The Avalanche have been off for a few days after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference final and the Lightning have a head of steam after beating the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final.
Both teams are coming into the Final on two different angles.
The Avalanche have some of the best young players in the NHL. Led by Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Cale Maker, the Avalanche finished as the best team in the Western Conference with 119 punte. MacKinnon is tied for second in the playoffs with 11 goals and Gabriel Landeskog has eight goals.
Colorado essentially breezed through the playoffs. The team swept the Nashville Predators in the first round and then defeated the St. Louis Blues in the conference semifinals 4-2. The Avalanche then swept the Edmonton Oilers.
It’s been a long time since the Avalanche have made the Final. Colorado hasn’t been in the Stanley Cup Final since 2001. Die span, led by Bob Hartley, defeated the New Jersey Devils in seven games. Ray Bourque was finally able to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup. Patrick Roy maintained the net and Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg were putting pucks into the opposing teams’ nets.
The Avalanche don’t have the longest drought – that belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs. But nearly two decades without a title is certainly a long time.
Jared Bednar would thrust himself into the conversation as one of the best Avalanche coaches of all time should the team break deur. Bednar took over the team from Roy at the start of the 2016-17 seisoen. The team have made the playoffs five of the six years he’s been at the helm.
Avalanche stat leaders
Cale Makar 22 punte
Nathan MacKinnon 18 punte
Mikko Rantanen 17 punte
Nathan MacKinnon 11 doelwitte
Gabriel Landeskog 8 doelwitte
Artturi Lehkkonen 6 doelwitte
Cale Makar 17 help
Mikko Rantanen 12 help
Gabriel Landeskog 9 help
Tampa Bay outlook
Die Lightning are looking to become the first team since the New York Islanders to win three consecutive Stanley Cup titles. The Islanders won four straight from 1980 aan 1983. The Montreal Canadiens did it before them from 1976 aan 1979 and then the Maple Leafs from 1962 aan 1964.
Tampa Bay certainly has the firepower to do it.
Every time the Lightning seem like they’re down and out they strike back. The Lightning defeated the Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round and then swept the Presidents’ Cup winner Florida Panthers in the second round. The team then came back from down 2-0 against the Rangers to win the Eastern Conference crown.
The Lightning are as dangerous as ever. Steven Stamkos has nine goals in the playoffs and Ondrej Palat has eight goals.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has 2.27 goals against average, which is among the best in the playoffs. Should Darcy Kuemper be ready to go, the Lightning will have to break through his 2.65 goals against average.
Tampa Bay has a plethora of experience which will make them even more dangerous going into the Final.
Lightning stat leaders
Nikita Kucherov 22 punte
Ondrej Palat 16 punte
Steven Stamkos 15 punte
Steven Stamkos 9 doelwitte
Ondrej Palat 8 doelwitte
Nikita Kucherov 7 doelwitte
Nikita Kucherov 16 help
Victor Hedman 12 help
Ondrej Palat 8 help
Junie 15: Lightning at Avalanche (8 nm. EN; ABC)
Junie 18: Lightning at Avalanche (8 nm. EN; ABC)
Junie 20: Avalanche at Lightning (8 nm. EN; ABC)
Junie 22: Avalanche at Lightning (8 nm. EN; ABC)
Junie 24: Lightning at Avalanche (8 nm. EN; ABC)*
Junie 26: Avalanche at Lightning (8 nm. EN; ABC)*
Junie 28: Lightning at Avalanche (8 nm. EN; ABC)*
*Denotes if necessary