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Last week was the end of the 106th Stanley Cup Tournament, the premier event in the NHL. After a long and competitive tournament and finals series, the victory was decided on June 26. Who won the Stanley Cup? Read on below for this and much more!
Who played in the series?
This year’s Stanley Cup was a competition between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Avalanche were coached by Jared Bednar, who has coached for them since 2016, and the Lightning were coached by Jon Cooper, who has been head coach since 2013.
Going into the series, the Avalanche had a record of 56 and 19, and the Lightning had a record of 51 and 23. Most predictions for the series expected a fairly balanced competition, as both teams had an impressive regular season.
The Stanley Cup is decided by a series of seven games played over the course of two weeks, and the first team to win four games comes away with the trophy.
What was the final result? The Avalanche won the cup with a 2-1 win in the sixth game of the best-of-seven series, finishing the finals with a 4-2 record. This was the franchise’s third-ever Stanley Cup victory, and an exciting win for them as they were able to dethrone the Lightning who have held the title for the last two years.
Among the series’s notable performers were Colorado’s Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon, as well as Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Following the playoffs and final series, Colorado defenseman Cale Makar was chosen as Most Valuable Player and given the Conn Smythe Trophy. Makar also won the Norris Trophy for being the “defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.” Makar is the third player in history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Norris Trophy, and the Stanley Cup in one season.
In addition, Makar scored 29 points over the 20 games he played in the playoffs, giving him a whopping 1.45 points per game in a defensive position.
Another standout performance from the Avalanche was centerman Nathan MacKinnon, who scored 13 goals and 24 points over the course of the playoffs and had an impressive 117 shots on goal. With this achievement, MacKinnon set a new NHL record for the most shots on goal in a single postseason, beating the record of 116 previously set by Henrik Zetterberg.
Despite his team’s loss in the finals, Tampa Bay’s goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy had a standout season this year and an impressive performance in the playoffs and finals. Vasilevskiy led Tampa Bay to Stanley Cup victories in both 2020 and 2021 and continued to be a driving force on his team and in the league this year. Vasilevskiy boasted an impressive save percentage of .922 in this year’s postseason, with 693 total saves over the course of the playoffs and finals.