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AP Photo / John Bazemore
The king died. Long live the king.
The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 Sunday night to win the 2022 Stanley Cup Final in six games and end Lightning’s two-year career as NHL champions.
Arturi Likonen’s goal with 7:32 seconds left in the second half proved the game winner after Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the first half and Colorado’s Nathan McKinnon tied 1:54 in the second half.
Cal Makar, winner of the Norris Cup earlier this week as the best defensive player in the league, was awarded the Conn Smith award as the best player in the playoffs.
He is the first player in league history to win the Hobey Baker National Player of the Year and Calder Cup as NHL New Player of the Year, as well as Norris, Conn Smith and the Stanley Cup.
The B/R hockey team took a look at Game 6 and put together a fast food menu. Scroll through to see what we came up with, and drop an idea or two of your own in the comments.
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Among the league’s young stars, McKinnon ranks there among the best.
But even if you’re among the groups who claim Conor McDavid or Austin Matthews are superior to the Colorado Avalanche forward, he officially has something he doesn’t.
After five consecutive games in which he scored just one goal on 28 shots, the 2013 No. 1 overall pick showed his tournament-ready muscle in the playoff by scoring an equalizer early in the second half and helping in the cup tiebreak. After a period.
He finished the playoffs with 13 goals, Edmonton’s Evander Kane tied at the top of the league, and 24 points, which finished third in the team behind winner Con Smith Makar and Linem Mikko Rantanen.
Now 26, McKinnon has been a point-per-game player in the regular season for five consecutive years and has now produced at that rate in all six games with Colorado, scoring 93 points in 70 games.
For comparison purposes, Matthews has 33 points in 39 playoff games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, while McDavid has 55 points in 37 games with Edmonton.
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Associated Press/David Zalobovsky
Joe Sakic was a Colorado Stanley Cup winning player.
But the moves he made to assemble the last Avalanche Championship team as general manager require a similar amount of praise these days.
Among the players who lifted the trophy on Sunday night, several came in final trade moves by Sakic to support local key players like McKinnon and Makar.
Artturi Lehkonen was drafted by Montreal and spent parts of six seasons with the Canadians, including his appearance in the 2020-21 final against Lightning, before Sakich brought him in on March 21 in a deal for young man Justin Barron and Thani. A careful choice in 2024.
Veterans Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano, who have combined in more than 1,500 NHL games, were brought over the same week from Anaheim and San Jose, respectively, for a group that included one player and two draft picks.
Several weeks before the 2021-22 season, Syke acquired Arizona goalkeeper Darcy Comber for two picks and a player, and one year earlier, he snatched defender Devon Toze of the New York Islanders twice and immediately signed him to four. $16.4 million deal for the year.
All played vital roles, as the skaters collected 19 goals and 24 assists in the playoff round of 20 games, and Kuemper started going 10-4 in 16 with 2.57 goals-to-average and 902 saves.
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AP Photo / Phelan Ebenhack
No player suspected the avalanche more than Kuemper.
He won the first two games with a little bit of constant pressure on him, but was pulled out of the third game after giving up five goals and succumbing to enough soft goals to make people believe the needle moved to the Tampa Bay team as the series progressed.
Then Game 6.
And while Kuemper didn’t have to be as good as Vezina Trophy in stopping 22 of 23 shots, he held up well after allowing the game’s first goal in under four minutes.
He was called only nine times in the second and only four times in the third, but he stoned Nikita Kocherov at close range in the last moments and never looked uncomfortable or out of place as lightning tried in vain to squeeze the action.
Ryan Sykes @10.Ryan_sikes10
Kuemper with significant time savings on a single timer for Kucherov #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/2Eshsha3Ns
In six matches, he stopped 138 out of 152 shots (908 saves) and had a 2.45-to-average goal. And in games 4-6, despite occasional errors, those numbers improved to 0.934 and 1.89, respectively, compared to Andrei Vasilevsky of Tampa Bay, who scored 0.933 and 2.21 in the same range.
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Associated Press/David Zalobovsky
No team wins the cup without injuries.
And while much time has been spent discussing Brayden Point’s absence in Tampa Bay and elsewhere, Avalanche’s locker room was somewhat reminiscent of the MASH unit, too.
Defensesman Samuel Gerrard lost in the playoffs balance after breaking his sternum following an injury during the second round series against the St. Louis Blues, while forward Andrei Burakowski missed the final four games of the game against Lightning after sustaining a head injury from a shot in Game 2.
He scored the overtime goal that ended match 1.
Striker Nazim Qadri was injured in the Western Conference title series against Edmonton and didn’t play until Game 4 in Tampa Bay, scoring the winner in the OT, and forward Valery Neshushkin briefly skated only in a jersey and shorts on Sunday. morning after he finished with his right leg in an ice pack after Game Five on Friday.
However, Kadri and Nichushkin combined to play over 40 minutes in Game 6, including time in both strong play and in short hand use, and the avalanche got enough away players like Darren Helm (9:56) Ice time), JT Compher (8:56) and Cogliano (9:34) to see if it’s the storm holding the series.
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