German professional ice hockey player Nico Sturm from the Colorado Avalanche is hoping to get his chance in the NHL’s Stanley Cup finals. “I have to be ready every day to give my very best performance, although I don’t know if I’m playing or not,” said the 27-year-old from Augsburg in the “Eishockey-News”.

It was “an unbelievably mental strain,” said Sturm, who has played seven games in this year’s playoffs so far, but only played once in the semifinals against the Edmonton Oilers led by Leon Draisaitl (4-0).

The Avalanche will meet the Tampa Bay Lightning, champions of the past two years, on Wednesday night (2:00 a.m. CEST). Sturm has the chance to win the oldest trophy in North American sport as the fifth German after Uwe Krupp, Dennis Seidenberg, Tom Kühnhackl and Philipp Grubauer.

“You can’t compare the Stanley Cup final with anything,” says Sturm, who is playing his third season in the NHL. “It’s the greatest thing there is.” He has “developed a reputation as a player who plays well defensively and outnumbered and wins face-offs”. His score, on the other hand, is expandable.

After a good start to the season, still for the Minnesota Wild, he managed just five goal involvements after his move to the Avalanche’s top team in March.

Sturm’s two brothers will now come to the final games, “There will be long ice hockey nights at home”, where parents, family and friends will watch all the games. If successful, they could all see the cup in Augsburg. Traditionally, each champion’s player is allowed to display the trophy in their hometown.