Avalanche Head Coach Jared Bednar On Nazem Kadri OT Winner Controversy: ‘I Thought It Was Nothing’

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The Colorado Avalanche’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final Wednesday didn’t come without controversy.

Nazem Kadri, making his return to the lineup after undergoing surgery on his right thumb 18 days ago, scored the game-winner 12:02 into the extra period, sneaking one past Andrei Vasilevskiy to give Colorado a 3-1 series lead. In his very brief postgame presser, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper alluded to the fact that the goal shouldn’t have counted — and that Tampa Bay should have still been on the ice going for the win.

Upon further review, it was clear that Cooper felt Colorado should have been called for too many men on the ice, as Kadri had come on for Nathan MacKinnon, before MacKinnon had come within the necessary five feet of the bench, per the NHL rulebook.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar, however, saw no problem with the goal, saying Thursday that it’s “part of the game.”

“I thought it was nothing, honestly,” Bednar said, via ESPN. “That’s part of the game. It’s a fluid game. You’re changing on the fly, everything happens. You look at that clip, you back that clip up — and I did multiple times just to see what they were talking about — and Tampa’s got two guys jumping on with their D coming off the ice from a zone away. I count 7-6 at one point.

“So that is what it is. That’s the way the game is played. I don’t see it as a break or no-break. I actually see it as nothing.”

Cooper, who was adamant the goal shouldn’t have counted, said after the game he would address the media with more information the following day. He did just that Thursday, apologizing for cutting his postgame availability short, while saying the controversy was water under the bridge and that his team was looking ahead to Game 5.

“I [found] it odd that they got that wide open on the play, but there’s nothing you can really [see] from our angle on the bench. So the only way I can find out is I have to go back in the room and look at the tape,” Cooper said. “Then [I] have to face all of you five minutes after an emotional loss. And so I apologize for last night because that’s what you get when you have to speak to the media right away.”

Tampa Bay, looking to keep its three-peat aspirations alive, will have to win three in a row against the Avalanche. They’ll look to get one back in Game 5 Friday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC inside Ball Arena. The Avalanche will have a chance to close out the series on home ice and win their first Stanley Cup since 2001.

Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

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