The Colorado Avalanche not only beat the Tampa Bay Lightning last night by a score of 7-0, but they also overwhelmed them. It’s hard to remember a time when the Lightning were so thoroughly outclassed during the postseason. But last night was the night.
The question is, will it happen again and again until the Avalanche walk home with the Stanley Cup?
The Avalanche Played an Almost Perfect Game
The Avalanche were almost perfect on the night and, with the way they won, proved that an overwhelming offense and a stifling defense can overcome an elite goalie. Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper hardly had any action at the other end of the ice and registered an easy 14-save shutout.
But the story of the game was the Avalanche perfect domination. Their stellar play made Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vaskievskiy look – well – human. The Avalanche offense set up shop in the Lightning end. The Avalanche defense was dominant and pressured the Lightning into mistake after mistake, which Colorado took advantage of.
It was the Avalanche at their best and the Lightning unable to keep up.
Vasilevskiy Couldn’t Hold His Streak
Vasilevskiy’s solid play – he had lost two games in a row during the postseason in years – has been the one thing the Lightning had been able to count. Every time the Lightning lost a game in the playoffs, they won the next. Not last night.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 19, 2022
Vasilevskiy He was skakey, was beaten, and in the end looked beaten. When the damage was done, he had given up seven goals on 31 shots on the net – that’s almost a goal on every fourth shot.
The Avalanche spent tons of time in the Lightning zone, and looked at home there. They’ve been the highest-scoring team during the 2022 postseason and showed why last night. It looked like they were playing at a different speed. That speed and the skill of the Avalanche took it’s toll, because the Lightning just couldn’t keep up.
Now What for the Lightning?
Because these games don’t happen very often for either the Lightning as a team or Vasilevskiy as a goalie, it’s tough to predict what comes next. They return to Florida down two games to none and seeking some kind of success.
Can the Lightning mount a comeback? Can the former Conn Smythe goalie stand up to what promises to be the same kind of relentless pressure he faced on the road in the Mile High City?
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Andrei Vasilevskiy thus far in the Stanley Cup Final pic.twitter.com/DGc059nq0c
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) June 19, 2022
The seven goals Vasilevskiy let in were the most he’s ever given up in a Stanley Cup Final start. In fact, prior to meeting this Avalanche team, Vasilevskiy had been beaten like this only one time – during the first game of round one when the Toronto Maple Leafs beat him 5-0.
Until the Stanley Cup Final, that game against the Maple Leafs was the only game Vasilevskiy had given up more than three goals in a postseason game. Now he’s been lit up for 11 goals in two games against the Western Conference champs.
Can the Lightning Win One in Florida?
Game 3 in Tampa Bay will be the real test. If the Lightning can come back – and there’s good expectation they will mount a hard push, there might be a series after all. The Lightning are behind by two games to none.
But the funny thing is that a series like this could turn on a dime. However, after tonight’s domination, that scenario is tough to envision. As Lightning head coach is telling his players right now, it’s one game at a time.
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