A Delayed Ending to Game 4 Has Instant Aftershocks
By: Katherine Wu
Last Thursday, in a frenetic game in Tampa, Florida, the Colorado Avalanche claimed a 2-1 victory against the Lightning in Game 4 of this year’s Stanley Cup.
Prior to the game, Joe Sakic, the general manager of the Avalanche, had scored the most famous goal of the millennium. On Thursday, he gave that honor to Nazem Kadri, whose shot off the rush surprised everyone, including Lightning goalkeeper Andrei Vasilevskiym. The on-ice referees and the crowd in the stands were not used to the silence that came after this shocker.
This victory marks the Colorado Avalanche’s first Stanley Cup win in over two decades. They had not played for the cup since 2001.
“Obviously, they’re probably preaching, ‘They’ve never been here; they’re going to be tight,’ and that’s fair,” Colorado’s star center, Nathan MacKinnon, said. “But we’ll be ready to go. We’ve been great under pressure all playoffs, all season.”
On the other hand, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper appeared as though he wanted a hug, or some alone time with the officials in a soundproof room. He answered only one question after the game.
“This one is going to sting much more than others,” Cooper said, adding, “You’re going to see what I mean when you see the winning goal. And my heart breaks for the players. Because we probably still should be playing.”
According to replays that spread over social media, Cooper, a former lawyer, said that Colorado had too many hockey players on the ice when Kadri scored. He also claimed that Nathan MacKinnon had been lingering too far away from the Avalanche bench when Kadri jumped on. Cooper did say that his team had to move on and continue practicing.
Natural Stat Trick records that the Avalanche have taken 75 more shots overall against the Lightning at even strength. They had 11 high-risk scoring opportunities. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, dominated in the neutral zone, the spaces in between the circles, and below the goal line.
In the difficult race for a Cup, teams benefit from good fortune, opportunity, and circumstance, as well as a limitless tolerance for pain.