Stanley Cup Final, Game 4: Five things to watch when Avalanche faces Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. — The Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning meet Wednesday night at Amalie Arena for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Colorado leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

Here’s five things to watch for Game 4.

Toews and Makar. The Avalanche’s top defensive pairing of Devon Toews and Cale Makar have been difference-makers in all three games. They helped Colorado sweep Games 1 and 2 in Denver and struggled in Game 3’s 6-2 loss in Tampa. Toews and Makar were each minus-3 on Monday, falling to minus-3 and minus-1 in the series, respectively.

Their plus-minus rating is important because they log the most minutes for Colorado every game. Coach Jared Bednar believe his top pairing and his entire team will play better in Game 4. “I don’t like to separate individuals out of it,” Bednar said when asked about Toews and Makar. “We talked about that with Darcy (Kuemper) yesterday. Our whole team has got to bounce back and be better than we were.”

Desperation. Bednar wants to coach a desperate team on Wednesday. He wants to see the Avs play with more fire as they did in Games 1 and 2.

“Last night they had the competitive advantage,” Bednar said. “Games 1 and 2, I think we had it. So that will get ramped up a little bit for us here tomorrow and there will be some desperation in our game. We will clean up some of the mistakes we had and I think all of our guys will respond after losing last night.”

Get the split. The Avalanche aims to take a 3-1 series back to Denver for Game 5 on Friday at Ball Arena. The club remains confident after losing for the first time on the road in the postseason (7-1).

“We are still in the driver’s seat. It’s 2-1 for us. We …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.