NHL Stanley Cup Final 2022: Top Comments Following Avalanche vs. Lightning Game 2

Jake RillJune 19, 2022

Colorado Avalanche players celebrate after the Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 7-0 in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photo/John Locher

That was quite the statement made by the Colorado Avalanche.

While Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final needed overtime to decide a winner between Colorado and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Game 2 was nowhere near that close.

The Avalanche routed their opponent 7-0 on Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in the series, which will now shift to Tampa, Florida for Games 3 and 4.

But if Colorado keeps up this momentum, it may be difficult for Tampa Bay, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, to get back into this year's Final.

Andre Burakovsky lifted the Avalanche to victory with an OT strike in the opener and then scored one of their three goals in the first period of Game 2.

From there, Colorado's attack just kept pouring it on on its home ice.

“We came out with a purpose,” Avs forward Andrew Cogliano said, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press. “We got to our game, we skated from the drop of the puck and we just didn’t let up.”

It could end up being a special postseason for Colorado. According to NHL.com's Nick Cotsonika, it's only the fifth team to open the playoffs 14-2, and the first since the 2012 Los Angeles Kings. The previous four teams to do so all won the Stanley Cup.

Cotsonika also pointed out that the 1988 Edmonton Oilers went 16-2 in the postseason, the best record for a team since the playoff format was changed in 1987, when 16 wins became necessary to capture the Cup. With two more victories, the Avs could match that mark.

"Our team just seems to be really focused, dialed in, and they're hungry," Colorado head coach Jared Bednar told reporters. "They want to win, so they're playing as hard as they possibly can every shift."

This series isn't over, though. It was only this month that the Lightning overcame an 0-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Final by reeling off four straight victories over the New York Rangers.

But if Tampa Bay is going to win a third consecutive Stanley Cup, it will need to start playing much better after getting outscored 11-3 in the first two games vs. Colorado.

“They’re playing at an elite level right now—give them credit. We are not,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, per Whyno. “They’re two good teams. They’re just playing a much higher level right now than we are.”

Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos went as far to call his team's recent performances "totally not acceptable."

"Whether it's 1-0 or 7-0 or 10-0, it's a loss in the playoffs, and you've got to move on, man up as a team, as a person," Stamkos said, per Cotsonika. "Our team is going to do that. Let's get back home in front of our fans, and let's see what we're made of."

If the Avalanche win Game 3 on Monday night, then the deficit may be too much for the Lightning. The only team to come back from trailing 0-3 to win the Stanley Cup Final were the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.

So, it's crucial Tampa Bay bounces back with a win next time out. Otherwise, it may not be too long until Colorado is celebrating with the Cup.