The Colorado Avalanche are your 2022 Stanley Cup champions. The Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 6 of the series on Sunday night to win their first championship since 2001. The Avalanche entered this series as the favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook and take down the defending two-time champions to win the third Cup in their franchise history.
Update — Makar wins the Conn Smythe trophy as NHL playoff MVP in the same season he won the Norris Trophy as the top NHL defenseman.
Colorado put on a defensive clinic in the series-clincher. This was a different Avs team than were used to seeing, scoring goal after goal. The Avalanche controlled play and never gave the Lightning anything to work with, the only goal for Tampa Bay coming early in the first period by Steven Stamkos. The Avalanche scored twice in the second period — one coming from Nathan MacKinnon — to clinch the victory. Artturi Lehkonen scored the game-winning goal at 12:28 of the period.
The Lightning made it two games from a third Stanley Cup title. Tampa Bay did so without C Brayden Point for much of the run. It’s a testament to the type of dynasty this Lightning team has become in this era of hockey. Andrei Vasilevskiy turned it on. Nikita Kucherov turned it on. And the Bolts were able to give themselves a shot at further hockey glory. Instead, they go home on the losing end this time to a worthy opponent.
So who will win Conn Smythe for NHL playoff MVP? Cale Makar led the Avs in points with 29 in 20 games. He should end up winning the award and was a heavy -600 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook before Game 5. Makar was -300 heading into the Game 6 win. MacKinnon is the only other person who may win it other than Makar. MacKinnon scored his 13th goal of the postseason in the biggest game of the season. Makar will likely join Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy as Conn Smythe winners in Avs history.