To touch or not to touch, that is the question.
Artturi Lehkonen scored the series-clinching goal in overtime as the Colorado Avalanche swept the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference final with a 6-5 victory on Monday night, propelling Colorado to the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001.
First though, the Avalanche was crowned the Western Conference champion and, as per tradition, was presented with the Clarence Campbell Bowl by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. Moments prior to the presentation, the famous question could be read on everyone’s lips: will they touch the trophy?
That’s literally what Youtuber Nathan Rudolph did as he offered an incredible lip reading breakdown of what the Avalanche’s players were saying when they found out that captain Gabriel Landeskog was planning on touching the trophy.
I did a lip read of the Avs will they touch it moment. pic.twitter.com/Jy2H84eB0B
— Nathan Rudolph (@Nathan__Rudolph) June 7, 2022
There’s a long-standing superstition of not touching the Clarence Campbell Bowl or the Prince of Wales Trophy - the award given to Eastern Conference champion - when presented, as the belief is that it will curse the club from winning the Stanley Cup. Some players refuse to touch it, preferring to stand behind it with teammates for the official pictures, while the less superstitious place their hands on the trophy to celebrate the moment.
Rudolph breaks down conversations between the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews. Then, he cues to the Avalanche players skating over to former NHL star and now Colorado general manager Joe Sakic to ask him what he would do. His answer is clear and convincing.
“Go for it! Touch the damn thing!”
The Avalanche went ahead and did indeed touch the damn thing, listening to the advice of their wise GM. After all, things worked out well for Sakic and the Avs when he gladly accepted and carried the trophy back in 1995 and 2001, going on to win the Stanley Cup on both occasions. He also made crucial trade deadline moves that have helped Colorado on their Stanley Cup final run, acquiring Lehkonen, defenseman Josh Manson and forwards Andrew Cogliano and Nico Sturm.
Joe Sakic's trade deadline additions:
-Artturi Lehkonen scores an OT winner
-Josh Manson scores an OT winner
-Nico Sturm assists a Cale Makar OT winner
-Andrew Cogliano has two GWG
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) June 7, 2022
The Avalanche will face the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, which is currently at 2-1 in favour of the Rangers. Game 4 takes place on Tuesday night in Florida.
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