Avalanche, Blue Jackets have chance to bond, regroup in Global Series
HELSINKI — The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets hope that 2022 Global Series will begin to heal what ails them.
The Avalanche, the defending Stanley Cup champions, are 4-4-1 but have lost two straight, 1-0 to the New Jersey Devils on Friday and 5-4 to the New York Islanders the day before on Saturday of the flight to Finland to start his European adventure.
“It’s not the result we wanted in New York and New Jersey,” the Avalanche goaltender said Paul French, who stopped 22 of 23 shots Friday. “This is a special experience for us, but we also know that we are playing for four points, so we will do everything we can to win these games.”
Each team trains on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Trips are planned for Wednesday, and games will be played at Tampere’s Nokia Arena on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, ALT, BSOH, SN NOW) and Saturday.
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The Avalanche have a healthy contingent of Finns led by forwards Mikko Rantanen (Nousiainen) and Arthur Lehkonen (Piikkio), and goalkeeper coach Jussi Parkkila (Tampere). They plan to visit several top-notch Finnish restaurants and visit the sauna during their stay here.
front colorado Evan Rodrigues welcomes the week as he settles into the team after signing as a free agent on Sept. 12. The Avalanche is on the eighth of a 15-day road trip. Although it hasn’t gone as well as they’d hoped, with two of the six points so far, Rodrigues believes the work done now will pay big dividends later.
“Yeah, I mean, that’s pretty long [trip]” Rodrigues said. “We were in New York for a week and now here for a week. So I know guys and you’re kind of around each other pretty much 24/7 except when you’re sleeping. I think it’s definitely a good bonding experience.”
Avalanche can afford to link up. They know what they want after winning the Cup. Despair, if it comes, won’t come for a while.
Closer are the Blue Jackets (3-7-0), who held a closed game following a 7-1 loss to the Devils on Sunday. They have lost three straight games by a combined 17-4, four of their last five and are last in the Metropolitan Division.
“Yes, it’s a good time for us, you know, we’ll be together all week,” said Captain Columbus. Boone Jenner said “New food, new city, walking around. It’s a good time to bring the team together and things started on the long flight together.”
The Blue Jackets also have two Finnish players, goalkeeper Joonas Korpisalo (Pori) and forward Patrick Laine (Tampere), and CEO Jarmo Kekalainen is also from Tampere. The team will have a Finnish comedian for them and they will also visit some of the best restaurants and the sauna.
It will all be a nice break from the struggles that were like carry-on luggage during the flight, but the reality of the situation will never be far from their minds. defender Zach Werenski argues that could be a good thing for the Blue Jackets, who were hoping to be in the mix for the Stanley Cup playoffs this season after losing each of their last two.
“These are experiences you want to have on the road and on those road trips and doing it in a different country,” Werenski said. “It’s a new experience for everybody. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I think it just helps teams grow, especially early in the season. It just brings you closer.”
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