Colorado Avalanche wins Stanley Cup for first time in 21 years
"Find a way." That's what the Colorado Avalanche said throughout the playoffs. On Sunday night, they did.
What to know: The Avalanche won the Stanley Cup — the greatest trophy in pro sports — with a 2-1 victory on the road against the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
- In a sport of lucky and luckless bounces, they made us sweat, taking it to Game 6.
- Still, Mac hit full throttle. Artturi fired like an assassin. Landy was the rock. Kuemper redeemed himself. And Baby Cale dazzled and defended.
- One dynasty fell to the next.
The big picture: The Avalanche hadn't won a Cup in more than 20 years, with the previous two coming in 2001 and 1996.
- The team's 72 wins are tied for the most all time in a single season.
- This team is touted as possibly the best in franchise history.
Why it matters: Just when we needed it most, the Avs delivered for Denver, a proud, sports-loving town experiencing a major championship drought since the Broncos won the Super Bowl in the 2015-16 season.
- The title cements Denver as the new Hockeytown, USA after the University of Denver Pioneers claimed the NCAA title and East won the national high school championship.
BFD: Three hockey titles, at three levels, in one year for one city.
What's more: The city rallied around the Avs like never before.
- Sure, hockey is a winter sport and Colorado's a snow-capped mecca. But the Avs are too often overlooked in a city with Broncos-tinted glasses that can't even hold the gaze of 6-foot-11-inch Nikola Jokić, one of the NBA's all-time greatest players.
This week, however, the streets were awash with burgundy and blue. The team's signature colors even splashed the DIA flight boards to greet travelers.
- Thousands upon thousands watched inside Ball Arena.
What they're saying: In 2021, the Avs won the Presidents' Trophy for the best NHL record and appeared destined for a title, but fizzled in the second round.
So this one meant a lot.
- "It's been almost 10 years since Denver's had a championship, and 20 years since the Avs have won," fan Brian Henry said on his way to a game.
- "So everyone wants something to bring us together."
The bottom line: Nothing good comes easy, but this win is one we can all relish after a few no-good years.
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