2022 Stanley Cup Final – What we learned in Game 2 and its impact on the rest Avalanche/Lightning series

Game 1 The 2022 Stanley Cup Final The thriller was back-and-forth, with the Colorado Avalanche Overtaking the odds to win a 4-3 match in overtime Tampa Bay Lightning.

Game 2 The game was… less thrilling. The Avs took an early lead, then poured it on to win 7-0.

As the teams head to Tampa for their next two contests, Colorado is now 2-0 in the series. We have some thoughts on Saturday night's results and how they will impact the remainder of the series.

2022 Stanley Cup Final – What we learned in Game 2 and its impact on the rest Avalanche/Lightning series

D stands for “dominate”.

Is there anything else you can think of?

Colorado dismantled Tampa Bay in Game 2. The Avalanche performed better in all aspects, including 5-on-5, special team, goaltending and goaltending. They also excelled at offense, defense, battles and races. You name it, Colorado excelled at it. It was quite shocking to see the Lightning so confused. Tampa Bay did not appear to be able to turn a corner or try to stop the bleeding.

The Avalanche continued pushing. The Lightning didn't back down.

What does this mean for the reigning champions, as the series shifts to their home? Is Tampa Bay losing its confidence? Or could it be that the Lightning don't have enough legs to compete with Colorado? They wouldn't have to be the first team to see it in these playoffs. Even Connor McDavid He had his moments of despair. The Avs are currently 14-2 in the playoffs with a plus-33 goal differential.

Tampa Bay needs its own stars. Nikita Kucherov Steven Stamkos They aren't visible enough. Both have not been. Victor Hedman. Andrei Vasilevskiy While he doesn't get much help, his struggles are a large part of the Lightning's problems.

The Lightning are reeling, but the Avalanche are moving. Will the momentum change with the series. We will find out very quickly. — Kristen Shilton


Trends in Game 2 flop

It's hard to emphasize enough how uncharacteristic this Game 2 loss was for the Lightning.

They went 9-2 in the second round of a series going back to 2020, when they began their back-toback Stanley Cup runs. In the 11-game span, they never gave up more than three goals per game. Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded a.938 save rate in those games. In Game 2, against Colorado, he surrendered seven goals for an.774 save%.

The Lightning had a big difference in the 11 games they played and in this game: Their starts. The Lightning scored the first goal nine times in those 11 games. In the playoffs, the Lightning were 6-1 when scoring their first goal. The Lightning could have had a significant advantage by getting on the board earlier.

Instead, it was a disaster. After a solid first pass from their checking line defenseman Erik Cernak The Lightning fumbled the puck at their blue line. The Lightning then turned over the puck in their own area twice while the referees made a hooking decision on the Avalanche. Alex Killorn go. Then defensemen Ryan McDonagh The game was 1:01 in. A hooking penalty was applied, which gave the second-best power plays (31.3% efficiency) the chance to cook.

It was 1-0 Avalanche after Nichushkin's goal at 2:14 of the first half, and they were off. — Greg Wyshynski

Play

0:49

Cale Makar's second goal of the period puts the Avalanche in front 7-0


Too much depth

Tampa Bay is overwhelmed by Colorado's depth. It's not like that Nathan MacKinnon, Cale MakarOr Gabriel Landeskog They're not doing their part. They aren't doing their part. All The damage.

The support staff of the Avalanche is.

In Game 2. Valeri Nichushkin He was perhaps (or maybe even inarguably) Colorado’s greatest player. He was an offensive powerhouse, scoring two goals while navigating through Tampa Bay's defenses almost to score more. Andre Burakovsky After scoring his first goal, he was all praise for the Lightning. Josh Manson Scored off the rush. Darren Helm This is a breakaway.

These are not big-name stars Colorado relies on to get through the two-time Stanley Cup defending champions. Makar scored twice in Game 2, but Colorado was already up 5-1 by that point. The Avs don't need top-tier players to dominate. It's better for them. The better for Colorado is the more it continues to counter Tampa Bay's top skaters, and receives handsome contributions from each line.

Colorado got Andrew Cogliano On Saturday, the lineup was back. However, there is still no word on whether or not Nazem Kadri The Final will feature them. In Burakovsky's absence, the Avalanche will continue to lean on their depth. Those players have been performing well so far. Jared Bednar, the Avs coach, said that he had prioritized Burakovsky being in the top-six and it paid off. These kinds of instincts — such as Bednar's placing Nichushkin in the top line — will continue playing a significant role in Colorado keeping Tampa Bay at bay. — Shilton


Possession problems

Lightning's only way to slow down Avalanche attacks is to have more possession of the puck than they can. That would reduce the chances of Colorado forwards scoring and give goaltenders more action. Darcy Kuemper.

Instead, Game 2 saw the Avalanche have a 60-28 shot-attempt lead. Kuemper's shutout was accompanied by few, if any, dangerous chances.

The bellwether of that domination was the Avs' top-line of Landeskog MacKinnon, Nichushkin and MacKinnon which did not allow any shot attempts to the Lightning in 8 minutes of even-strength time.

Steven Stamkos managed to score one goal, while Nikita Kucherov failed to make a shot. — Wyshynski


Off and running

Tampa Bay is having a hard time with Colorado's transition game.

Colorado had half a dozen Grade A chances and Manson scored one goal in the first period. It begins with great play in the neutral area, where the Avalanche become aggressive. They break up plays and steal pucks.

Colorado has defensemen (i.e. Manson) are a team of people who enjoy the rush and know when to go for it. Helm's goal is an example of this too. He created his own chance by anticipating the right time and just going for it. The Avalanche don't hesitate. This is how they have succeeded every season. Colorado's skaters can be so quick, not only on their skates, but also in their decision-making. The anticipation that skaters share with each other as a play develops is amazing. Colorado has a perfect sync, no matter who has puck. This allows them to slip behind (often undressed!) Lightning.

Tampa Bay must adapt if they are to return to Denver for Game 5 (and beyond). Now the question is: How? For three rounds, Colorado has done this to teams. There are miles of video available to watch. It was a different experience to see it on the ice. The Avalanche's confidence should be high now, which will make it even more difficult for the Lightning to contain them. — Shilton

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