One team has the experience of the Stanley Cup Finals while the other has the hunger after falling short in recent years.
DENVER — Our 2022 Stanley Cup Finals will be between the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Avalanche made it in four games against the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals, while the Lightning made it in six games against the Rangers in the east and won four straight games after going 2-0 down after the first two games of the Series.
This is a duel between two teams that can move up and down the ice quickly.
On the Locked On Sports Today podcast, Locked On NHL host Gil Martin joined Peter Bukowski to analyze the clash and preview the Stanley Cup Finals.
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What will this matchup ultimately decide?
“It’s going to be a dream match between two very talented teams,” Martin told Locked On Sports Today. I think it could come down to defense more than anything. I think the Avalanche have a very agile defense and can move the puck quickly. But the Lightning have a better goalie and more experience. Whichever team can stop the opponent’s offense will win in the end.”
The Avalanche, meanwhile, are in red-hot form after beating the Oilers in the Western Conference Finals. How much influence will momentum play in this series?
“I think it’s an advantage for the Avalanche in the sense that they’re on the right track and they’ve had some injuries and this break they’ve had will give some of their players like Nazem Kadri and Darcy Kuemper a chance to get healthy to become and play in the arena finals,” Martin said. “It works in their favor.”
If you are the Flash, there is an advantage that has already been taken. But there could also be an urgency factor to the avalanche. The hunger may not be the same. How could that affect the final?
“I think it could give the Avalanche an advantage,” Martin said. “They were the favourites. They won the President’s Trophy with the best record in the league two years ago and didn’t make it into the playoffs… Sometimes you have to lose to learn how to win. The Avalanche are hungry, they realize windows don’t last forever and this may be their last great chance.”
On one side you have a team that has won two Stanley Cups in a row, and on the other side you have a team that has had the roster for the last few years but stumbled earlier in the playoffs.
“I’m leaning toward the Lightning, but it’s very close,” Martin said. “The Lightning has two major advantages over Colorado, and number one is goalie. Andrei Vasilevskiy, arguably the best goaltender in the NHL. And the other is experience. They’ve won back-to-back Stanley Cups and aim to be the first team to win three straight games since the Islanders did it in the early 1980s.”
This Marquee Matchup begins Wednesday, June 15 at 8:00 PM ET
In the meantime, subscribe to our Locked On Avalanche and Locked On Lightning podcasts for expert insight into the Stanley Cup Finals and along the way!
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