Lightning Win The 2020 Stanley Cup

By on September 29, 2020
Photo Travis Failey Courtesy of NBC

After playing 130 hockey games in the bubble, The NHL’s season came to a conclusion with the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup. The 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars was much deserved as the Lightning played a complete game and controlled the final 30 minutes. Defenseman Victor Hedman was named the Conn Smythe Award winner for MVP of the playoffs and he earned it with 10 goals and stellar defensive work throughout the series.

Photo Travis Failey

There were a bunch of unsung heroes throughout the series like Janni Gourde who was a spitfire all series and Tyler Johnson. Johnson was the most snakebit as he struggled to find the back of the net but his grit and heart shined as he battled the larger Stars defensemen.

Photo Travis Failey

The team played their positions perfectly all night as Alex Killorn and Anthony Cirelli led the forecheck and backchecking crew during the pivotal third period and withheld Dallas’ surge. Assistant Captain Ryan McDonaugh was also strong during the series and provided a defensive backbone while chipping in offensively when needed

Photo Travis Failey

Midseason acquisitions also played a definitive role as Blake Coleman had a huge goal from Cedric Paquette in game 6. Barkley Goodrow blocked shot after shot along as Zack Bogosian recovered from his early series struggles, to pay a rock solid game 6.

Photo Travis Failey

Lets not forget about the superstars who brought their “A” game thoughout the series. The line of Palat, Point and Kucherov were unstoppable. After a combined -7 in game 1, the line combined for 21 points and Dallas could not find a way to slow them down. Brayden Point had quite the case for MVP as did Kucherov. In games that Point scored a goal, the Lightning accumulated an 11-0 record. In addition, Point set a Lightning playoff record with 14 goals throughout the postseason.

Photo Travis Failey

Last but definitely not least was the stellar play of last years Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy. He only had to stop 22 shots because of the stellar defense that was played, but made big stops when he had to to get the shutout.

Vassy also moved the puck fluidly which acted like a 6th skater and got the defenseman the puck and quickly out of the zone. It was a clinic on how to handle the puck which Martin Broduer would have been proud of.

Photo Travis Failey

How about the job that Jon Cooper did with this team and recovering from the huge disappointments in the past where some pundits started calling for his job. Cooper and his staff never wavered and just moved forward by making subtle changes like going to 7 defensemen and 11 forwards to provide a wall of defense that kept their legs fresh.

Photo Travis Failey Courtesy of NBC

Finally, we cannot forget the Captain Steven Stamkos and his role during these 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Even though he only played 5 shifts and 2:37 seconds, Stamkos made the most of it by scoring a huge goal in game three and providing support to his teamates when he couldn’t play. Victor Hedman called Stamkos the best captain in all of sports

Photo Travis Failey

Through all the ups and downs with this version of The Tampa Bay Lightning, one man has remained steadfast in his philosophy and love for this town and desire to win the Stanley Cup and that has been Owner Jeff Vinik.

After last years collapse, Mr. Vinik could have made changes but he stayed the course with Jon Cooper and General Manager Julien Julien BriseBois. Mr. Vinik provided them assets to make the off-season and in-season moves that were key factors in meeting their ultimate goal. We cant say enough about Mr. Vinik as he has not only changed our community for the better but also provided this franchise with the stability they lacked for years.

The fans are also owned a a level of gratitude as they have been the Distant Thunder this year and in the past have stood by this team through thick and thin.

This Stanley Cup is for Tampa Bay, our community as One.

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