Paul Klee: It doesn’t make sense, but Jared Bednar is in the hot seat for the Stanley Cup-favorite Avalanche | Premium


DENVER – One of the most fun sporting activities is watching sport with someone who has never watched the sport before. There is a video on the Internet about it.

Four Irish people watch American football, a Chicago Bears game with Jay Cutler. As a former resident of Ireland, I can attest that they know as much about American football as Americans know about European football, and that’s not a lot.

Here’s how the video goes: “It’s very violent and athletically enjoyable. … He has 53 rushes. So he’s good at hurrying? … I consider myself a straight man, but these are tight pants. … They have a cage on their face. … They are tight pants. You can see everything when he jumps.

Likewise, good luck trying to explain the harness that accompanies Avalanche coach Jared Bednar this season. He’s just won a Presidents’ Trophy, staged one of the big turnovers seen here, and now he’s going to line up the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Is this guy in the hot seat?

It makes as much sense as a non-football fan watching Cutler for the first time: “He’s so sad.”

But that’s where we are with Bednar and the Avs, opening the camp Thursday for another highly anticipated and sure to be impressive hockey season of action. On the carpet.

I guess we’ll call it the Burden of Success, as the ultimate success manages to slip away from you.

Hey, I don’t make the rules. The Avalanche made the rules. Joe Sakic made the rules when he said last season’s Avalanche were “a team as deep as the one we’re going to have here.” Nathan MacKinnon set the rules when, after another semifinal outing, he proclaimed:. “The Avs raised their own bar, then stumbled against Vegas 4-2 in the playoffs.

“This is another opportunity for us to reach our goal. Last year’s playoffs are a bit stinging, and we’ll use that to motivate us, ”Bednar said Tuesday on a Zoom call.

Strange, but you could argue that there is no warmer seat in Denver sports than Bednar’s – and it did the best job of all. Bud Black’s Rockies are in last place again, a statement that requires context, but you get it. Michael Malone has been great, but the forks will come for him if the Nuggets don’t take a leap. Vic Fangio is 2-0 with the Jets on Sunday.

Be ready.

Bednar is in the zone without context. The recovery from a first season of 48 points is in the rearview mirror. Gaining the No.2 seed in 2020 and the No.1 seed in 2021 has only increased the pressure.

“A lot of the teams around us have improved,” Bednar said. “We feel that we are always where we want to be. “

So what’s up when the Avs opens the doors to Family Sports fans on Thursday for camp? The keeper is new. The Avs bet big on Darcy Kuemper, trading Conor Timmins and a first-round pick for the 31-year-old goaltender. They will associate Kuemper, n ° 1, with Pavel Francouz.

“Play the rested goalie and ride the hot goalie,” Bednar said.

The executor is new. His name is Kurtis MacDermid and at 6 feet 5 inches and 235 pounds he is bigger than his old friend Nikita “Big Z” Zadorov. Remember your only friend who always says, “Avs need one guy to beat the other”? He wasn’t wrong. The Avs agreed with your friend. Bednar called MacDermid a “step backwards.”

Not much else is new, as the Avs are once again the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Oh, there’s one thing: Bednar is in the final season of his contract. It’s new. They usually extend it before it gets there. He did a fantastic job. Now he has to finish the job.

Unfair? Absoutely. Training wasn’t the reason so many Avs got injured in a playoff loss to the Dallas Stars, nor the reason they opened the playoffs 6-0 before losing four. times in a row against the Golden Knights. Warm seats often don’t make sense, much like watching Jay Cutler play American football for the first time.

“No. 6 is the saddest man I have ever seen in professional sport,” said the Irishman.

OK, now that makes sense.

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