Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 15, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

It’s a big of an odd post season because for the time in I think ever the NHL playoffs are going to run longer than the NBA playoffs. Now of course due to Covid-19 the NHL regular season started later than normal which is the reason that the playoffs are going later than they would normally.

Tonight, the NHL drops the puck as the NHL Stanley Cup finals start. The Colorado Avalanche will host the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lighting.

The Avalanche reached the Stanley Cup finals by beating the Nashville Predators in the 1st round, the St. Louis Blues in the 2nd round and the Edmonton Oilers in the Western conference finals. The Lighting got here again by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1st round, the Florida Panthers in the 2nd round and the New York Rangers in the Eastern conference finals.

Both teams come into the Stanley Cup finals on four game winning streaks even though they went about it in different ways. Colorado swept their series against Edmonton while Tampa Bay lost their first two games to the Rangers before running off four consecutive wins.

The Avalanche had 119 points and 56 wins in the regular season which got them the #1 seed in the Western conference. In the regular season the Lighting racked up 110 points and 51 wins which placed them as the 5th seed in the Eastern conference.

Generally, in the playoffs scoring is down, but Colorado is averaging just over 4 goals a game while Tampa Bay has been scoring just over 3 goals a game. Will we see a little more offense in these Stanley Cup finals than we’re used to?

A lot of time in the NHL playoffs the team that wins a series is the team with the hot goaltender, but since both teams are on winning streaks which goaltender is considered hot? I’m guessing you’d lean towards Tampa Bay when it comes to goaltending. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been in goal as the Lighting won the last two Stanley Cups, so that’s a pretty solid advantage. Colorado has used two goalies through these playoffs as Darcy Kuemper suffered an upper body injury in Gam 1 of the Western conference finals, but he did return for Game 4. In Kuemper’s absence Pavel Francouz filled in.

Colorado hasn’t announced who will be in goal tonight, but it appears as though Francouz has the hot hand even though Kuemper has been the #1 goaltender.

There is quite a bit of star power in this series, so it will be interesting to see who steps up and leads their team to the Stanley Cup. Will we see Colorado win their first Stanley Cup since 2001 or will Tampa Bay win the 3rd Stanley Cup in a row?

This is a tough one to pick, but I’m going to go with the Avalanche to unseat the defending champions, but I think it’s going to take them seven games to do it. Of course, I want to know what you’re thinking. Who do you have winning the Stanley Cup and how many games will it take them to do it?

Comments
  1. I’d like to see Colorado win but it’s tough to bet against the two time defending champions. I look for the Lightning to repeat in 6 games.

    Like

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