On the eve of tonight’s warm-up, Nazem Kadri put on the Colorado Evalanch uniform in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, which led his team to victory in overtime against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kadri was playing his first match in this final. The 31-year-old veteran withdrew from the game after a severe blow by Evander Kane in Game 3 of the previous series against Edmonton Oilers and underwent thumb surgery on June 6. But now he replaces Quebec striker Nicolas Aube-Kubel on Wednesday, scoring a goal that brought his team closer to the title.
“Everyone has wounds at this stage, but you have to be patient and try to contribute. There has been a wave of emotions lately, I thought it was over for me, and then I hoped again, ”said Qadri. “It’s surreal to be here now. It was a moment I had been waiting for almost my whole life, so it was a lot of fun to get back to training. »
It took some time to realize that the puck had indeed penetrated the net, as it was stuck in the top part and was no longer visible to the public. A few seconds later, the celebration began.
“Lehkonen gave him a good pass and then he hit a lot. There aren’t many people who can’t score like that, ”said coach Jared Bednar. “He showed courage. He worked very hard not only to return, but to return to his best opportunities. It is not easy to recover from such an injury. He and Andrew Cogliano did it, and it shows their loyalty. »
Cogliano also sympathized with Kadri.
“It is not easy to come back like this. We are often in a hurry to return in such circumstances, deadlines are postponed. “But Nazem is a big player and he likes to play at times like that.”
“Given what kind of injury he had, it’s amazing what he did,” he added, without elaborating. He was in a critical condition a few days ago, but playing adrenaline can help you find energy and find a way to perform. There is no better scenario. »
Nathan McKinnon, the author of one of his goals, knows what lies ahead, but he thinks Avalanche will use that momentum to concretize the ultimate victory on Friday.
“We had some difficulties at the beginning of the game, we didn’t have a good first half, but we regained control of the rest of the game. We are going home now and we need another victory. We deserved to win, we were able to dictate the tone in overtime and that gives us impulse For the 5th game. We received a lot of shots and had a chance to score a few goals in extra time.