The mystery surrounds the status of Nichushkin

Tampa-Maintenance Day has reached the stage of the Stanley Cup Finals, which is a relative term. In some cases, a decoder is needed to sort the status of multiple players.

The biggest question in Game 6 is the status of Colorado Avalanche Winger Valerini Chushkin, who is one of the most effective and influential players in this series of Tampa Bay Lightning, demonstrating power throughout the playoffs.

Nichushkin was one of the four major avalanche forwards who hadn’t fully participated in the morning skates, but instead of being fully equipped, he had a T-shirt and shorts to test the lower body problems he was working on. , Came out easily on skates. ..

After the last match, Nichushkin was seen in a cart with his right foot wrapped in an ice bag, hovering around the rink before flying around the ice to handle packs or taking a few shots. I did.

“Yes, I hope he will be tonight,” said Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar.

Nichushkin scored 4 goals and 6 points in the series, 9 goals and 16 points in 19 games, including goals and assists in Game 5, and remained around the Corn Smyth Trophy debate.

He is also one of the most important penalty killer and responsible two-way players on the Avalanche roster.

“He was great. Our key player. He’s playing really well,” said Avalanche forward Mikko Lantanen. “Big body. Skating is really good and defensively very good. A big player for us. We’ll see what happens.”

Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog usually skips morning skates. It is not unusual for Kadori not to participate. In particular, he has only returned to two games as he continues to deal with the pain associated with playing with a broken thumb in his right hand.

As for Andre Brakovsky, he continues to deal with suspicious hand injuries and his position will fall into the suspicious category.

Brakovsky has missed the last three games and didn’t spend much time on the ice on Sunday morning.

“I understand,” Bednar said.

Play for points

According to John Cooper, Lightning’s heart is hitting Briden Point. Briden Point will miss four games in a row due to “serious injury”.

Once again, Point skated on Sunday. He is rehabilitating his alleged knee injury in the hope of jumping into potential Game 7.

“I and Pointer have been good companions since I came here, and I clearly feel him,” says Anthony Cirelli, who has been hampered by his own undisclosed illness. I did. “He’s a great supporter for all of us, seeing him fighting every day, trying to improve, and motivating.

“Even in the locker room, he has so much leadership. He’s the guy everyone wants to be around. So we go out there and play for him.”

During the two months of Tampa, the point played only nine games, which was difficult for everyone involved.

Cooper had to have a difficult conversation with the star following the second leg of the final. It was when it became clear that his comeback attempt was premature.

“It’s also tricky because players are used to playing in certain ways,” Cooper explained. “If you’re not confident in playing with the caliber they’re used to, it’s almost against them.

“Do you know? When the series becomes another game, you never know.”

Is the second time attractive?

Avalanche worked hard to put his nervous energy into Game 5 at the Stanley Cup in the building, but veteran forwards Andrew Colliano and Lantanen admitted that the team wasn’t as sharp as usual. rice field. The level of external noise was amplified as Avalanche tried to conclude the two defending champions.

“At the end of the day, [Game 5] It was an almost new experience for everyone on our team, “Coriano said. “The bottom line is that it’s really about the guys in our room. That’s all in the end. That’s our team and it’s true for Tampa. They’ll say the same thing.

“A lot of things are happening outside. And it’s easy to get involved in it. But the point of being here is that it’s a team sport, basically as 22 other guys and athletes. It means we are competing. We had a very narrow focus, I feel, all playoffs. That is the strength of our team. We have a very ambitious team. Last [game] I don’t think I’ve done my best. I think we played a decent game, but not as good as (good) to win. We think we will regain the strength of everyone who was in the playoffs and the team that was focused and really diligent and ambitious. You will throw it away there and see what happens. “

Avalanche has not yet lost a series of games in the playoffs, and their ability to park those rare losses was a calling card for them.

“It was the first time everyone was in that position. It’s certainly nerve-wracking,” Lantanen said. “Everyone can say that’s not the case, but since it was the first time, everyone was a little nervous. The second time it’s easy. We’re all over the post-war season. I’ve been learning quickly, so I think it will be a little easier each time. “

Avalanche has also spent more than 112 minutes of trailing and less than 5 minutes of lead playing since Game 3, aiming to get a quicker start in both pace and production.

“When we jumped into a great lead, we were clearly successful in this series,” said Bednar. “For them, I think (playing on the lead) only gives confidence to the goalkeeper. Their defensive structure allows them to lock things a little more without pushing to score. Big, I think the start of the match tonight is really important. “

4th line energy

Lightning expects to develop the same lineup as swiping Game 5 in Denver, so expect to see a lot of the champion’s credible bottom six.

Lightning’s edgy fourth line (smart, bruised, veteran) may not affect the scoreboard, but as the series gets deeper, a trio of Riley Nash, Patrick Maroon and Pierre Edouard Bellmare I’m finding that groove.

With a prolonged O-zone shift, the group generated 73% of shot attempts in Game 5’s road win, setting the next line with positive momentum.

They can wear down avalanches and be forced to chip and change. At one point, Colorado defenseman Josh Manson couldn’t escape his goal and skated on a shift of more than three minutes.

“They have some heavy bodies in the bottom six,” admitted Colorado’s fourth liner Andrew Coglinano. “Patty, Bellmare, Nash, they are the ones who can hold them and create zone times once they get our last pack. Our advantage and identity is that these playoffs as a whole are ours. I think it was skating, forecheck, puck hounds, and the willingness to stand on our toes.

“We probably need to go back to doing a better job. Doing so can give the team momentum, the big guys out and hopefully tired everyone. increase.”

Not very good ice

Tampa Sunday thermostats reach 33 ° C at 58% humidity.It ’s a typical hockey weather.

The heat outside will challenge the Link Crew to keep the seat in the championship on June 26th.

“Ice is a bit of garbage,” Nazem Kadori told ABC in a break interview in Game 4.


Still, a vision test will support it. Players were catching the edges, and the softer surface offers more to Lightning’s crushing style, away from Colorado’s speed games.

“I think ice is different from Colorado,” Manson said. The trouble of the pack has been improved a little. But it’s the same for both of us, as both teams are playing with it. “

Expected Game 6 Lineup



Arturi Reconen-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen

Nazem Kadri-Gabriel Randeskog-Valery Nichushkin

Andre Brakovsky-JT Compher-Alex Newhook

Andrew Coriano-Darren Helm-Logan O’Connor

(If Brakovsky can’t play, O’Connor may jump to line 3 and Nikostorm may pull in to line 4).


Devon Toews-Cale Makar

Jack Johnson-Josh Manson

Bowen Byram-Eric Johnson


Darcy Kaempfer

Pavel Francauce



Ondřej Pharat-Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov

Brandon Hegel-Anthony Cirelli-Alex Kiron

Roth Colton-Nick Paul-Corey Perry

Patrick Maroon-Pierre Edouard Bellmare-Riley Nash


Victor Hedman-Yan Lutta

Ryan McDonagh-Erik Černak

Mikhail Selgachev-Zack Bogoszian


Andrey Vasilevsky

Brian Elliott

The mystery surrounds the status of Nichushkin

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