KOWABUNGA LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, WHAT A START TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS WITH A 4-3 OVERTIME WIN BY THE COLORADO AVALANCHE!!
Game 1 Hog Report
We are in for a high powered, adrenaline pumping series with how fast and creative these teams can be. It’s really incredible to see the size, skill, and speed between both these teams. We are not dealing with Cinderella stories or low ranked teams here, we have the best of the best and besides Nazim Kadri being hurt, the stars are shining bright.
4 goals in the first period and with Colorado, at home and up 3-1 after the first, you’d think they would hit the 5th gear and cruise to a game 1 victory. The 2-time back-to-back champions from Tampa Bay found their stride and kept an offensive tempo after getting their bells rung early. Stifling the Colorado offense is no easy task but after the 1st period, they held Colorado scoreless as Nikita Kucherov collects point #25 in these playoffs and led the Bolts into tucking 2 more past Kuemper in the 2nd period. A scoreless 3rd sent these two teams into a short overtime as Andre Burakovsky found the back of the net after a beautiful dish by Nichushkin to set up the game winner.
Promising Future for the Colorado Avalanche
Bo Byram is 21 years old and for all the shine Cale Makar gets, Byram has a very promising future ahead. He set up the initial pass that led to the first goal. A powerful forecheck by Colorado caused a bad turnover by Tampa and Nathan Mackinnon capitalized by feeding Nichushkin in the high slot who put a well-placed shot below and past Vasilevsky. Niles Paul has been a great addition to the bottom six of Tampa as he collects goal #4 which brought Tampa within 1. Brayden Point steals the puck and feeds Hedman who throws it into the Colorado zone but has a favorable bounce on an Avalanche defenseman and Niles scoops and scores on Kuemper. Two back-to-back penalties late in the 1st set up Colorado to go up 3-1 on a 5-3 powerplay when Artturi Lehkonen taps in a gorgeous backdoor feed from Avalanche captain, Gabriel Landeskog.
Colorado led in shots 38-23 but also dominated the takeaways as they had 17 to Tampa’s 4. The Avalanche have such an incredible style of defense and pressure while generating speed and offense the whole game. For having about a week or so off as they waited for the Eastern Conference to finish, Avalanche had no rust as they came out flying. Game 2 is Saturday June 18th at 8:00pm EST as we run it back in Colorado again.