Jared Bednar is four wins away from becoming the first head coach to win the Kelly Cup, Calder Cup and Stanley Cup.
“Well, I mean, my attention is drawn to this cut. I want to add him to the roster and I want our team to get the job done,” Bednar said of his roster, the Colorado Avalanche.
In a star-studded finale, his men meet last two seasons Stanley Cup winners, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Bednar doesn’t really want to live in the past, especially if he could put his name in sports history.
However, he does admit that the playing philosophies that allowed him to be crowned ECHL and American Hockey League champions are the same ones he used during his 48-point 2016-17 season, and possibly the ones that will bring the team its first title in 21 years.
“What worked? My approach to the game and focus on the process that I feel is necessary to be successful,” he summarized.
That includes not hiding from the pain of early second-round elimination for the last three seasons “and trying to find new ways to advance at all levels,” Bednar said.
“The heartbreaking end of the season in the playoffs in recent years has led our entire team to the same mentality,” he said.
After winning just 22 games in his first season at the helm — after Patrick Roy resigned in August 2016 — Bednar has led the Avalanche to the playoffs for the past six seasons.
They finally began to achieve their goals this season as they defeated the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers and defeated the St. Louis Blues in six games midway through the series.
“He’s doing a great job,” said Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon. He is very easygoing, very relaxed but has the ability to change his tone when he needs to. We are of course very lucky to have a guy like him. »
The JT Compher Center went one step further.
“He’s a good hockey player and allows us to compete against anyone, especially thanks to the video sessions and the training sessions. He’s quite calm and sensitive and I think that’s what the room tries to be like. Whether things are going well or badly, we try to keep our spirits up and focus on the future. »
If the Avalanche can dethrone the Lightning, Bednar will switch places with Jon Cooper. The latter will be looking to win a third straight title, a feat that hasn’t happened since the New York Islanders played between 1980 and 1983.
Both Cooper and Bednar found success in the minor leagues of hockey. Cooper won the Clark Cup and Calder Cup with the United States before joining Lightning in 2013.
The series begins Wednesday in Denver, Colorado.