Avalanche Excited To Challenge The Lightning In The Stanley Cup Final

Denver – The Colorado Avalanche couldn’t ask for a better opponent than the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, in a sense.

“To be the best, you have to defeat the best, and these guys are defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, so we’re excited,” Captain Gabriel Landskog Sunday said. “It will be a good match.”

Avalanche reached the Cup Final by sweeping the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final with a 6-5 win over overtime in Game 4 at Rogers Place in Edmonton on June 6.

They didn’t know their opponent until five days later, when Lightning eliminated the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final with a 2-1 win in Game 6 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday.

Game 1 will be one of the best of a 7-match series Wednesday at the Ball Arena in Denver (8 PM ET; ESPN+, ABC, CBC, SN, TVAS).

“Obviously they are a really good team,” Avalanche def Bowen Byram He said. “They’ve won the Stanley Cup back-to-back. But we’re confident too. We have a really good team. It’s not easy to get to the Cup final.

“As Gabe said, we are excited for the match. They are a really good team, and we have to do our best to beat them. But we are excited about this challenge.”

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Avalanche is 12-2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs and hasn’t fallen behind in a series. They swept the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Western Conference and defeated the St. Louis Blues in six games in the second round before sweeping the Oilers.

But they’ve never faced a team like the Lightning, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in the first round of the Eastern Conference and swept the Florida Panthers in the second round before eliminating the Rangers.

“The experience they have is invaluable at this time of year, and I think they’re finding ways to progress at this point in the season,” Landeskog said. “And when the playoffs rolled around, they were able to run it. The regular season, there were times when they struggled and whatnot, but this time, everyone is ahead.

“They’re a deep team. They’re good from the back end all the way. Obviously, a good, strong goalkeeper in special teams – all of those things. No team gets to that point without having some kind of all of those things. So, they have a lot of Things are going in their favour, but we are, so it’s going to be a fun series.”

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar provided a similar exploratory report.

“A real deep team,” Bednar said. “A team that is very committed on the defensive side of things. Dangerous attacking. Great goalkeepers. I mean, they are back where they are for a reason, right? So, this is a very tough team to win against, and we have to be ready for the challenge.”

Bednar said the avalanche should play into their identity, and it should start with skating. They would have to get the disc at the offensive end, get past it from the Tampa Bay shot-blockers and then get past the goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevsky.

“It’s big,” Landeskog said. “He’s mobile. He does good readings. He seems to be a quiet goalkeeper and stops what he needs. Obviously in the West, and being in the East, you don’t see much during the year. TV, you just see a lot. But yeah, the best goalkeeper in the league. “.

The avalanche has been given time to rest, reconfigure and build toward the cup final. They drove home on Tuesday, set out on Wednesday, and skated Thursday and Friday at the training grounds in Centennial, Colorado. After taking a vacation on Saturday, they skated hard on Sunday at the Ball Arena.

Bednar said he was practically in the locker room.

“Everyone really wants and absorbs the information,” Bednar said. “We’re having conversations across our room about how we’re beating the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“So we had a day or two to relax, and then we went back to work and got progressively stronger with each practice. We talk to our guys about making sure we compete hard against each other, so we’re ready to go, just like we’ve been in the last few series.

“I loved the work we did, so it kind of continues in the process of what we need to do to be successful against anyone.”

Bednar said Lightning is the team after which every other team is trying to design themselves, win the cup, stay among the best teams in the NHL, and prove themselves over and over again. This compatibility gives the avalanche a chance to prove themselves.

“The way I look at it is, if you want to be the best, you have to expect to be able to beat the best, so that’s it, and we’re ready to take on the challenge,” Bednar said. “We are preparing for the challenge. You know, it is going to be a long and difficult streak, two great teams will be in it, we are confident in what we are doing, and likewise, I am sure that they too, come back here again.”

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