Tampa calmy regrouped and corrected their mistakes from Game 1, then basically showed Toronto who’s the two-time Stanely Cup defending champion with a somewhat easy 5-3 road win in Game 2.
If you look at this with complete objectivity the Lightning are still the team to beat in this Stanley Cup race.
Granted, I don’t believe any other team in the era of collective bargaining as ever won a three-peat and the Tampa roster has taken some hits…they’re still the team to beat.
Tampa has the best coach in Jon Cooper. The best goalie in Andrei Vasilevskiy. And the best power play in the game with an array of talented snipers.
Then of course they have a former Conn Smythe winner and future Hall of Famer in defenseman Victor Hedman.
So maybe we should tap the brakes on the celebration in Toronto.
This was a game where Toronto went to the penalty box way too much and paid for it by giving up three power play goals. You’re not going to beat Tampa sending them on the powerplay. That’s not happening.
This still by far should be the most compelling first round matchup, but Coach Keefe is basically going to have regroup his players mentally and see if they can stay out of the penalty box.
Game 3 in Tampa.
Jon Cooper…recovering lawyer and two-time Stanley Cup champion coach. Follow your heart.