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From Both Sides

from Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times,

When the final horn of a unique, unpredictable season blared Wednesday night at Amalie Arena, tired legs hopped over the railing of the Lightning bench and Tampa Bay skated into hockey history.

The Lightning’s 1-0 win over the Canadiens in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final sealed a 4-1 series win and made Tampa Bay just the second team since the salary cap era began in 2005-06 to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, joining the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Legacies like this are rare in today’s game. The cap keeps teams from being great year after year, but this Lightning team managed to stay together and achieved the improbable.

“No matter what happens from here on out, this group is going to be etched in history forever,” captain Steven Stamkos said.

The Lightning rebounded from a Game 4 loss in Montreal, making them the first team to win the Cup on home ice since 2015, when they had to watch the Blackhawks claim the championship in Chicago.

“We’ve been knocking at the door for so many years,” coach Jon Cooper said. “And now to be able to do it, back to back, and it kind of cements this group as … well, they’re special.”


from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,

Brendan Gallagher was doing everything he could to fight back the tears.

Carey Price put the blame on himself.

Head coach Dominique Ducharme revealed some of the injuries key members of the Canadiens were playing with in the Stanley Cup final.

But in the end it was pretty simple — the best team won.

The Canadiens put up an impressive fight, but still lost 1-0 in Game 5 Monday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa and the Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second straight season, taking the best-of-seven series 4-1.

The Lightning were simply too good for the Canadiens, who had the worst regular-season record of the 16 teams that made the playoffs and then upset the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Vegas Golden Knights to get to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since winning the championship in 1993.

After Monday night’s game, Ducharme confirmed that captain Shea Weber had been playing with a thumb injury, Jeff Petry had a finger injury and the coach added that Tyler Toffoli had a groin injury, while Brendan Gallagher had a groin injury “and more.”

“I don’t know if I forget other things, but a lot of guys banged up,” Ducharme said. “But they fought. They bled, they fought, they never quit.”

No, they didn’t.

When Price was asked what the difference in the series was, he said: “At the end of the day, I just don’t think I played well enough at the start of the series.”

Weber, who was in the same Zoom session with Price, quickly responded: “I don’t think that’s the case at all. To be honest, I think that we weren’t good enough in front of Carey. Give them credit, they’re a heck of a team. They’re here for a reason and they were better than us in the end.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com