The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. The Avalanche won Game 6 2-1 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
Colorado ended Tampa Bay’s run of back-to-back Stanley Cups by winning its third championship in franchise history.
The Lightning took an early 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from captain Steven Stamkos. However, the Avalanche took over the game from there. Colorado dominated the second period and was rewarded with goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Artturi Lehkonen. The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead into the locker room and shut down the Lightning from there.
In the third period, Colorado completely shut down Tampa Bay. The Lightning didn’t get a chance on Darcy Kuemper until about 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Not content to sit back and watch the clock run out, the Avs remained aggressive in the final 20 minutes, making life difficult for the Lightning. Even with the net empty, Tampa Bay was unable to get quality shots on Darcy Kuemper.
After finishing last in the NHL standings just five years prior, the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001, and they did so against one of the greatest teams of the salary cap era.
Avalanche Finish the Rebuild
The Avalanche finished 22-56-4 in the 2016-17 season.
Joe Sakic, the Avalanche’s general manager, had a plan for this team, and he executed it flawlessly. Colorado has only risen since that disastrous season in 2016-17, which began with the draught that summer. The Avalanche dropped to fourth overall in the draught lottery, but it worked out because the team drafted Cale Makar, who just won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the postseason. That sparked Colorado’s rebuild, and the team hasn’t looked back since. The Avalanche have been working on this Stanley Cup for several years, and they aren’t even close to being finished.
Nathan MacKinnon Gets the Job Done
The first five games of this Stanley Cup Final had to be played on ice.
In Tampa, an impressive run has come to an end.
The Tampa Bay Lightning came within two wins of becoming the fifth team in NHL history to win three consecutive Stanley Cups. While this loss is disappointing, the Lightning has put together one of the most impressive runs of the salary cap era.
The Lightning won 11 consecutive playoff series, which is a remarkable accomplishment given the constraints imposed on teams in recent years by the salary cap, free agency, expansion draught, and pandemic. Everyone involved, from general manager Julien BriseBois to head coach Jon Cooper to the players, deserves all the credit for delivering so consistently over a three-year period. I don’t think Tampa Bay is going anywhere anytime soon, and It would be a mistake to believe otherwise. The team still has a lot of talent, but we can appreciate the greatness it’s shown in the last three postseasons.