The 2022 Stanley Cup Finals are almost underway, and the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning will have their first mashup on Wednesday, June 15. Many fans look forward to this series because Tampa Bay is trying to threepeat, while the last time Colorado won was in 2001. Therefore many NHL fans are coming together to root for the Colorado Avalanche. But you know what they say, Lightning strikes three times.
It will be an exciting couple of games to watch, so let’s break it down. The Avalanche is 12-2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs, having swept Nashville in the first round and Edmonton in the Western Conference finals. The Lightning, however, have been exceptional in goal, thanks to Andrei Vasilevskiy, and they’re aggressive in defense.
“The way I look at it is, to be the best you’ve got to expect to be able to beat the best,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said Sunday. “That’s them. They’re the team that everyone’s trying to model after. They’re in the Final for the third year in a row. They’ve just won twice in a row. That’s what every team is trying to do, not just get there but stay there and be relevant every season in all the conversations with the best teams in the league and go on to prove that they are one.”
Key Players To Watch
1. Andrei Vasilevskiy; Lightning
2. Cale Makar; Avalanche
3. Nathan MacKinnon; Avalanche
4. Steven Stamkos; Lightning
5. Gabriel Landeskog; Avalanche
6. Nikita Kucherov; Lightning
7. Victor Hedman; Lightning
Avalanche in 7
It’s going to be a challenging game between the Avs and the Bolts, and maybe a close one too. But Colorado does have a better record throughout the playoff series so far, and they have a better advantage. The only thing is that Tampa Bay has had more playoff experience recently, so that may change the game. If the Avalanche wants to win the Stanley Cup, they will have to put on their best performance to defeat the two-time winners.
The Conn Smythe Trophy
With the Stanley Cup Finals approaching, so is the Conn Smythe award, handed to the most valuable player in the playoffs. The Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar received six votes and his teammate, forward Nathan MacKinnon, received four. Andrei Vasilevskiy was the only Lightning player to receive more than one vote, with three; Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Steven Stamkos received one vote.
Pick: Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche
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