As a person who spends a great deal of time trying to decide on which words to use, and often using too many to prove a simple point, I’m shocked to realize that in the aftermath of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one word rings loud and clear in my mind.
“I’m going into my ninth year and I haven’t won shit,” Nathan MacKinnon said in the spring of 2021 when his Colorado Avalanche bowed out of the playoffs to an industrious Vegas Golden Knights squad.
And now that MacKinnon’s ninth year is complete, and he’s a Stanley Cup Champion, he’s probably not too miffed about the previous eight. He’s probably looking back at the process and determining that the juice was worth the squeeze.
Resiliency rings true for the entire Avalanche organization, in fact. Plenty were the calls to boot head coach Jared Bednar following a disastrous 2016/17 campaign, one of the worst in the history of the NHL. General Manager Joe Sakic, still relatively new in his tenure, made moves to improve his team, but no one could see the future. Avalanche ownership stuck with him too. And so, from the players on the ice who endured those ups and downs, MacKinnon, Landeskog, Erik Johnson, and JT Compher, to the coaching staff who didn’t make any drastic changes to their style of play, to their management and ownership, the entire organization demonstrated patience and the courage of their convictions, and it paid off. The process worked. That’s a resilient team.
I believe that resiliency occurs in small contained actions and ideals. The whole of those actions often adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Here’s a look at some of the resilient moments from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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