The NHL season has officially concluded. The Tampa Bay Lightning have hoisted the Stanley Cup and have been crowned champions of the NHL bubble. Unfortunately for the Avalanche and their fans the season ended rather unceremoniously with another heartbreaking exit from the playoffs. There is a lot to be hopeful about this offseason amid the heartbreak if you are an Avalanche fan though. One of the things to be most hopeful about is that according to the head coach of the Lightning heartbreak is a good thing.
Jon Cooper, on what made the Lightning ready to win: "A heartbreak." — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 29, 2020
If a heartbreak is all it takes to be ready to win then you can pencil the Avalanche in to win next years Stanley Cup. After being heavy favorites to win the Western Conference the Avalanche suffered a myriad of injuries that crippled the team. Erik Johnson was hurt, Phillip Grubauer was hurt, Landeskog couldn’t play game 7, Donskoi was hurt, the list just seemed to keep on going. Didn’t seem to matter at first as the Avalanche were able to take the Stars to game 7 in the second round, where they lost in overtime. Absolutely a heartbreaking moment for the team and fans. The 2018-19 playoff run wasn’t quite as gut wrenching considering the Avalanche weren’t even remotely favored to get past the first round let alone take the second round to game 7 against the Sharks. But it was all still so heartbreaking, both last years playoff exit, and this years. Now obviously the way to a Stanley Cup victory isn’t to just have your heart broken year after year until you eventually win, otherwise the Maple Leafs would have won one Stanley Cup by now.
If the Lightning have shown the NHL anything it’s that if your team is amazing year after year in the regular season it means the team is poised to win in the post season. It doesn’t matter how heartbreaking of a loss you’ve suffered in the post season (see Tampa getting swept in the first round last year after winning the Presidents Cup), if your team is good you add the pieces you need to win, you don’t change the whole formula. Well Tampa added the pieces they needed and didn’t screw with the whole formula and hoisted the Stanley Cup as their reward. Something the Avalanche have the ability to do, keep the winning formula of this season and add the pieces necessary to win next year.