June 26, 2022
Ladies and gentlemen, the Colorado Avalanche are your 2022 Stanley Cup champions!
With a score of 2 to 1, the Colorado Avalanche have defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lighting, in a series that was somewhat surprisingly one-sided.
Once again, Arturri Lehkonen came up big and scored the eventual Stanley Cup clinching goal. Lehkonen was also netted the series winning goal that sent the Avalanche to the cup finals, as he also did almost exactly one year ago today, when he tallied an overtime goal that sent his now former team, the Montreal Canadiens to the finals, which was also played against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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The Lightning won last year, but this year Lehkonen had his redemption, scoring the goal that would knock the winds out of the Tampa Bay sails. Having won the past two cups, Tampa Bay was looking for a third straight title and were heavy favorites coming into the series, but Colorado never quit and looked the better team throughout.
Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning captain, opened the scoring of game six, where and the Lightning where trying to tie up the series and force a seventh game. But in the second period, Colorado Avalanche star Nathan McKinnon scored to the game, before Arturri Lehkonen fired home a goal that was eerily similar to the one he scored to eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights last season. This marker proved to be the cup winning goal as the third period went without a goal, and the Avalanche hoisted their third cup and first since 2001.
What next for Corey Perry?
Veteran forward Corey Perry has now been on the losing team of the Stanley Cup finals for three straight years, on three different teams. The first player to do so in NHL history. Perry has a year remaining on a two-year contract he signed the summer after the Habs lost to the Lightning in 2021. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them – join them. Yet those words didn’t ring true for Perry, who was on the losing end of a cup series when the Dallas Stars, then the Montreal Canadiens fell to Tampa Bay. Now a member of the team that vanquished him twice in a row, he is again on the wrong end of the ice as the Avalanche defeat the Lighting in six games.
Perry was also on two Anaheim Ducks teams that lost in the cup finals, in 2015 and 2017, while he won with the Ducks in 2007 – the only cup win in Anaheim’s history to date.
Meanwhile, the opposite is true for Pat Maroon, who won three straight cups with the St.Louis Blues, before joining the Lightning for their two cups, only to lose his bid for a fourth alongside Perry. There’s always next year.