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NHL Short Notes

* The Tampa Bay Lightning are Stanley Cup champions for a second time following a 2-0 victory in Game 6 against the Dallas Stars, becoming the first team in 95 years to win the Cup on neutral ice.
* Nikita KucherovBrayden Point and Victor Hedman – the three-highest scoring Lightning players this postseason – each factored on the Stanley Cup-clinching goal. It was Kucherov’s League-leading 34th point, Point’s franchise-record and NHL-best 14th goal and another piece in Hedman’s Conn Smythe Trophy-winning postseason.
* More details on Tampa Bay’s championship run are available here.

Nearly a full year after the opening face-off of the 2019-20 campaign and more than six months after the League hit “pause” on the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning won Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to claim their second championship.

* The clinching victory came 363 days after the puck dropped on the regular season201 days after the pause began and 65 days after players entered “Bubbles” in Edmonton and Toronto for a postseason unlike any other in League history.

* The Lightning opened their 27th season with a victory against the intrastate rival Panthers on Oct. 3, 2019, and concluded it by hoisting the Cup to avenge one of the most monumental upsets in League history. After matching the single-season NHL record for wins in 2018-19, the Lightning were swept by the Blue Jackets in the First Round.

* Tampa Bay became the third team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after being swept in a best-of-seven series during the opening round of the previous postseason, joining the 1967 Maple Leafs and 1961 Black Hawks.

* The Lightning are the first franchise to join the League in the 1990s or later and win the Stanley Cup multiple times, though the trophy presentation looked quite different this time around. Former captain Dave Andreychuk accepted the team’s first Cup on June 7, 2004 after Game 7 against the Calgary Flames in front of a crowd of 22,717 at St. Pete Times Forum, while current captain Steven Stamkos accepted the trophy alongside the entire team at center ice at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

After recording the third-highest goal total by a defenseman in a single postseason, Victor Hedman (10-12—22 in 25 GP) won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to “the most valuable player to his team in the playoffs.” The winner was selected in a vote by a panel of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

* Hedman followed Hockey Hall of Fame members Paul Coffey (12 in 1985 w/ EDM; 18 GP) and Brian Leetch (11 in 1994 w/ NYR; 23 GP) as the third defenseman in NHL history to score at least 10 goals in a playoff year.

* Hedman (Ornskoldsvik, Sweden) became the third Swedish-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, following Nicklas Lidstrom (Vasteras, Sweden; 2002) and Henrik Zetterberg (Njurunda, Sweden; 2008) who did so with the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008, respectively.

Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his first shutout of the 2020 postseason in the Cup-clinching game to win his first Stanley Cup, finishing with an 18-7 record in 25 appearances (1.90 GAA, .927 SV%) – including a perfect 7-0 mark following a loss. His 18 wins were the most ever in one playoff year by a goaltender, as he earned victories in two of the team’s three round-robin contests before the First Round.

* Vasilevskiy made 22 saves in Game 6 to become the second goaltender in NHL history to record his first shutout in a playoff year during the Cup-clinching game. Tom Barrasso is the only other to do so, with the Penguins in 1991 – also against the Stars/North Stars franchise.

* Vasilevskiy (1,708:12) set an NHL record for minutes played by a goaltender in a postseason, tending the Lightning net for all but 13:02 of their postseason (when he was off for an extra attacker). He is the 10th different goaltender in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) – and first since 2013 – to be the only netminder during the playoffs for a Stanley Cup champion.

With captain Steven Stamkos missing all but one game in the 2020 postseason – after ranking second on the team in goals (29) and points (66) during the regular-season (57 GP) – the Lightning were offensively led on their championship run by three other franchise cornerstones: Nikita KucherovBrayden Point and Victor Hedman.

* The trio teamed up for the Cup-clinching goal in Game 6, the last of their collective 31 goals, 58 assists and 89 points in the 2020 postseason (25 GP).

* Point (5-3—8) and Kucherov (1-7—8), who each had three straight multi-point games in the Final, became the first set of teammates since 1994 to each record a point streak of five or more games in the Stanley Cup Final. Mark Messier (6 GP) and Alex Kovalev (5 GP) combined for the feat with the Rangers that year.

* Point led all players with five goals in the Final, tied for the most by any player in the last 30 years. Kucherov led all players with seven assists in the Final, tied for the most by any player since 2011 (Kuznetsov: 7 in 2018). They became the first set of Cup-winning teammates to each record eight or more points in the Final since 1991, when Mario LemieuxLarry Murphy and Joe Mullen did so against the North Stars.

* More details on their 2020 achievements are available here.

All but one player on the Lightning roster won the Stanley Cup for the first time, marking the third straight year that the NHL’s champion was comprised of one or fewer former Cup winners – the first such run in League history. Tampa Bay is the ninth team in the League’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to win the Cup with one or fewer past champions.

* Forward Pat Maroon, who won the Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019, became the third player in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) and eighth in League history to win a championship in consecutive seasons with a different team.



Victor HedmanBrayden Point among top performers for Lightning in Game 6 of Cup Final
Lightning virtually celebrate Cup win with owner Jeff Vinik via video call
Lightning lauded on social media after winning 2020 Stanley Cup
How Stanley Cup champion Lightning were built
NHL, Sportsnet thank behind-the-scenes workers for help in bubble cities

#NHLStats: Live Updates – Game 6 of 2020 Stanley Cup Final

Thanks to the NHL PR department for the information above.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


SYF's avatar

After recording the third-highest goal total by a defenseman in a single postseason, Victor Hedman (10-12—22 in 25 GP) won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to “the most valuable player to his team in the playoffs.” The winner was selected in a vote by a panel of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Man was a presence.  DAL couldn’t rattle him no matter how many bodies they threw at him.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 09/29/20 at 11:05 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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