The Tampa Bay Lightning are champions of the hockey world after winning a workmanlike Game 6 over the Dallas Stars by a 2-0 count on Monday night inside the Edmonton bubble.
It was a game in which you never felt the Lightning were going to lose after they took a 1-0 lead on Braden Pointe’s powerplay goal. Tampa dominated play throughout the game and play was primarily in front of Stars’ netminderAnton Khudobin for most of the game.
The powerplay was huge in these Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa scored seven powerplay goals during the series while Dallas scored only one powerplay goal. At even strength the Stars outscored the Lightning by a 12-11 margin in the six games.
The Conn Smythe Trophy for the outstanding player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs went to Tampa defenseman Victor Hedmon. Hedmon’s ten goals were the most scored by a defenseman since Brian Leetch scored ten goals in 94′ for the NY Rangers.
Tampa Bay is a deserving champion and this is redemption for one of the league’s most talented teams being swept in the first round last year by the Columbus Bluekackets.
Tampa’s path to the Finals went through Columbus, Boston, and the NY Islanders as they clearly looked the part of the best team in hockey after the season was rebooted on August 1 in both Toronto and Edmonton.
In those fifty-nine days inside the Bubble a total of 130 hockey games were played as the NHL successfully went through the process of concluding perhaps the most memorable Stanley Cup tournament of all-time.
But clearly it wasn’t the same without fans in arenas throughout the league in both the U.S. and Canada. As is the cas ein the NBA…the fans of the NHL make the league truly great for those who follow the game.
A great run for the Dallas Stars who nobody picked to get to the Finals. Most hockey fans either had St. Louis, Vegas, or Colorado to advance in the West. Perhaps interim coach Rick Bowness will be given the Stars’ job on a full time basis and we see if Dallas can get back to the Finals.
For me as a hockey fan..it was great. I watched intently and for the first time in the pandemic ingnored the nonsense coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth.
Congrats to the Tampa Bay Lightning.