Tampa Bay Lightning strike Stanley Cup glory

Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Champions (NHLI/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done it! They are the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions. Brayden Point got the Lightning on the board in the first period and they never looked back.

Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Champions

The Lightning came into the playoffs as one of the top teams to win it all and that’s what they did. It was not an easy road for Tampa as they took out four extremely tough opponents.

In the first round it was a tough five game series against the Blue Jackets. That was followed up with a five game series win against Boston where many believe the Cup was decided. Then came the resilient Islanders in six and it was topped off by the a surprisingly good Stars team in six also.

Everyone was a star

When a team wins a Stanley Cup, everyone plays a role. Whether it’s a big piece or a little one, it is all part of the championship puzzle. Still it would be hard not to point out just how good Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy were for the Lightning.

The sight of Tampa’s captain, Steven Stamkos dressed to accept the Cup was beautiful. Although he played less than three minutes in these playoffs, he magically scored a goal and will more than earned his name being engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Tampa Bay Lightning Champions
Stamkos celebrates (Getty Images)

From Cancelled on Broadway to Champs in the Sunshine

Two players who were unceremoniously booted off Broadway are now Champions. Former New York Rangers Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Shattenkirk both hoisted the Cup high overhead.

McDonagh who came close to a Cup in 2014, and was ousted by the Lightning in 7 games of the ECF in 2015 is now a Cup Champion. Kevin Shattenkirk who was dragged through the mud by Barry Trotz in Washington and then bought out in NY last season, is also now a Cup Champion.

A memorable Stanley Cup Playoffs

Many argued that there should be an asterisk to these playoffs. The claim was with 24 teams it was tainted. You know, I agree there should be an asterisk. The asterisk should be for these factors:

  • Pulling it off with no positive tests
  • Making a sport traditionally considered hard to follow on TV, a made for TV delight
  • Some of the best hockey ever seen in the playoffs
  • And for the most difficult tournament to win ever

Congrats to the NHL. Congrats to the Dallas Stars. And a special congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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