Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper is 100% for Stanley Cup Finals; forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano aren’t ruled out – The Denver Post



The Avalanche injury update on Thursday was perhaps as good of news as fans could have hoped.

Following a light practice, goalie Darcy Kuemper said he is “100%,” and Colorado coach Jared Bednar is hopeful forwards Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano will return from thumb/finger surgeries and play at some point during the Stanley Cup Finals.

“It’s all taken care of,” Kuemper said of the upper-body injury that forced him out of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against Edmonton.

Kuemper, who has started Game 1 of all three series this postseason, was injured midway through Game 1 against the Oilers and was scratched in Games 2 and 3. He was cleared and backed up Pavel Francouz in the series-clinching Game 4.

Kuemper will presumably be the Game 1 starter against the Rangers or Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals, but Bednar, per usual, declined to disclose his plans.

The Avs coach is optimistic Kadri and Cogliano will play in Colorado’s first Cup Finals since 2001. Kadri sustained a broken thumb early in Game 3 against Edmonton and Cogliano went down with a similar injury late in Game 4.

“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.”

Game 1 of the Cup Finals is expected to begin next Wednesday (June 15) or Saturday, June 18, at Ball Arena. The Rangers and Lightning are tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday night. If that best-of-seven series goes the distance, the June 18 Game 1 option would have the Avs not playing for 11 days between games.

Bednar has a plan to balance the long break and keep his team sharp.

“(Friday) we want to get to work,” he said. “So on my work days, I want them to go out and I want them to compete against one another like we did in the breaks between the other rounds and make sure that we’re sharp and crisp and that our details are tight.