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The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Champions, and one special group to boot!
Which is a very impressive rebound from last year’s EPIC first round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
As The Hockey Illuminati put it, “The biggest upset in hockey history, period! It definitely was, more so, than the US team beating the Soviets in the Olympics. That was one game. If the US team had to play the Soviets over a 7 game series, they probably would’ve lost 4-1!”
Many wrote the Lightning off after being swept by the Blue Jackets, believing this group could never get over the hump and win.
But hats off to the Lightning’s management, including GM Julien Brisebois, who had the stones to stay the course and remain confident in the framework of their team.
While some small changes were made to the roster, most of the group that lost to Columbus a year ago are now hoisting the Stanley Cup together — talk about a ride of emotions?!
Would the Pens have won without Crosby? Or the Caps without Ovi?
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup without their captain, and one of the best forwards in the National Hockey League, Steven Stamkos who was only able to play 1 game the entire playoffs.
And adding to the legend known as Stamkos, he sniped a goal on his third shift of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs — after not playing in a game for 8 months — and ended the postseason with a 100% shooting percentage!
The Bolts are built from the ground up!
Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy are cornerstone pieces that were all 1st round draft picks by the Bolts.
Combine those 3 studs with Killorn, Kucherov, Point, Paquette, Palat, Johnson, Gourde, and Cirelli and you have a group of players that have played in 5,871 total games between the NHL regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs in their careers.
All with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And to anyone that says this is an “asterisk year” or the “COVID Cup,” kiss off!
The Lightning are more than worthy Stanley Cup Champions.
Playing in a bubble, being away from their families and outside life, playing a condensed schedule, and Tampa playing 220 minutes of overtime — the most of any NHL team ever — you could argue it was even tougher than past years!
And for some goaltender love…
Shoutout to Andrei Vasilevskiy for playing an amazing playoff and pitching his first career playoff shutout in the Cup-clinching game 6… any playing every game for the Lightning.
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