Avalanche intends to swarm Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy in Stanley Cup Finals – The Denver Post

Andrei Vasilevskiy is only human. He just looks like a giant of mythical proportions.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s award-winning goalie lost twice in the regular season to the Avalanche. And Colorado intends to beat him four more times in the Stanley Cup finals.

“They have a great goalie on their side who has achieved a lot, but we also know that defense isn’t just about goalies,” Avs forward JT Compher said after Wednesday morning’s skating ahead of Game 1 at the Ball Arena .

Compher would rather talk about the Avalanche Gatekeepers. Darcy Kuemper is expected to start on Wednesday but trainer Jared Bednar declined to say so. He could go with Pavel Francouz, who ended series sweeps against Nashville and Edmonton in the first and third rounds.

Either way, Vasilevskiy wins the comparison. The 6-foot-3 Russian was the 2019 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goaltender and is the reigning winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He has been an integral part of the Bolts’ back-to-back Stanley Cup title wins and has played in all 17 games during the team’s current run to the Finals.

But Compher said a nifty team effort to defend in front of Kuemper or Francouz will be key in the goalkeeper comparison.

“It’s about the whole team, making sure we’re helping our goalkeepers, good tracing, blocking shots – doing all the little things to help these guys,” he said. “We have full confidence. Both guys have shown throughout the season that they can be successful and both guys have put in the work. Of course Kuemps was out but he worked hard to be ready. Frankie, same, he’s getting ready during this break.”

Winger Logan O’Connor also spoke about the Avs goalie on Wednesday morning.

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