Stanley Cup Finals: Lightning’s Brayden Point probable, Avs’ not ruling out Nazem Kadri

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Oct 23, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) shoot as Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) defends during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanley Cup Finals will start on Wednesday night in Denver. That’s where the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning will go head-to-head for the right to be called champions.

Colorado has been sitting idle since June 6 after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers. Meanwhile, the Lightning just ousted the New York Rangers in six games on Saturday.

With the finals set to begin in three days, it gives them more time to rest their wounded.

Stanley Cup Finals injury news

For the Lightning, Braden Point is inching closer and closer to a return from a lower-body injury. During the Eastern Conference Final he took part in team practices and looked like he was ready.

“I don’t know about the probability of Game 1, but it’s extremely probable that he will play in the series,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after beating the Rangers.

Point, 26, posted 58 points in 66 games during the regular season. Before going down in Game 7 in their opening round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he has 2 goals and 2 assists.

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Oct 23, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) skates with the puck as Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) defends during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As for the Avalanche, head coach Jared Bender would not rule out a return for forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano. Both players underwent thumb surgery.

“Similar surgeries, different fingers, thumbs. So both guys are back (around the team),” Bednar said. “Kadri’s in the gym this morning, doing everything he can to get back to being able to play and hopefully, both those guys, we’re hoping that, depending on the timeline, they’ll be able to make their way back into the Finals. We’ll see how it goes when they get playing and whatnot, but we’re hopeful that that could be an option for us.”

Greeley Tribune

Kadri was injured after crashing heavily into the boards in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Evander Kane, who committed the foul was suspended and watched from the press box as the Avs swept the Edmonton Oilers to advance to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2001.

In 71 regular season games this season he registered 87 points. Kadri added six goals and eight assists over Colorado’s first 13 games of the playoffs, including a hat trick in Game 4 of the second-round series against the St. Louis Blues.

Cogliano, 34, was acquired at the trade deadline from the San Jose Sharks. He has 2 goals and 3 points in 11 playoff games.

Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was dealing with an upper-body injury is expected to start Game 1.