Andrei Vasilevsky lost two playoff matches in a row for the second time since 2019. Tampa were smashed 0-7, and although they’ve been out of the pits more than once this year, 2-3 with Toronto and 0-2 with Rangers, things look different now. In the final of the East, the “lightning” began to recover already in the second match, and against the backdrop of the “avalanches” they continue to look like frail old men. Few people believe that the Lightning will be able to defend the championship title for the second time – even Phil Esposito does not recognize his team, and even local observers begin to lose hope.


What a pain for Tampa!  Colorado Knocked Out Champion 7-0 And Ready To Revolutionize The NHL
What a pain for Tampa! Colorado Knocked Out Champion 7-0 And Ready To Revolutionize The NHL

“Only a complete collapse will prevent Colorado from winning the Cup”

“This Colorado is coming in waves. All-court speed that cuts the ground from under even experienced opponents. Four links that can score. A majority that retained momentum from the last round. And a strict, attention to detail defense that does not let you breathe.

Did we mention speed? Moving like they had rocket boosters attached to their skates, Colorado crushed Tampa, scoring big and fast en route to a 7-0 win. Evs are two wins away from their first Cup in 21 years. Two wins away from ending two years of Tampa NHL dominance. Two wins away from putting an exclamation mark on the return of strength to the club, two wins away from possibly starting their own era of dominance.

These grandiloquent thoughts cannot be discounted. The Colorado played so well to go 2-0 in the series, and the Lightning looked so lethargic, tired and exhausted. Only a complete collapse will stop Colorado from winning the Cup,” writes the Denver Post.

Colorado fans with a toy Stanley Cup

Colorado fans with a toy Stanley Cup

Photo: Andy Cross/Getty Images

Colorado played defensively the way they expected from Tampa – strangling the opponent, giving all the best on the forecheck and reducing the number of shots on their own goal. They played in the attack the way they were expected of them – they clearly passed, realized their chances, caused Tampa a headache with their speed.

“We played exactly in our style, but we know that in the next match the opponent will show his best hockey. Always the hardest game is the next one,” said Cale Makar.

Especially against a team like Tampa. The Lightning are familiar with this situation firsthand. They lost the first two games of the Conference Finals to the Rangers before winning the next four.

But this Colorado is not the Rangers. This is a team with elite talent and great depth that plays at its peak and looks like the most formidable among Tampa’s rivals in the last three years, ”says Peter Bau, author of The Athletic.

“Is this really Tampa playing?” No, not exactly. She seemed to be sucked in by a quagmire.”

“Stephen Stamkos knows what a lot of people are thinking. That it’s all over The Lightning are in trouble after a humiliating and embarrassing loss in their second match. Colorado declassed the champion of the last two years and looked faster, more disciplined, more dangerous and more hungry.

When Stamkos spoke to the press, it seemed like he wanted to send a signal, if not to the hockey world, then to the players in the Tampa locker room: “It was completely unacceptable, especially at this time of year. After this game, people will probably think that the series is over. But we have a very tenacious team. 0:1, 0:7 or 0:10 is just a defeat in the playoffs, and you have to move on. We need to gather our courage, return home and show what we are worth.

Tampa’s character, courage, and determination have rarely been called into question in the last three years. They are kings in terms of catch-up. Adaptation Masters. They are a team that refuses to die. But after the Colorado scored seven goals against Andrei Vasilevsky, it’s time to ask yourself the question: “Maybe the Evs are just stronger?”

The most surprising thing in the second match was the beginning. Usually “Tampa” fights back, plays calmly and patiently. Before the game, John Cooper said that he was expecting a much better first 10 minutes by Tampa than they had in the first game. But they turned out to be much worse.

“Is this really Tampa playing?” asked club founder Phil Esposito.

No, not exactly. This is the most confused and stunned Tampa in a long time. She seemed to be sucked in by a quagmire. The Avalanche looked like they were playing at FTL. “This is the fastest of our rivals. We need to figure out how to slow them down,” Stamkos said.

Good luck. Colorado is different. The beast. A team that is ready to build their own dynasty.

Only four teams in history have lost the first two games in both the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals, and none of them have won the championship. Tampa have won four in a row after two losses in New York. “We wrote one story, and now we have to write another,” Cooper said.

If they succeed, it will be the most incredible part of their series of all time. The Lightning have lost two in a row, and for the first time in their reign, they are being questioned. They should use this as motivation and remind themselves how they got here. They should remember, as Cooper said before Game 7 against Toronto, that they are on the cusp of greatness, so why don’t they knock on that door? Let’s see what they’re worth,” writes Joe Smith of The Athletic.



“He’s special and made for the playoffs.” Nichushkin ruins Tampa by entering the finals MVP

“So that’s how you feel. Helplessness, hopelessness, unbearable shame from the fact that he went to the game and realized that the other team was playing at an incomprehensible level. Oh, now you even begin to sympathize with Florida. And Boston, and Carolina, and all the other teams that Tampa beat in recent years. Because what Colorado did to Tampa in Game 2 was just as heartbreaking as everything Tampa has done to their rivals in recent seasons. Maybe even worse,” writes the Tampa Bay Times.

Valery Nichushkin celebrating a goal in Game 2 of the NHL Finals

Valery Nichushkin celebrating a goal in Game 2 of the NHL Finals

Photo: Andy Cross/Getty Images

“Where have the champions gone? It was a beating of the highest order.”

“Where have the champions of the last two years gone? Colorado took out Tampa 7-0 and took the undisputed lead in the series. In Game 2, Colorado pounced on Tampa, pinning them in their zone for the entire first period, and for the entire game, to be honest, and even earned a majority on the forecheck in the first shift.

Nichushkin realized this majority, from that moment on, everything went downhill for Tampa. The failure in the attack zone led to a two-on-one exit, which Manson converted. Burakovsky continued his work, shooting past Vasilevsky, who was going through hard times. After the break, Tampa began to show more resistance, but still the Colorado commanded the parade. Nichushkin climbed onto the Tampa patch and made the score 4-0, removing all questions in this match. Toward the end of the period, the Lightning created a couple of good chances, but another loss in the opponent’s zone led to a counterattack, which was completed by Helm. In the third period, Tampa continued to make one mistake after another, and Colorado made them pay for those mistakes.

While the Tampas can never be discounted early in the series, especially until they’re at home, it’s hard not to wonder: what if John Cooper’s team’s scythe just found a rock? It was a beating of the highest standard, and now Tampa will have to fight for survival. This team has already played 0-2 before. But now their chances look illusory, ”writes The Hockey News.

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