Lightning’s only focus is the victory of the fifth game to keep the cup hopes of a triple win

Denver – They are saying the Stanley Cup is the toughest cup to win. Properly, it is also the toughest trophy to lose. Whenever you make investments a lot bodily, mentally, and emotionally for over two months through the Stanley Cup playoffs, you do not need to go down the drain.

Now contemplate that Tampa Bay Lightning enters Recreation 5 of the Stanley Cup Closing on the Ball Enviornment on Friday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS), trailing Colorado Avalanche 3-1 in the most effective Collection of seven, on the verge of elimination.

Their funding spans three seasons. They do not simply chase the trophy. As coach John Cooper mentioned, they’re chasing greatness, making an attempt to change into the primary workforce to win the Cup three years in a row because the New York Islanders received it 4 seasons in a row from 1980 to 1983.

It is arduous to win the cup suddenly. You by no means know what number of alternatives you’ll get, particularly in an period of most wage and parity. What number of probabilities will Lightning have for this?

“We’ve got to win a sport,” mentioned the Tampa Bay striker. pat maroon, who’s working 4 consecutive championships himself, having received the cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019 earlier than signing with Lightning. “Proper now our focus is on match 5, and we’ve got to win. I imply, there’s actually nothing we are able to do.”

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Let’s face it: the percentages are towards lightning. The groups behind 3-1 within the Finest of seven Cup Finals collection are 1-35. The one workforce to win in 1942 was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who got here again from a 3-0 loss towards the Detroit Pink Wings.

Lightning was struck. They have been overtaken by the avalanche’s velocity and particular squads. Typically occasions, they survived extra than simply thriving, spending time of their space, blocking lanes, blocking pictures, flipping their puck and watching the avalanche come to them once more.

Colorado’s 3-2 win in time beyond regulation in Recreation 4 on the Amalie Enviornment on Wednesday was controversial as a result of Tampa Bay felt central Nazim QadriHis purpose shouldn’t be counted due to the various males on the ice. However Lightning was off the 10-3 shot within the OT.

“You possibly can’t mess with it,” Cooper mentioned. “Flip the web page, go forward, and let’s go like. So the mountain is just a little larger. Properly, at the very least we’re nonetheless climbing. We have not come out.”

If the Lightning have been to roll, they may have completed so towards the Toronto Maple Leafs within the first spherical of the Jap Convention. They have been down 3-2 within the collection and 3-2 within the third interval of Recreation 6.

There could be no disgrace in dropping to the Maple Leafs, who had the fourth-best document within the NHL through the common season. They might have blasted the poolside hits and loved a pleasant lengthy summer time, understanding they might go down because the second workforce within the hat period to win back-to-back titles after the 2016-2017 Pittsburgh Penguins.

However they got here again and received the collection in seven video games. Within the second spherical they swept the Florida Panthers, who received the Presidents Cup as the most effective common season workforce within the NHL. They then got here again from a 2-0 loss within the Jap Convention Closing – and 2-0 within the second interval of Recreation 3 – to defeat the New York Rangers in six video games.

In any case that, are they going to roll now?

Cooper rolled out the Toronto collection at Tampa Airport earlier than flying to Denver on Thursday.

“What the hell is the distinction?” He mentioned. “We nonetheless needed to go on the highway and win the hockey sport. We needed to win the highway sport regardless. We did not have ice on our land. So why not do it tomorrow?”

The distinction, and the explanation why this does not occur, is the avalanche in fact. They have been the higher workforce, 3-1 in shut matches and 7-2 at dwelling.

However whenever you win 11 streaks in a row like Lightning, you suppose this fashion. You must suppose this fashion on this case.

If Lightning wins Recreation 5, nonetheless they did, issues will get enjoyable once more. They are going to be at dwelling for Recreation 6. The avalanche will really feel strain to keep away from something that might occur in Recreation 7; Lightning will sense a chance so as to add one other layer to their legend.

We’re nonetheless inside it,” Maron mentioned. “It is clearly an enormous loss [in Game 4], however the good factor is we nonetheless play hockey. We did not lose [the series] Till now. He is the primary particular person to have 4 wins now, and we’ve got just a little problem forward. But when there may be one workforce that may do it, it’s this workforce.”