Stanley Cup Final 2022 Preview: Tampa Bay vs Colorado

Author: Jomathews


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When the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final, they will be looking for their third consecutive title. Since the New York Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983, the Lightning could become the second team to win the Cup three times in a row. Colorado won its last Stanley Cup in 2001.

Our wait is over. The final is here. In the Stanley Cup Final 2022 of the National Hockey League, the Avalanche and the Lightning meet at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. The final playoffs will be a series of 7 games from June 16 to June 29.

"Just sitting up here right now and thinking of the magnitude of going to a third Stanley Cup Final," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "You grow up as a kid, and I was not near good enough to play in this league, but when you're growing up in Canada, you always dream about having your name on a Stanley Cup. To get there the first time was a dream come true. To get there a second time, the next year, was a dream. To go a third time is unthinkable."

A six-game series gave Tampa Bay the victory in the Eastern Conference Final over the New York Rangers. After winning the Western Conference Final four games to one over the Edmonton Oilers on June 6, Avalanche will have to wait nine days to host the Stanley Cup Final 2022 of the National Hockey League. Following their sweeping win over the Nashville Predators in the opening round, the Avalanche had an eight-day layoff.  

"Coaches do a good job of making sure we're working, getting the work in, and it is good to get a little bit of a rest, but we've been through this already in these playoffs where we've had time to get ready for a series," Avalanche forward J.T. Compher said. "It's just keeping your mind in it. you have a little time to relax, but just mentally making sure you're refreshed and focused on the goal ahead."

During league stage play, the Avalanche triumphed in both games against the Lightning. Two games against them produced three points for the forward Gabriel Landeskog, who scored two goals and added one assist, and Nathan MacKinnon, who scored one goal and had two assists. Darcy Kuemper made 92 saves and had a 2.40 goals-against average for a 2-0 record. Lightning forward, Brayden Point had three points in two games against the Avalanche (two goals and one assist). Two points were earned by forwards Ondrej Palat (two assists) and Steven Stamkos (one goal). During his two starts, Andrei Vasilevskiy had a GAA of 2.96 and a save percentage of .919 and was 0-1-1 in the net.

In the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Point suffered an injury to his lower body. Point will almost certainly play in Game 1 of the series, Cooper said, but he was unsure of his status for Game 1. 

 

Breakthroughs

 

Colorado's MacKinnon leads Colorado in playoff goals with 11 and has 18 points in 14 games. In the Western Conference Second Round on Tuesday, MacKinnon scored his second postseason hat trick for the Avalanche and led the team with five power-play goals. The Avalanche's speed and strength always draw the attention of their opponents.

Tampa Bay has been led by Nikita Kucherov throughout the season. In 17 playoff games, the forward has accumulated 23 points (7 goals and 16 assists). It will take him nine more points than he had in 25 playoff games (seven goals, 27 assists) in 2020 to reach his career-high. A five-game point streak has seen Kucherov score three goals and dished out three assists.

 

Intending to win

 

Kuemper suffered an injury to his upper body in Game 1 of the conference final against the Oilers, forcing him to miss the remaining three games. The Colorado starter for Games 2, 3, and 4 versus Edmonton will be available Wednesday, but will Pavel Francouz or Kuemper start? As the Avalanche coach Jared Bednar put it, it would be up to his staff to figure out what to do. Francouz, meanwhile, has started four games and has a 2.86 GAA and a .906 save percentage.

Tampa Bay's starting quarterback is a foregone conclusion. In 17 starts, Vasilevskiy has a 2.27 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage, and one shutout. After the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2021, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason. Throughout his 98 career playoff games (93 starts), he has a 2.24 GAA, a .925 save percentage, and seven shutouts.

 

Know these numbers

 

Colorado's power-play percentage stands at 14 for 45, and its nine postseason goals have come with the man advantage. Colorado's power-play percentage was among the best in the National Hockey League (67-for-279, 24 percent) during the regular season. The Lightning has surrendered zero or two goals in 9 playoff games. Three of the last four games of the series were held to one goal each by the Lightning against the Rangers.

 

Players to watch out for

 

Cale Makar for Avalanche: He ought to be included in the Stanley Cup Final 2022 preview. In 14 playoff games, the defenseman has 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) and leads Colorado in scoring. When he had five points in Game 4 of the conference final, he helped eliminate the Oilers with one goal and four assists. During one of the final games in a series, he became the first defenseman in National Hockey League history to score five points.

Ondrej Palat for Lightning: Tampa Bay brought him to the NHL during the 2011 Draft, where he was selected in the seventh round (No. 208). It is his second seven-game point streak on the team behind Kucherov (eight goals, eight assists). It seems that Palat, who has eight goals, has been in the right place at the right time. His nine goals lead the Lightning. The Lightning's history is replete with his game-winning goals, with two each this postseason and 11 for his career.

 

What did Stamkos and Toews say about the fixture?

 

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos expressed his views about the final. He said, "There's no secret that they have some electric players and, to be honest, they're probably a team we thought we would've played the last couple of years. They have just an unbelievable mix of a veteran presence, star power, grinders, and goalie. So, a huge challenge for us, but we'll put a game plan here together in the next couple of days and, just as we do every series in the National Hockey League, try to execute it as best we can and give ourselves a chance."

Meanwhile, Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews added: "They're just a team that knows how to win at this point. They've done it the last two years, and they're on the verge of doing it again. Any of those teams they've been through countless times of adversity and different situations that they've had to face, and each time, they kind of come out of it. So, that's something we're going to have to key in on the Stanley Cup Final 2022."

 

Conclusion

As a result, two things will determine the outcome of this Stanley Cup Final 2022, National Hockey League. A classic defensive strategy that wins championships is the first factor. In the past, the Avalanche have been criticized for their defense. In its two games against Edmonton, it had been criticized for its defense. Tampa's defense is far better than Edmonton's, and Vasilevskiy is by far the best goalie the Avalanche will see during the playoffs, so it will be difficult to expect them to still beat the Lightning if they surrender five to six goals a game.


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