Every Shot and Second Matters for Tampa Bay


TAMPA, Fla. — It was a cute idea, it really was. As the final seconds lingered in neutral territory, the mid-period of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals was to end with the score still tied but with the Montreal Canadiens in control. Still a puck can do some great things when manipulated by wonders, and Lightning winger Barclay Goodrow nudged him beyond a Montreal defender, then made another ploy to make a backhand pass over the slot and then had time left until he was left. it was just enough.

Smoke rose behind Canadiens goalkeeper Carey Price, the crowd at Amalie Arena screamed and shouted, and the man who had sent the puck into the net with a diving action jumped off the barrel and ran towards the boards. Two years ago Blake Coleman scored one of the incredible goals In recent NHL annals, however, this effort — an eventual game winner with 1.1 seconds in a period in the Stanley Cup finals — has made it odd.

After their 3-1 win on Wednesday, Lightning, despite being superior and falling behind by great distances, best-of-seven finished the series by two games, as the Canadiens couldn’t make it out of an ending period. ‘t. Game 3 is Friday night in Montreal.

“There’s a bit of a disk management thing in there,” said interim coach Luke Richardson.

Also, the Grand Canyon is a big hole in the ground. This very term – disk management – had dominated Canadian consciousness for nearly 48 hours. series opening 5-1 defeat this exploited their carelessness. They came back to handle the puck well in the better part of 39 minutes 55 seconds on Wednesday until they were released near Tampa Bay’s blue scrimmage line. Goodrow passed the Canadiens defender Ben Chiarot and slid around him, not far from the Lightning bench, as Goodrow shouted to his teammates, “Shoot! Shoot!”

Goodrow and Coleman joined the team a week apart in February 2020, spending heavily on the bottom six forwards in deals that cost Lightning three first-round picks. When reminded late Wednesday night that General Manager Julien BriseBois received some criticism for the trades, Coach Jon Cooper chuckled and said, “A little bit?” Said.

Goodrow and Coleman intertwined with center Yanni Gourde to embody this new incarnation of Lightning, clicking as a team with a great amount of speed and skill, yes, but also with a snarling and defensive identity.

“They were one piece of the puzzle,” Cooper said, “but they were the final piece.”

He praised both players’ sense of opportunity.

Knowing that time was tight – less than 4 seconds left – Goodrow weighed her options. He thought that if he could quickly hand the puck to Coleman, it would be their best hope to score.

“Probably the chances of getting in were higher than if I was shooting from where I was,” Goodrow said.

Even when Coleman covered and furiously controlled Phillip Danault. As the puck whistled on his way, Coleman felt he had to make a move – “some kind of reflex really” – and his outstretched stick nudged Price into the near post just before it slipped. Before the time was added, the scoreboard indicated that three-tenths of a second remained.

“I don’t think anyone was trying to ice dive there, but it was all we had at the time,” Coleman said. “I don’t know why these goals were achieved.”

Goals, plural. From nearly a duplicate against Boston in last season’s playoff bubble, he specialized in goals that shouldn’t have scored until a one-handed lifter while falling into a similar game at Miami University in Ohio against Winnipeg as a member of the Devils. Western Michigan.

“Literally, I was like, ‘Did he do that again?’ I’m like,” he said. “Slightly different scenarios, but quite similar. It’s just that the timing was epic.”

The roar from Tampa Bay fans was deafening, almost as loud as the long and true chants: “Vasy! Guardian! Guardian!” They resonated before the puck was dropped and the American and Canadian anthems were sung, not after Vasilevskiy blocked the Canadiens’ first escape or their second or tight backhander in the opening period, or after any of their 42 saves.

Price was ousted at the end of this season by Vasilevskiy, who locked all three series against the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Islanders. He scored just two goals, one in each game against Montreal.

“I try not to think so much during the games,” said Vasilevskiy when asked about dueling with Price. “No matter what, win or lose, I’m just trying to play my best game.”

Wednesday night’s best game disappointed the Canadiens, who were reunited after their poor performance in Game 1. After thinking and having permission to sift through the spill on Tuesday, Canadians clung to the concept of simplicity. As it is, keep doing what they are doing – just do it better and with more enthusiasm.

Instead of defending one-man attacks, the Canadians created them. They pierced the once impermeable area in front of Vasilevsky, firing and repulsing from all angles. They also failed to score until at least 10 minutes 36 seconds when Nick Suzuki dribbled with a backhander from the slot that appeared to deflect at least one Lightning player.

He evened the score and stayed that way for most of the second period – but not all.


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