Ian Cole has won the Stanley Cup twice, and the Colorado Avalanche defenseman said he believes he has a good chance at a third championship this season.
"You only have so many opportunities to be on a really great team that has a very legitimate chance, and I view us as a team that has a very legitimate chance to win a Stanley Cup," Cole told The Denver Post in remarks published Thursday. "I look around at all the teams in the League, and obviously I'm quite a bit biased, but I think we can beat any team in this league in a seven-game series.
"I've been fortunate enough to win two Stanley Cups, but there's nothing more I want to do than win a third one, and then a fourth one, and then a fifth one. I think a lot of guys on this team mimic that."
Colorado (42-20-8) was second in the Central Division, two points behind the defending Cup champion St. Louis Blues, when the NHL season was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
The Avalanche played its final game before the pause without seven regulars, including injured top-scoring forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky and Mikko Rantanen, and goalie Phillip Grubauer. The 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers was the first game back from injury for defenseman Cale Makar.
"I'm sure everyone is working hard to get back, and I know guys are feeling better," Cole said. "That's going to be a unique aspect of this particular year. You're going to have every team at full health, for the most part. You're going to see the healthiest playoffs the League has ever seen, which could lead to a pretty awesome product."
There is no timetable for the season to resume.
Cole, who is playing his 10th NHL season, second with Colorado, won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017 and has played 67 Stanley Cup Playoff games the past four seasons.
The 31-year-old scored 138 points (26 goals, 112 assists) and is plus-95 in 541 NHL games with the Blues, Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets and Avalanche.
The Avalanche made the playoffs the past two seasons after making them once in the previous seven. They won the Stanley Cup in 1996 and 2001.