Though hockey season may be ending soon, it does not mean the action is ending. In fact, the action is heating up. With the Colorado Avalanche beating the Oilers 4-0 in the series and securing their spot in the Stanley Cup finals, it is now between the New York Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lighting to secure the other spot.
Over the past few weeks, Colorado swept the Nashville Predators 4-0 in the series to carry them into round two. After defeating the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in the series, they moved onto the Western Division Conference Finals. There, they were able to win all four games against the Edmonton Oilers for a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
The Avalanche is led by captain Gabriel Landeskog. Cale Makar is currently leading the team in points and assists in the postseason while Nathan Mackinnon is leading the team in goals. The Avalanche have a great offense and a dangerous defense making them a tough competitor. With their depth on both ends of the ice, it is understandable how the Colorado Avalanche have secured their spot in the final.
The fight for the Eastern Division Title is not over. The Rangers and Lightning are still playing to see who will win and get a change to play for the cup. The Lightning are currently leading the series 3-2. After losing the first two away games in the series, Tampa Bay came home to win their first game in the series in the last minute of game play. Then, on Tuesday night, they tied the series at home to make it 2-2.
The Rangers currently do not have a captain but are led by several alternate captains. Mika Zibanejad serves as an alternate and currently leads the team in points and goals in the postseason. The Lightning are led by captain Steven Stamkos. Nikita Kucherov currently leads the team in points, goals, and assists. Both teams have strong goaltenders in net making each team a tough competitor. Shesterkin is the goalie for the Rangers and Vasilevskiy is the goalie for the Lightning. While both teams have a strong offense as well, the series is a match up between the goalies. The Tampa Bay Lightning are also your back to back Stanley Cup Champions looking for their third cup in a row.
Even though it is still not determined who will play the Avalanche in the final it will still be a great match-up. All three teams have a strong offense backed up by strong defense and goalies. With the Rangers and Lightning still fighting for the title of Eastern Conference Finals, the Avalanche must wait for their time to play.