Duty accomplished: Avalanche head to Tampa with confidence

The Colorado Avalanche did their homework in the Stanley Cup Finals and head to Tampa with a healthy dose of confidence. Cale Makar also reached a small milestone in a convincing 7-0 home win.

Are challenged against a foreign backdrop on Tuesday night: the Colorado Avalanche.


Almost eight minutes had been played in Denver, Colorado, when Nico Sturm fought the shot behind his own goal and served his teammate. The 27-year-old got the avalanche rolling again: a few seconds and an exemplary attack later the score was 2-0. Sturm celebrated exuberantly with goal scorer Josh Manson and around 20,000 fans in the stands.

From then on, the Avalanche fans were allowed to celebrate five more times – and that in one final game: The Colorado Avalanche beat their opponent 7-0 (3-0, 2-0, 2-0) in game two of the NHL final series away. Tampa Bay Lightning, after all the Stanley Cup winners of the past two years, received a historic lesson.

For seven games, Colorado has always come off the ice as the winner – in the semifinals, the German superstar Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers had already gotten under the wheels with 0: 4 in the series. In addition, the 7-0 meant the highest clean sheet success in the finals since 1991.

We just stuck to our plan and played our system.

Cale Makar, who scored twice, was much more sober about the offensive fireworks: “We just stuck to our plan, worked well and played our system,” said the 23-year-old, who reached a curious milestone that evening. As only the second defender in Stanley Cup finals history, he was successful both outnumbered and outnumbered.

How is Colorado doing away from home?

Nevertheless, Makar and Co. will focus on game three: In Tampa on Tuesday night (2:00 a.m. CEST/Sky), Colorado then has the chance to make a preliminary decision in the best-of-seven series.

Storm should be part of the game again. The Augsburger, who only moved to Colorado three months ago, plays a small but by no means insignificant role in the main round of the Western Conference: In game two he was on the ice for almost 11 minutes.

“Every kid who plays hockey has dreamed of lifting the Stanley Cup,” Sturm said before the start of the final series. He would be the fifth German player to fulfill this dream. The ex-national coach and former world-class defender Uwe Krupp even managed this feat with the Avalanche. Also in 1996 the avalanche could not be stopped.

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