One More Playoff Series Awaits in the 2022 NHL Season
Well hockey fans, the end of the NHL season is getting closer. The Stanley Cup Finals begin on Wednesday night in Denver as the Colorado Avalanche take on the two-time defending champion, Tampa Bay Lightning. After coming back from a two-games-to-none deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers, the Lightning are looking to three-peat. The last team to three-peat in the NHL were the New York Islanders, when they won four-straight Stanley Cup Finals from 1980-1983 (and the four years before that, the Montreal Canadiens four-peated.)
As fun as playoff hockey is to watch every year, there is certainly a gaping hole in the hearts of all Minnesota Wild fans this year. This was our year!! However, watching Colorado and Tampa Bay bulldoze their way through the playoffs, I do feel as though the two best teams are going for the Cup.
Though I hated to see Tampa Bay make it back to the SC Finals, I think this will be a much better matchup, than if the NY Rangers didn’t blow a two-game lead and actually won the East. Colorado would have blown them out, like every other team they’ve met in the playoffs. Colorado could arguably be compared to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls or the 1998 New York Yankees. From the beginning of the season, everyone knew those teams were all going to play for their respective championship by the end of the year. BTW – Lebron sucks and is a Jordan-wannabe. Michael Jordan is, and forever will be, the G.O.A.T. Period.
I don’t know if Tampa Bay was asleep or hungover for the first two games of the series, or what? I had a sneaking suspicion that they weren’t going to go away quietly, but I didn’t expect that they would sweep the next four games though. Rangers’ goalie, Igor Shesterkin, was an absolute beast and made a LOT of dandy saves throughout the playoffs, especially in Game 6 against Tampa. He is the reason they were in that game, as it sure as hell wasn’t their offense.
Similarly, I didn’t think that Colorado would sweep Edmonton out of the playoffs either. If there was one guy, who didn’t play for the Wild, who I wanted to see win a Cup, it was Connor McDavid of the Oilers. If you don’t understand why I say that, you probably haven’t seen him play. The guy can make an entire team look like a bunch of beer-leaguers (no offense to beer-leaguers) McDavid is silky smooth.
Sure, it would have been so great if the Wild would have been going to the finals instead of the Avalanche, but that’s the way the puck drops. I’m still excited for the finals and my prediction is that the _______________________ will win the 2022 Stanley Cup. OK, OK – I think Colorado will bring it home in seven games. No matter who wins, I think it’s going to be a great series.
If you thought that you wouldn’t hear from me all summer because the Wild are no longer playing in the playoffs, to that, I reply with…
I will be bringing you news and updates on the Wild, plus other hockey teams throughout the State of Hockey. Also, I am working on a surprise article – perhaps even two – for you all as well. Please stay tuned and thank you for following me during my rookie season. More hockey to come, Minnesota fans. More to come.
In the meantime, be sure to visit The Morning Skate for more news and analysis from my co-authors this week, as we enjoy one more series of playoff hockey. I’m out.