Colorado Avalanche lift the Stanley Cup
The Avalanche beat the Lightning, 2-1, on Sunday night in Tampa to win their first Stanley Cup since 2001 and third overall.
Why it matters: The Avs won 72 games this season, tying the 1976-77 Canadiens, 1983-84 Oilers and 1995-96 Red Wings for the most in NHL history. They are, quite simply, one of the best teams ever.
- Season: 56-19-7
- Playoffs: 16-4
Between the lines: Colorado dominated at times during these playoffs but also notched 10 come-from-behind wins, tying the 2009 Penguins for the most in a single postseason.
- They're the fourth team in NHL history to post all four series-clinching wins on the road.
- Now, they'll make up for those missed celebrations with the biggest party Denver can muster.
The superstar: Cale Makar is the first player to ever win the Hobey Baker Award (best college player), Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year), Norris Trophy (top defenseman), Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the playoffs) and a Stanley Cup. And he's only 23 years old.
"I was trying not to look at the clock too much, was just trying to stay in the moment. ... Pure joy being able to throw the gloves off and being able to experience [this] with such a great group of guys."— Makar
The other side: The Lightning's three-peat bid fell two wins short, ending an amazing stretch that saw them play a record 71 playoff games over three seasons.
"This group is a part of history. These guys are right up there with the '80s Islanders and the Oilers, the teams you talk about for decades. I hope people talk about that team in there for decades."— Lightning coach Jon Cooper (full interview)
The bottom line: The Lightning dynasty is over (for now), and an Avalanche dynasty could just be getting started. Colorado is the favorite at 6-1 to win the 2023 Stanley Cup. Tampa is next at 8-1.