Colorado Avalanche: 5 Takeaways from Lightning vs. Canadiens


The Colorado Avalanche missed out on the playoffs, but they might be able to learn a little something from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Montreal Canadiens eliminated in six games by the Tampa Bay Lightning

Takeaway #1 for the Avalanche: At least you’re not from Canada.

The last time a team from Canada won the Stanley Cup was in 1993 when the Canadiens beat the Kings. Since then, Canadian teams have only made the Cup Final five times, losing each time.

Given that the United States has 23 teams while Canada only has seven, the numbers will always be in favor of the good ol’ USA, but you’d think a Canadian team would get lucky at some point. Three of the last four times a Canadian team has made the Finals, the series has gone to a Game 7. Sooner or later, one has to go their way, right? Until that happens, and hopefully it doesn’t happen against the Avs, Colorado fans and players should be thankful that they aren’t cheering for or playing on a team that represents Canada.

Takeaway #2 for the Avalanche: Play up to your goalie’s level.

Often times you need your goalie to be the best player on the ice for at least three games to win a series, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave him hanging in every game. Carey Price was great for most of the playoffs, but the rest of his team was not on his level. Price had one bad game, game two where the Canadiens as a whole imploded, but otherwise he gave them a chance to win every night. Unfortunately for him, his teammates didn’t give him much support. Whether they weren’t scoring goals or they were allowing him to get pelted with pucks, the Canadiens often times left their goalie out to dry.

On the flip side, the Lightning did a great job in supporting Ben Bishop. He gave up the occasional soft goal, but the team always found a way to respond.

Takeaway #3 for the Avalanche: Play to your potential.

The Lightning are just coming into their own. Steven Stamkos is 25, Ondrej Palat is 24, Tyler Johnson is 24, Nikita Kucherov is 21, Victor Hedman is 24 Anton Stralman is 28, and Bishop is 28.

By comparison, if you look at the Avs, Matt Duchene is 24, Ryan O’Reilly is 24, Nathan MacKinnon is 19, Gabriel Landeskog is 22, Tyson Barrie is 23, Erik Johnson is 27, and Semyon Varlamov is 27. These guys are essentially a year behind the Lightning. If all of them play to their potential like Tampa Bay has done this season, there’s no reason why they they can’t be in the same position as the Lightning next season.

Takeaway #4 for the Avalanche: Use your speed.

Like the Avalanche, the Lightning has a ton of speed up front. The difference is, the Lightning seem to use their speed a lot better. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the Lightning have better first pass defensemen. Often times the playoffs become a tight checking affair where speed is neutralized, but the Lightning is proving that speed can still be a very effective weapon if you can get the engine started.

Takeaway #5 for the Avalanche: Don’t lose your cool. 

Montreal lost this series in game two. They were already down 1-0 in the series, had lost six straight to the Lightning dating back to the regular season, and were headed to Tampa Bay where the Lightning had the best home record in the league. They couldn’t afford to lose game two at home. Not only did they lose that game, but they fell apart and never really recovered.

Next: 5 Takeaways from Ducks vs Flames

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