go live in a bubble, get yourself mentally prepared to win a cup that is fiercely fought, and considered one of the toughest to win under normal circumstances, in the life currently presented in 2020?

For me, it takes guts and determination. Some other teams players have opted out of playing in the playoffs. Not the case with any of the Colorado Avalanche players. They’re all in. If they hoist the Stanley Cup, come September it will be a very well deserved win in my books, asterisk or no asterisk.