Avalanche humiliate Tampa (NHL, Stanley Cup Final, Game 2)
Domination. This is how to sum up Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 18, 2022 between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game played in Denver in front of their home crowd, the Avalanche put on a show of hockey, produced a deluge of goals, and extinguished, for one game, the two-time defending champions with a score of 7-0. Story of a one-sided game.
In the Stanley Cup Finals, every game matters. A victory in one game brings the winning team one step closer to lifting the trophy by achieving four decisive victories. Wednesday, June 15, 2022, it was the Colorado Avalanche who won first against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Florida team had to react, they who are accustomed in history, to trail in the playoffs to win thereafter. Statistically, when trailing in a 1-0 series, Tampa has a 60% chance of winning the series (12 out of 20 times). It’s the best ratio in the league. So when the opening face-off takes place, Ball Arena spectators expect anything.
The Avalanche strikes in
For the second game, Colorado leaves Tampa Bay no time to adapt. Their forechecking system is very aggressive and the Colorado team manages to cause a penalty from the first minute of play, with Ryan McDonagh (1’01 »). Nathan MacKinnon is already showing himself thanks to his speed of play where he enters the opposing zone with ease. Fast and aggressive, Colorado scores very early by exploiting the right side of the ice then the center with Valeri Nichushkin, assisted by Andre Burakovsky and Alex Newhook, who also scores his first point in a Stanley Cup (1-0, 2’54 ») seven seconds from the end of the powerplay.
Nichushkin on the PP for a 1-0 @Avalanche lead in Game 2! #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/pRHdGPqoGm
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGGIs) June 19, 2022
Like a sense of deja vu in Game 1, Tampa Bay seems to be struggling to get going. The Lightning are in the beginning of the game dominated in all compartments of the game. The worst is yet to come, because as they try to get the puck out from the boards in the Colorado zone, Tampa loses the puck and Alex Newhook recovers it to give it to Cogliano. Things will get dangerous when Cogliano steps forward and passes the disc to Josh Manson. He finds himself in a situation of two against one. He fires a wrist shot and beats Vasilevskiy (2-0, 07’55 »).
Halfway through the first period, the numbers speak for themselves. 15 shots for the Avalanche against 1. An urgent wake-up call for Jon Cooper’s men is mandatory. But Mikhail Sergachev causes the game to be delayed and is sent to the penalty box for two minutes (08’34 »). Tampa Bay holds its breath, but holds.
Landeskog and MacKinnon put even more pressure on their opponents by showing their creativity and ease, stick in hand. And a new goal siren will sound with Andre Burakovsky. The one who scored the winning goal in overtime will take advantage of a rebound following a shot from Mikko Rantanen to score his third goal in the playoffs (3-0, 13’52 »). “We want the Cup, we want the Cup” then chant the supporters of the Avalanche.
Proof of the Avalanche’s dominance at this point in the game, the home team has scored more goals than Tampa Bay has shots. The first period ends with an action from Burakovsky who is face to face with the opposing goalkeeper. (19’25 »). If Colorado masters the game, we begin to wonder if it is the Tampa Bay Lightning in front.
An observer also takes the opportunity to compare, in a humorous tone, the totality of each unit of 5 players of the Avalanche to the Russian Five of the USSR and the Red Wings.
What every 5 man unit on Colorado looks like to Tampa right now.#StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/qdV2BfFzxF
—Scott (@JScott_2022) June 19, 2022
Colorado present, Tampa absent
It is to say if the confidence reigns among the fans of Colorado for the second period. Josh Manson startled Florida again by hitting Andrei Vasilevskiy’s post in the first 3 minutes of play, after a slapshot from the blue line. Following a turnover, JT Compher takes possession of the puck. It returns to Mikko Rantanen, who finds himself with the puck in the opposing corner. He sends it to Valeri Nichushkin, present near the enclave of Tampa. He receives it and sends it into the right net (4-0, 24’51 »). The addition begins to be salty for Tampa. Meanwhile, Nichushkin is working on his stats (and future bank account) as he hits the road to the free agent market in a few weeks.
Darcy Kuemper shows his qualities to his teammates by managing to come out white as snow from a Tampa powerplay. 1, 2, 3 stops clutches will lead the supporters to chant his name. Very pale since the beginning of the game, Tampa tries to find colors, by being more present, but the attempts are annihilated by Colorado. A first scare arrives for the Avalanche when Burakovsky has to return to the locker room because of a blocked pass… with his hand.
But this worry disappears when MacKinnon and Nichushkin have another opportunity to score, it ends up landing in the mitt of Vasilevskiy (34’20 »). What if Tampa’s alarm clock rang now? The answer is no. Following a bad back pass from the Lightning in the Avalanche’s defensive zone, veteran Darren Helm recovers the puck and skates to the Tampa zone to score (5-0, 36’26 » ). It turns to correction, especially since Corey Perry takes 2 minutes of penalty (again) following a scrum with JT Compher. The penalty is killed as the second period ends.
A 1996 remake?
With only 20 minutes left to play, misunderstanding is present among the insiders and the spectators. Andrei Vasilevskiy who is living a nightmarish evening is back in the cages. He has time to mobilize, because Colorado is penalized by two minutes, Rantanen tripped Steven Stamkos (41’04 »). But even outnumbered, Tampa can’t find the fault. Worse, they concede a sixth goal. Cale Makar, like a remake from Josh Manson’s goal, shook the nets once again (6-0, 42’04 »). This is his first point in the series, he who was already considered by The Hockey News as one of the NHL’s Top Defensemen of 2020.
A perfect shot for Cale Makar 💰 #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/HfPs0OZ5u1
—ESPN (@espn) June 19, 2022
Ondrej Palat is sent to the penalty box (48’19 ») following a blow on Cale Makar. The former resident of U-Mass, in NCAA, will take revenge and score a new goal (7-0, 49’49 ») after an exemplary powerplay game construction, with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Something to make Gary Makar very happy, a few hours before Father’s Day.
A few scuffles between players punctuate the end of the match. But without changing anything on the scoreboard. The game ends with the final score of 7-0. A nod to history, in 1996, during game 2 of the Stanley Cup, Colorado beat their opponents, the Florida Panthers, by a difference of 7 goals (8-1). We know the rest.
Game 3 will take place at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Monday, June 20, 2022. The Bolts will be keen to make their cataclysmic performance the day before yesterday forgotten for their return home as Colorado will be full of confidence. The sequel promises to be crucial.
Colorado Avalanche – Tampa Bay Lightning: 7-0 (3-0, 2-0, 2-0)
Saturday, June 18 at the Ball Arena in Denver (Colorado). 17,849 spectators.
Referees: Wes McCauley and Jean Hebert assisted by Kiel Murchison and Jonny Murray.
Penalties: Colorado 22′ (2′, 4′, 16′), Tampa Bay 28′ (6′, 4′, 18′).
Shots: Colorado 31 (11, 12, 8) Tampa Bay 17 (5, 7, 5).
1-0 at 02:54: Nichushkin assisted by Burakovsky and Newhook (num. sup.)
2-0 at 07:55: Manson assisted by Cogliano and Newhook
3-0 at 13’52: Burakovsky assisted by Rantanen and Toews
4-0 at 24’51: Nichushkin assisted by Rantanen
5-0 at 36’26: Helm assisted by O’Connor
6-0 at 42’04: Makar (Num.)
7-0 at 49’49: Makar assisted by Rantanen and MacKinnon (num. sup.)
Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Valeri Nichushkin (+1, 4′)
Andre Burakovsky (+1) – JT Compher (+2, 2′) – Mikko Rantanen (+2, 2′)
Artturi Lehkonen (4′) – Darren Helm (+1, 4′) – Logan O’Connor (+2)
Andrew Cogliano (+3) – Nico Sturm (+1) – Alex Newhook (+1)
Devon Toews (+1) – Cale Makar (+2)
Jack Johnson (+2, 4′) – Josh Manson (+3)
Bowen Byram (+1) – Erik Johnson (+1)
Darcy Kuemper (2′)
Substitute: Pavel Francouz (G). Absent: Nazem Kadri (thumb), Ryan Murray (hand), Samuel Girard (broken sternum), Dylan Sikura, Roland Mckeown, Jayson Megna, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Jacob Macdonald, Kurtis Macdermid, Martin Kaut, Keaton Middleton, Jean- Luc Foudy, Hunter Miska (G), Trent Miner (G), Justus Annunen (G)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ondrej Palat (-2, 2′) – Steven Stamkos (-2, 4′) – Nikita Kucherov (-2)
Brandon Hagel (-1) – Anthony Cirelli (-2, 4′) – Alex Killorn (-2, 4′)
Nicholas Paul – Brayden Point (-1) – Ross Colton (-1)
Pat Maroon (-1) – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (-1) – Corey Perry (-1, 6′)
Victor Hedman (-3) – Jan Rutta (-2)
Ryan McDonagh (-2, 2′) – Erik Cernak (-1, 4′)
Mikhail Sergachev (2′) – Zach Bogosian (-1)
Substitute: Brian Elliott (G). Absent: Fredrik Claesson, Alex Barré-Boulet, Riley Nash, Darren Raddysh, Cole Koepke, Cal Foote, Remi Elie, Anthony Richard, Maxime Lagacé (L)