Head coach Jared Bednar and his team reviewed all three series of Tampa on the way to the championship round to find out the weaknesses that other Lightning opponents may have used.
Why could the Florida Panthers never make it to the 2nd round? What did the New York Rangers do right to win games 1 and 2 in the Eastern Conference finals? And why did the Rangers’ success dry up so significantly as the series deepened, with Lightning limiting New York to just one draw in the last four games?
“It’s really comfortable for them to play in these tough games,” says Bednar. “The more controlled, strict play on their part is in their favor.
Of the last six opponents in the Lightning playoffs, no team has managed to break through the suffocating style of the champions with as much regularity as Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto is the only club to beat Lightning (24-23) during its remarkable 11-game winning streak.
So Bednar spent most of his time watching this match of seven matches of the first round.
“It was obviously a great show. It was a dynamic series. And I see a lot of similarities in the game between Leafs, the staff, and ours, “said Bednar. “Some of the things they do with the puck in their offensive strategy, structure, tactics, as you want to call it, have a lot in common.”
Like Toronto, Avalanche is full of elite talent of the highest class. Both teams take advantage of possession of the puck and use their speed for quick counterattacks.
Both are more likely to win the game 4-3 than in the game 2-1.
None of them is as strict as Tampa, and the high score of Leafs-Lightning’s tilt (47 goals in seven games, easily the most in any series during the Tampa run) certainly makes Bednar hopes to continue at a high pace. the team thrives during match 1.
Bednar noticed how similar his club played to that of Sheldon Keefe during his meetings with the Leafs this season, when the teams combined 20 goals in just two games.
“We learned this from a game against them this year. So they are very successful, “says Bednar. “It is difficult to score this timely goal [Andrei] Vassilevski and Tampa, the way they defend themselves. ass [the Leafs] we had some really strong pressures all the time, pressures that we looked at very closely. ”