On Friday night, the Avalanche was reminded that nothing is safe against Lightning, the two-time Stanley Cup champion. That’s no cause for concern for Jared Bednar’s men, however, who need to take inspiration from their second-round series against the Blues. The Avalanche traveled to St. Louis to play Game 6 before triumphing and advancing to the Western Finals.
“We have to play with that feeling of desperation. It’s the final. With the number of games to play, you have to play every game with desperation,” said Josh Manson at the time, looking back at the series against the Blues.
“When we played the Blues we had the same feeling after they came back in Game 5. We had to play desperately and we learned a lot from this series. »
Despite the loss, there is still optimism for the Avalanche. After all the progress since the start of the season there is no question of giving up, let alone a 3-2 lead in the series.
“We’ve had quite a season, but the work isn’t over yet. I still have a lot of faith and determination in myself and in our team. We’re here – in the final – it has to be fun. I know how much our players want the trophy. We have to try to reduce the stress level in our heads in order to offer the best performance,” the Avalanche driver launched on Saturday morning.
According to Bednar, the key to success for the Avalanche is to be more disciplined and pay even more attention to detail.
“There is still a lot of hockey to play. I expect our players to play at the highest level. »
“We have to find the things that we do well, that we need to repeat, to help the team. Then you need to turn the page and focus on the next game, staying in the present moment. It is a reset to default mental. »
And with a team as experienced as the Lightning, it’s true that Colorado will quickly forget that defeat.
“That’s their way of playing, they close the game defensively and attack the net in the offensive zone, they’re opportunistic. It’s a good recipe for the playoffs, which is why Tampa has had so much success in recent years. They are difficult to confront. We have to keep our foot on the accelerator, we can’t stop,” Manson wisely admitted.
In the Lightning camp, the explanation of achievement goes even further than Manson’s, and that’s why Jon Cooper and his men believe more than ever in a third straight Stanley Cup.
“At this time of year you have to make so many sacrifices to be successful. We have to sacrifice our bodies, block shots, make controls. This mentality has been anchored in our group for several years, which is why we are successful. We aspire to play like this, it’s part of our DNA,” said Ryan McDonagh.
Jon Cooper amazed at the Flash’s work
“I’m amazed at what this group is achieving,” added Cooper. You can easily be pushed to the side. Injuries, game control, and blocked shots force you to retreat to tell yourself you’ve already won. Because of this, few teams win the Stanley Cup consecutively. you give up But our team won’t. »
On Sunday, the Lightning have an opportunity to force Game 7 while the Avalanche can take the top honor. However, if the result is not guaranteed, Cooper assures that his team’s preparation will be adequate.
“Experience is important. The experience of our employees, our team. It’s not guaranteed that we’ll win, but our mentality will help us in our preparation. »