How did that occur? The lightning appeared to do the identical

DENVER – So, we’ve got concepts. We have now hypothesis. We have now mind-blows and fait accompli patterns to explain what occurred to Lightning within the first two video games of the Stanley Cup remaining.

What we would not have are passable solutions or particular options.

How the workforce goes from profitable 10 of its final 12 video games and shutting two of the most important stats within the NHL to a sudden prefer it has no data of the progress of the research generally known as – see word – offense? Or safety?

Lightning didn’t play a big position within the 7-0 defeat in Recreation 2 in opposition to Colorado on Saturday, and the gamers have been not sure of find out how to clarify the failure.

“It ‘s not good, I am certain to say that,” stated Corey Perry subsequent. “We may be higher. We will pace up with the puck.”

It’s true, however it additionally doesn’t clarify why Lightning is just not the very best. Or it is probably not so quick. If there’s a workforce within the NHL that understands the hassle, tempo and sacrifice wanted to win the Stanley Cup, it’s Lightning.

But they’ve performed six video games in a row in opposition to the Avalanche, and have been superior in 4 of these seasons. So what’s the downside?

Lightning wing proper Corey Perry (10), left, and goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) converse between drills on Friday. Some have blamed resistance to lightning strikes, however the workforce has been in Colorado since Monday to organize for his or her upcoming match. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Is it tall?

The unsettling breeze in Colorado actually agrees with the Avalanche. However is it sufficient to divert earnings as a lot because the outcomes of the primary two video games? That is troublesome to swallow.

Lightning arrived in Denver on Monday and had 5 days to achieve admission to the playoffs in Recreation 2. And with all this further time, they performed higher than they did in Recreation 1.

If the climate is massive, the Avalanche won’t ever lose on the Ball Enviornment.

“We have now been right here for per week. So for a very long time solely two video games have been performed. Our individuals don’t quarrel with one another on the bench, ”stated Lightning coach Jon Cooper. “If there’s one workforce that does not make excuses, we’re.”

So did the lightning finish?

On account of vomiting and diarrhea and schedule modifications, Lightning has performed extra video games in a shorter interval than another workforce in NHL historical past. Once they take the ice for Recreation 3 Monday evening on the Amalie Enviornment, it is going to be their sixty fifth playoff sport (excluding the spherical robin 2020) within the final 22 months. That could be a ton of nice highly effective sports activities with brief breaks.

By comparability, Avs are forward of the lineup and Recreation 3 will probably be their thirty ninth off-field sport since 2020.

You could possibly argue that Tampa Bay obtained a break as a result of the 2019-20 and 2020-21 common season has been shortened, however there actually is not any comparability to the problem of hockey.

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Then, there may be the query of age. Ten of Tampa Bay’s 18 skaters within the first two video games have been over 30. Solely 4 of Colorado skaters celebrated their thirtieth birthday. Had been the Avs smaller and brisker?

“I feel having an enormous aim, the Stanley Cup within the constructing, is ruining every part,” Cooper stated. “I am not a believer: ‘They performed a whole lot of hockey video games.’ Not what you wish to do? I want to play hockey and summer time 5 months a 12 months.

“The cash was spent within the sport. That is the quantity. Taking pictures, elbow, hips, cuts, accidents, enjoying each second evening. That is the quantity. They’re lacking guys, we’re lacking guys. We have now guys who’ve by no means been touched. “That is what the variety of video games did. It did not occur final 12 months.”

Tampa Bay Lightning Center Ross Colton (79) overtook the Avalanche players as they celebrated second-half goal by Darren Helm (43) in Game 2.
Tampa Bay Lightning Middle Ross Colton (79) overtook the Avalanche gamers as they celebrated second-half aim by Darren Helm (43) in Recreation 2. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

So are Avs simply higher?

It’s good to think about. Like lightning, they’ve a prestigious defender and Cale Makar. Like Lightning, they’ve an enormous world place with Nathan MacKinnon. Like Lightning, they obtained some sandpaper gamers on the finish of the commerce to make them look horrible within the postseason.

And, just like the Lightning of the final two seasons, they appear to have reached their peak on the identical time.

“That is probably the most dominant, finest workforce sport I’ve ever seen in my life,” six-time Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier stated at ABC after Recreation 2. “From begin to end. Courtesy. They did every part. that you are able to do to make it a greater job.

“Tampa Bay has a whole lot of issues to unravel.”

Colorado coach Jared Bednar stated Sunday morning that he might use Recreation 2 as a template for the upcoming video games. Even Cooper regarded like that, claiming Colorado was enjoying “excellent” hockey whereas Lightning was not.

So is there a solution in that?

Perhaps. There could also be some fact in all of those concepts.

Lightning was most likely the very best at residence, the place they received seven occasions in a row. However they nonetheless have at the least one victory in Colorado in the event that they wish to survive.

They usually nonetheless must play each evening for the remainder of the collection.

They usually nonetheless must discover a solution to cut back the Avs fault that works with excessive pace.

“It merely got here to our discover then. It is not a superb factor, “stated captain Steven Stamkos.” Let’s rise up, after which flip the web page. “

John Romano may be discovered at jromano@tampabay.com. By @romano_tbtimes.

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