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TRAIKOS: The end of the dynasty where Colorado defeated Tampa Bay and won the Stanley Cup

Andrew Cogliano of the Colorado Avalanche hoists the Stanley Cup after his team defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 to win the Stanley Cup on Sunday night in Tampa, Fla.
Colorado Andrew Colliano Avalanche lifts the Stanley Cup after the team defeats Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 and wins the Stanley Cup on Sunday night in Tampa, Florida.Photo: Bruce Bennett /Getty Images

Tampa — The dynasty is complete.

Legacy is just beginning.

Colorado Avalanche is the new champion of the mountains, beating Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

It was the first championship since 2001. And it competed with one of the best teams of our time.

The victory has closed the three-peat bid in Tampa Bay. If necessary, blame fatigue and attrition warfare. However, Colorado, who lost only four times in these playoffs, deserves praise for what it has achieved. Avalanche dominated the Nashville Predators in the first round, defeated St. Louis Bruce 4-2 in the second round, and dominated the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference final.

By the time they reached the final round, they were simply too fast, too structured, and too hungry for Lightning to handle. 

"Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals," said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar before Game 6. With a certain sense of despair.

After infusing the chance to win the cup with home ice in Game 5, Colorado confirmed that it wouldn't suffocate again. Nathan McKinnon, who had goals and assists, and Avalanche, led by goalkeeper Darcy Kaempfer's bounceback performance, who stopped 22 out of 23 shots, overcame the 1-0 deficit and never looked back. was.

Cale Makar, who finished third with 10 goals and 31 points in the playoffs, was the MVP of the team after Edmonton's Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It was an easy choice. Avalanche Defenseman, who won the Norris Trophy again this year, held his party this postseason.

It wasn't just about goals. Or a point. Every time he was on the ice, he was a threat — and a treat to see. The fact that he is only 23 may mean that this is not the last time he sees Colorado at this stage.

It was the end of Helbalan because no further comeback bid was made for Tampa Bay.

"We have to be surprised at what's happening and how many kicks we can get off the mat," said head coach John Cooper. "It's not necessarily a game situation. Everything you need to leave, such as injuries, blocked shots, gamemanship ... so I think the team is easy to leave and won't keep repeating. 

"These guys don't do that, and it's amazing."

From the opening showdown, Tampa Bay is a more desperate team was. Meanwhile, Colorado seemed to be maximizing their nerves again.

This may explain why Macar was penalized and cleared his throat during the first four minutes of the game. With the ice tilted in favor of Tampa Bay, Stephen Stemkos gave Macar a 1-0 lead to Lightning thanks to a strong foresight from Nikitakurcherov who flipped the puck in front of the net. I gave it. It was the tenth goal of the playoffs Stemkos. And that meant that Colorado was chasing the game again.

It wasn't that important.

After failing to defeat Andrei Vasilevsky in the first period, Avalanche launched an attack in the second period and was finally rewarded for their efforts. ..

McKinnon, who was bitten by a snake in most of the finals, scored 13 goals in one time to lead the playoffs at 1:54 in the opening round, which defeated Vasilevsky on the blocker side. did. About 10 minutes later, I became McKinnon again. This time, I set up Arturi Reconen in a strange rush to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.

Slightly surprisingly, it was the first time Avalanche had played in the lead since the first period of the third game of the final.

The lead change seemed to give Colorado new life. At the same time, he died from Lightning, who didn't shoot online for the first 11 minutes of the third period.

Even if there were shots, Kaempfer swallowed them — or Gabriel Landeskog blocked them on skates and broke his blade in the process. It was the best match of a 32-year-old veteran final. And for Kaempfer, it's been around for a long time.

The same is true for the rest of the avalanche. Avalanche only came true after years of early exit and unfulfilled expectations.

mtraikos@postmedia.com

twitter.com/Michael_Traikos

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