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Stanley Cup | Broken down at the worst time

(Denver) The good news for the Lightning is that they won’t have the loud Avalanche fans in their hands anymore. All the Small Things‘Perry sucks’, ‘We want the Cup’ is a thing of the past.

Updated at 0:11

Guillaume Lefrancois

Guillaume Lefrancois
The Press

All that remains is for him to find solutions for what is happening on the ice…

Led by Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin, Jared Bednar’s men beat the Lightning 7-0 on Saturday at Ball Arena.

According to TSN, only one game in Stanley Cup Finals history has been won by a bigger margin. It was the Penguins’ 8-0 triumph over the North Stars in 1991. The problem is, those North Stars had only won 27 of their 80 season games. They are perhaps the best incarnation of a Cinderella team in NHL history.

However, what was said at the start of this final? That there was no Cinderella team, that it was a final between the two best teams.

After the match, Steven Stamkos, still in control of his emotions, barely concealed his annoyance.

“There is a thin line between having respect for the opponent and respecting him too much, railed the captain of the Lightning. We understand that it’s an incredible team that has talent in all positions. But we have them too! We will show what we have in the belly at home. »


Photo David Zalubowski, Associated Press

The referee separates Steven Stamkos (91) from the Avalanche players.

The magnitude of that loss is reminiscent of 2019, when Tampa collapsed in four games in the first round after a 128-point season.

“It’s the team that finds its cohesion at the most difficult time of the year that comes here,” recalled Stamkos. It’s not by chance. You deserve your place here. They did it. »

“They’re playing at an elite level right now. Not us. Let’s give them back what’s rightfully theirs,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper continued.

Copy and paste

Collectively, there’s not much that’s similar between Games 1 and 2 of this final. But individually, two players of the winners delivered performances identical to those of the first match.


Photo Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports

Valery Nichushkin (13)

Let’s start with Nichushkin. The old choice of 1er Stars’ turn continues to torture Lightning defensemen. It was he who set the tone with a presence of rare intensity on the forecheck, from the first minute, a presence that led to a penalty from Ryan McDonagh. And who scored on the subsequent power play? Nichushkin himself.

The Russian kept his combativeness in check before the whole evening, while obtaining offensive results; after two periods, he could very well have had four goals! He ended his evening with two nets. Here is one who fully seizes his chance alongside Nathan MacKinnon.

Nichushkin kept the crowd going. That energy was often directed at Corey Perry, who was booed as soon as the warm-up ended. This was followed by well-felt “Perry sucks” in the third period. It must be said that the always disturbing winger did not hesitate to try to distract Darcy Kuemper.

The problem is, the Floridians never really bothered the Avalanche goaltender with shots. They only directed 16 at him, and the Simpsons would have enough of their four fingers to count the dangerous chances on one hand.

The other one who picked up where he left off was Darren Helm. Author of 10 checks on Wednesday, he reached a dozen on Saturday. This time, he also got on the scoresheet with a goal late in the second period.


Photo John Locher, Associated Press

Darren Helm (43)

In a casual discussion a few days ago, fellow TVA Sports analyst Alexandre Picard explained that Helm was one of the fastest players on the circuit in his young days, a quality sometimes less noticed when it comes to players. Support.

Helm will always be an obscure hero, but here he is two wins away from a second Stanley Cup. We guess that many stars would exchange an individual trophy for one of his rings.

Josh Manson and Andre Burakovsky scored the other two goals. Despite the score, Cooper said he never thought of changing goalkeepers. It must be said that three out of four shots by the Avalanche seemed dangerous.

“It’s the playoffs, and Vasi gives us the best chance of winning. He’s the best goaltender in the world, Cooper recalled. We win and we lose as a team. Even if I had wanted to take him out, I don’t think he would have listened to me. It shows what kind of competitor he is. »

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  • 37-3
    It’s the 41e times in NHL history that the home team has won the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Only three times has the losing team managed to win the Stanley Cup.

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