TAMPA – In case you’re a impartial observer, you are completely loving this sequence.
In case you’re invested in both facet, you are nervous as heck. And rightfully must be.
The Colorado Avalanche have the prospect to make it 3-1 and power an early sequence victory in entrance of a packed Ball Area crowd on Friday. The Tampa Bay Lightning, nevertheless, are hoping to construct upon a formidable Recreation 3 effort and tie issues up and a power a return journey again to Florida.
In case you’re not treating each Stanley Cup closing recreation prefer it’s Recreation 7, you are not attempting arduous sufficient.
This is what to search for forward of Recreation 4 on Wednesday:
Use the house crowd to your benefit
Up to now, residence groups have been excellent within the 2022 Cup closing, and it has been a fairly distinct benefit all through the playoffs.
For Tampa, they higher hope that sticks.
The Amalie Area crowd was electrical in Recreation 3 — higher than in Denver? Powerful to inform — and will certainly be once more. Something to get the group pumped up. They had been chanting “Vasy, Vasy” minutes earlier than the sport started, and Andrei Vasilevskiy answered with a pair of giant pad stops early within the recreation. They bought the goaltending they wanted, and they will want much more of that.
Regardless of taking a little bit of the momentum again with the victory, the Bolts are nonetheless down 2-1. They can not let the Avalanche rating one other early one — they’ve scored within the first 10 minutes in all three video games — and must reverse the script and begin the injury earlier. Tampa performed an excellent 40 minutes to open the sport, however the Avalanche discovered their legs within the third and — had it not been so out of hand to start with — induced causes for concern in Tampa’s full 60-minute recreation skills.
Tampa wants an amazing recreation on the ice, however no less than we will rely on an enormous exhibiting from the fanbase.
Avs must construct upon the positives
Regardless of dropping 6-2 in Recreation 3, the Avalanche held a Corsi-for proportion of 62.22, a better expected goals-for percentage and a 56.41 shots-for proportion at 5-on-5. Tampa took benefit of poor goaltending on Colorado’s facet, and however the Avs in any other case appeared significantly better at even power.
So, if Darcy Kuemper was higher, the outcome may have been a lot completely different.
The Avalanche have simply three losses all through the playoffs, so it is partly unfamiliar territory. However their means to only smother opponents at will and power groups to chase has been so harmful, they usually’ll look to do this once more tonight. The Lightning will probably be with out Brayden Level in Recreation 4, and Nikita Kucherov and Nick Paul had been banged up, too — can the Avs exploit that?
Colorado must deal with this like its Recreation 7, as a result of the chance to shut the sequence at residence on Friday can be an unbelievable cap to an unbelievable season.
They’re nonetheless in entrance, and the motivation to maintain it that approach is second to none. Not that they want any motivation to win a Stanley Cup closing recreation.