Sports

Colorado Avs Fans (and Haters) on Twitter Go Crazy After Bizarre Game Four Win

Nazem Kadri looking dazed during a post-game interview with ESPN's Emily Kaplan.
Nazem Kadri looking dazed during a post-game interview with ESPN's Emily Kaplan. NHL on ESPN via YouTube
The Colorado Avalanche's 3-2 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game four of the Stanley Cup playoffs on June 22 was as bizarre as it was thrilling, and the reaction of both boosters and haters on Twitter reflected that. But fans with opposing loyalties were united in a single respect: When Nazem Kadri, making his finals debut after undergoing surgery to repair a broken thumb suffered against the Edmonton Oilers, lofted a wobbler past Lightning goalie Andrei Vailevskiy, no one could believe their eyes.

That included Kadri — he admitted during a post-game interview with ESPN's Emily Kaplan that he initially hadn't known he'd scored — as well as the on-ice referees, who didn't immediately notice that the puck had actually gotten stuck in the net, entwined near the top and hiding in plain view. The sight of the Avs celebrating their victory while the officiating crew tried to figure out what the hell just happened was flat-out hilarious for residents of Avalanche country.

Lightning loyalists had a very different response. Afterward, they took to social media like an avenging army, decrying uncalled Colorado penalties down the stretch and declaring that Kadri's goal should have been waved off because the Avs had too many men on the ice.

Had the roles been reversed, Colorado backers would have been wailing the same laments, and understandably so, since the refs essentially swallowed their whistles as the clock ticked down, ignoring plays by the Avs and Lightning alike that could have resulted in trips to the penalty box. And there's no denying that the Avs were outplayed for a significant portions of the contest — particularly the last ten minutes of the third, when scoring chances were few and far between. But despite ice conditions that Kadri accurately deemed "garbage" (there's no shortage of dark suspicions that arena workers at Tampa Bay turned the surface into slush in order to slow down Colorado) and another soft goal allowed by beleaguered Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (Victor Hedman owes him a thank you card), Kadri and company managed to cling to a 2-2 tie in regulation and absolutely dominated overtime.

Now up 3-1, the Avs can take the championship with a win on Friday, and Colorado is ready to go berserk one more time.

Continue to see our picks for the twenty most memorable tweets about what happened, capped by the hilarious tale of how an insult to Tampa Bay led to the culmination of true love.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts