Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano return to skating, but not training with full team
Before the Avalanche’s healthy players practiced at a brisk pace for an hour on Sunday, coach Jared Bednar said injured center Nazem Kadri and wing Andrew Cogliano went through a skate session.
Kadri and Cogliano suffered finger injuries in Games 3 and 4 of the Edmonton series, respectively. Kadri was checked from behind by Evander Kane of the Oilers (who was suspended one game) and Cogliano was injured blocking a shot.
Bednar said Kadri and Cogliano did not carry sticks while skating.
Are Kadri and Cogliano ruled out for Wednesday’s opener against Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Finals?
“Not yet,” Bednar said with a smile.
The two days off between games 1 and 2 could benefit both players. Kadri will be two weeks out from injury for Saturday’s second game and Cogliano will be 12 days up.
Winger Andre Burakovsky (maintenance) did not train either.
Happy for EJ Defenseman Erik Johnson is the Avalanche’s oldest player (12th year) and played in all 14 playoff games after missing the playoffs last year.
“He worked a lot, he had bad luck with injuries over the last few years, but he just kept his head down and kept working,” captain Gabe Landeskog said. “He led by example, he’s been a good guy for Cale (Makar), Bo (Byram) and ‘G’ (Sam Girard) and all those guys to lean on. I know that means a lot to him .
Says Byram: “EJ is obviously a big part of our dressing room. He’s a great guy and he’s been great with me since I’ve been here. I learned a lot from him, the most important thing is how he stays stable. Doesn’t bother him too much, whether it’s a mistake or we’re down (in a match). He is the same.
Point status. The Lightning center Brayden Point, who hasn’t played since May 14 (Game 7 in Toronto) due to a lower-body injury, could return to the Finals.
“I don’t know the probability of Game 1, but it’s extremely likely that he will play in the series,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters after Saturday’s win over the New York Rangers.
Point led the Lightning in goals in the past two playoffs (14 apiece).
Experience advantage. The Lightning have a combined 204 Stanley Cup Finals experience on their current roster, compared to just 29 for the Avalanche – Darren Helm (13), Cogliano (six), Burakovsky (five) and Artturi Lehkonen (five) .