My Top Five Moments From the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup Run

When a global pandemic stopped the NHL’s 2019 to 2020 regular season on March 12, no one quite knew how it would end, but eventually, the NHL was able to get back on track. A total of 24 teams faced off in the hardest playoffs in the history of the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning coming out on top. So to kick off the new season, let’s take a moment to look back on my favorite moments from the historic cup run.

5. Victor Hedman’s Series Clinching Goal

During the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the divisional rival Boston Bruins, Hedman was able to net an amazing goal in double overtime that sent the Lightning to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kevin Shattenkirk floats a cross-ice pass to Hedman, who takes it to the left face-off dot. While Pat Maroon screens the Bruin’s goaltender, Hedman takes the shot and everyone is celebrating shortly after. This goal was crucial not only for the road to the cup but also helped Hedman make his case for the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

4. Brayden Point’s Historic Fifth Overtime Goal

During the first game of the first round, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning fought till the bitter end. After playing eight periods of hockey, both teams running on fumes, Point collected the puck off a blocked shot and wristed one past the Columbus goaltender, ending the fourth-longest game in NHL history. Despite only being the first game, this moment could have easily broken the Lightning if the game went the other way.

3. Jon Cooper’s Triple Fist Pump Celebration

In the final seconds of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the score tied at 2-2, Nikita Kucherov scored a one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Ryan McDonagh. The goal was spectacular, but Lightning coach Cooper’s celebration was off the charts. The pure elation came out in the form of three consecutive fist pumps. While the fist pumps themselves weren’t the cause of the win, they will surely go down in history as iconic.

2. Steven Stamkos’s Goal versus Dallas

Even though Stamkos was only able to play two minutes and 47 seconds during the entirety of the playoffs, he made every second count. He made his return to the lineup in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Finals. Stamkos skates past a Dallas defenseman at the blue line then skates down the right side, letting off his shot. When the puck hit the back of the net, every single person on the Lightning bench jumped up in celebration of what their captain just accomplished.

1. The Stanley Cup Win

graphic of person handing another person an oscar Photo by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals the Tampa Bay Lightning shutout the Dallas Stars to bring the Stanley Cup back to Tampa after 16 years. All the sacrifices the players and staff made had paid off in a big way. For every player except Pat Maroon, this was their first cup and they soaked in every moment of it. When the clock hit zero, I jumped off the couch and started to tear up. The Lightning had done it. They were officially Stanley Cup Champions. 

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