Jones And Kiviranta On The Art Of The Role Player Keeping Their Mind And Body Ready (+)

Colorado Hockey Now

You can’t win in the NHL without your star players. Look at every Stanley Cup winner in the history of the league. They all have their star players, and those are the guys that get all the publicity, for good reason. But also can’t win in this league unless you have a handful of role players that dig in and accept their job, whatever that may be. Just look at that 2022 Colorado Avalanche squad.

Jack Johnson didn’t start those playoffs in the lineup, but when Sam Girard got knocked out by the St. Louis Blues, he stepped right in and the team didn’t skip a beat. Nico Sturm, Alex Newhook, and Andre Burakovksy all spent various periods of time in the press box as healthy scratches. When you play for a deep team, you might not play every night. Some players can deal with that, and some can’t.

The Avalanche have two players who are in the lineup right now due to injuries that very clearly understand their roles.

“I think it’s pretty simple,” Joel Kiviranta said on Thursday. “We have (a) stacked lineup.”

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