Yle Sporten broadcasts: The fourth final can be decisive for who wins the Stanley Cup – does Tampa equalize, or is Colorado back in the driver’s seat?

Next night, the Stanley Cup can in principle be decided. If Tampa manages to take its second victory in a row and equalize the series, the reigning champions’ momentum will be difficult to upset. If Colorado wins, you get three match balls.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Colorado Avalanche, final 4

  • At 3.05, TV2 and the Arena

  • Commentator: Anders Nordenswan

4–3, 7–0, 6–2: is it time for a new elimination or will it be a goal-oriented even match for the sake of variety? The fourth final between Lightning and Avalanche is an uncertain story – what kind of rabbits jump out of their hats this time?

So much is at stake in the match – which could be a crossroads – that the basic expectation is a match where neither team can escape. Now that the gangs have become well acquainted with each other and both have experienced what should be avoided at all costs, should it be an even bargain?

Namely, there are two extremely good teams that meet, probably the league’s two best. Feels completely crazy if it does not eventually lead to matches where both teams know exactly what the opponent is offering – and have answers to give on everything. So that it is the margins and the details that decide.

The team that wins match four will be difficult to stop. If Colorado takes a 3-1 lead, you get a match ball in Mile High City. And if Tampa equalizes the series – yes, that confidence will be hard to crack.

Should Rantanen net, has Lehkonen been able to eat?

Finland’s currently the best ice hockey player (the award is now official), Mikko Rantanen, has accounted for seven assists in three finals. And it’s certainly not rubbish, but brilliant performances. Or poisonous shoots that have given juicy returns.

But not a single goal has been scored for “The Moose” in the finals. And if Colorado is to become champion, the sniper will probably need to find the net.

Artturi Lehkonen in turn has been plagued with troublesome food poisoning. Anyone who has spent time lying on the bathroom floor after suffering from stomach ailments can appreciate that he managed to play both match two and three. Being tackled may not have been particularly fun.



Caption
Artturi Lehkonen’s stomach has been in trouble during the final game.

Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Tracks

Lehkonen has scored a lot of minus goals in the final series, but that does not tell the truth about his game. Even the stomach up and down, he won most of his melee fights. One can still trust that Artturi will be tagged to a thousand when the energy reserves are full.

It will be interesting to see if coach Bednar keeps the same chains that he put together at the end of the last match. That is, Rantanen in the parade chain with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon and Lehkonen in second place with Valeri Nitushkin and JT Compher.

Nazem Kadri is the key. If the second center is ready for play, after the injury break, it will probably be a comeback for the trio Lehkonen – Kadri – Rantanen.

Keep an eye on MacKinnon and Tampa’s four

The fact that Mikko Rantanen has not scored a goal raises eyebrows. But the fact that Nathan MacKinnon still has a round zero in the final series’ goal protocol raises blood pressure. At MacKinnon and the entire Colorado camp.

Franchise player MacKinnon is not that casual guy who thinks it’s exactly the same who decides as long as the team wins. Of course, he mainly wants to see Avalanche win – but if he himself does not have a large share in the winners, probably not all peace and joy is in his own psyche.

Count on a one-man avalanche every time number 29 jumps into the rink. He must get the puck in goal – otherwise the will begins to oppose the team game.

Darren Helm and Corey Perry in close combat.

Caption
Corey Perry knows how to annoy the opponent.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In Tampa, the fourth chain with Pat Maroon, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Corey Perry has more and more started to look like a real nightmare for Colorado. Physically almost impossible to deal with, terribly good at agitating – and sensationally dangerous.

If Tampa wins tonight, no one should be surprised if it is Perry or Maroon who decides.

This is how it goes

Predict a one- or two-goal victory – and that it is Colorado that takes it. Avalanche should have the speed and sharpness to take the lead.

Otherwise, they have gone into Tampa’s traps and chewed the poison that Lightning smeared on the menu (no boot for Lehkonen here).




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