For the second time in franchise history the Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Stanley Cup. The last time they won it was in 2004. They have been heavy favorites to win the Cup the last two seasons, but finally got over the hurdle and accomplished it this year.
With last years disappointing first round sweep to Columbus, some thought that would be the end of this group and they wouldn’t be able to get over that. They proved any doubters wrong with their stellar play after having taken at least 3 months off due to the virus. They got a rematch with Columbus and beat them in 5 games. They did the same with Boston and it took 6 games to eliminate the New York Islanders. No one had an answer for their relentless offensive attack.
The Dallas Stars had good defensive depth, but they were overmatched and with a hot goalie in Anton Khudobin, it wasn’t enough. The Stars needed everyone to play to their potential and some did not. Tampa Bay got that in spades and it was highlighted by the play of Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov.
Both were contenders for the Conn Smythe trophy, but that award went to defensemen Victor Hedman who 10 goals and 12 assists throughout the playoffs. Their goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy was every bit the 2019 regular season Vezina trophy winner. Having their injured captain Steven Stamkos play one period of Game 3 that included his only goal of the playoffs was the boost the Lightning needed being tied with Dallas at one game apiece.
There aren’t any pressing free agent issues and the salary cap will be an issue eventually. For now this team should remain contenders next season whenever that time begins.
Congratulations to the 2020 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.