< /p> and TVA Sports MISE À DAY
Extasted players, cheering fans and lots and lots of beer: the Colorado Avalanche celebrated their Stanley Cup Final victory in downtown Denver on Thursday.
A few days after triumphing against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the players and staff of the “Avs” paraded through the streets of the Colorado capital in fire trucks.
They were then presented to the thousands of fans on stage, where some members of the organization gave acceptance speeches, including head coach Jared Bednar.
“It's a surreal moment for me. I'll try not to be emotional, but I already am. I love you”, launched the pilot to the crowd.
Bednar highlighted the hard work of his players and their devotion to the team's successes.
“Each player has their story,” he continued. I could talk about each of them and the sacrifices they made for the team. They all blew me away.”
Quebecer Samuel Girard did not miss his entry on the stage erected at Civic Center Park. The one who missed more than half of his team's playoff run with a broken sternum cartwheeled when his name was called.
Bowen Byram the odd one out
As he left the shuttle carrying the players to take in the crowds, young defender Bowen Byram was the victim of a slight misunderstanding. A policeman, who believed he was dealing with a supporter, prevented him from joining his teammates. Fans who witnessed the scene immediately called the peace officer to order and convinced him to let Byram continue his celebrations.
A wink from Nazem Kadri
One of the greatest architects of the Avalanche coronation, Nazem Kadri, made a splash on social networks because of the jersey he wore during the festivities. The inscription “Too Many Men”, attached to an illustration of Kadri and his teammates celebrating a goal, directly refers to the net of the Canadian pivot in overtime of the third game of the final. The achievement had raised the ire of Bolts head coach Jon Cooper, as six Avalanche players were on the ice when Kadri flashed the red light.
A tribute to Blink-182
Anyone who has attended an Avs home game knows that the song “All the Small Things,” by rock band Blink-182, is part of the team culture. The song is sung at every game by fans at the Ball Arena, and has been for several seasons. It was thus obvious that the huge crowd chanted it in chorus. Veteran Erik Johnson sang the first verses of the song a capella before lifting the Stanley Cup.
An impressive drinking binge
It's no secret that a lot of alcoholic beverages are drunk during a Stanley Cup parade. Finnish striker Mikko Rantanen, clearly in a state of inebriation, delivered a hilarious speech to the assembled supporters.
“I will apologize in advance that I won't be able to speak in English after the parade. I will try to speak with “Lehky” the rest of the evening,” he said, referring to his compatriot Artturi Lehkonen.
The former Montreal Canadiens, who scored the winning goal in the decisive game of the final, also made a “shoey” with Rantanen, an Australian tradition which consists of swallowing a beer after having emptied it into his shoe. Lehkonen was later spotted wearing the same shoe.
Moreover, images of Quebecers Nicolas Aubé-Kubel and Samuel Girard celebrating with a certain aplomb quickly circulated on social media. Since their joy (and that of their teammates) is so contagious, here are some of the big hits from the day in Denver:
And finally, what about that t-shirt that striker Nazem Kadri wore? He had it made himself!