Zone Time: Never doubt Tampa, they've been here before

A Stanley Cup final series that many thought could be over is now alive and kicking ahead of Game 4 in Tampa.

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Did people forget what Tampa did in the third round against the Rangers, down 2 and 0? I understand the Rangers are not Colorado, but they've done this before. They've come back from a 2-0 deficit. Did people forget the first round series where they got spanked a bunch of times by the Leafs and they still found ways to win the very next game?

Like, if there's one thing we should learn from this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, just because a team gets shellacked or provides a blowout win in one game, it does not always mean that that style of play or whatever momentum is being generated there will translate over to that very next game, especially when it comes to a team like Tampa that has the best goalie in this series, that has some great defense play, and they have all those forwards up front.

Like, I picked Colorado to win and I still think Colorado could still win this series, but I was very surprised at how many people wrote off Tampa before game 3. People were just like, man, this is over, this is like '96 where Colorado got, the sweep was in. Like, no, like this is Tampa. This is not Montreal, this is Tampa.

OMAR: I think what it is, is that a lot of people and I know you saw it a lot after game 2, there's like a slowly, slow growing, but like slowly getting louder crowd that discounts the two cups Tampa won. They call them asterisk cups because the 2020 was the bubble, and then 2021 was like the weird season or whatever. So a lot of people like discount those cups like completely.

And I think what happened after game 7, and again, I think even tying back to things that I was saying last episode in that I think I think Colorado might be the strongest team Tampa's faced like in this like run of like playoff success, I think people are kind of taking that and seeing like aha, see, it's no, like there's no asterisk playoff schedule, this is a legitimate team, so ha, they're done for.

So I think that's where a lot of the series is done after game 2 is coming from. But you know, I don't know, I'm not going to say like that they're like tiers of like hockey fandom or whatever, but like again, like I am, I'm high on Tampa. I think Tampa is, I did think that Tampa is going to win this series, but by no means did I think the series is over after game 2 because they've, both teams have done way too much. And again, Tampa swept Florida without Brayden Point.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like it was nothing.

OMAR: Like it was nothing. 3 goals against, like, come on. Like, like, come on. Like they deserve a lot more credit than that.

SAM CHANG: I was frankly more surprised the first two games that they weren't able to slow down the Avs at all. Like, to me, that was more shocking than them winning game 3. Like, they looked, they looked outrageously slow, like it didn't look like they belonged on the same ice. And so this game made it a series, which is what we wanted, right. Like as funny as it would be for me as an Avs fan to see the Avs sweep, I'd rather this be a series.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: We all would.

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: And that was the Vasilevskiy game too. Like, it was, actually it was more the Kuemper game than the Vasilevskiy game. Vasilevskiy was awesome down the stretch. 37 of 39 is this sort of stuff we expect from Andrei Vasilevskiy against a team like Colorado. But I think there was always going to be a Kuemper stinker built into this series. I mean, I think he allowed 8 on 13, not that we should have like penciled in a game that he literally gives away.

But to suggest that he would outduel Vasilevskiy, even if Vasilevskiy has a harder workload in every game, was probably pretty silly as well. So the fact that Kuemper was kind of the biggest, not the biggest reason, but a big, big part of the fact that Tampa was able to win that game, get back into it, or at least the divide between the goaltenders was a big difference why, I think we should have expected at least one game where Tampa's sort of buoyed by the fact that they've got a way better goaltender.

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