Tampa Catches Lightning In A Bottle Twice
Admittedly, I nearly put down the pen permanently after Toronto's first round elimination. Sure, the money, fame and women were great.- but I didn't get into blogging for all that. I started for moments like these. I could never pass up the opportunity for a Habs' hit-piece and when Montreal punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup final, I knew I would be back on my bullshit in a week.
The moment the Canadiens beat Vegas, I called my travel agent to arrange a Canada day trip to Montreal for game three. I had to witness the disappointment of that fan base live in the flesh.
Going back-to-back in the salary cap era is nearly impossible. But the task becomes less challenging when Montreal is the last one in the way and Andrei Vasilevskiy is your last line of defense. Defense wins championships but goalies win them back-to-back. The 2021 Conn Smythe winner had Montreal scratching their heads all series. Four shutouts in series clinching games is unheard of and his teammates were quick to show their appreciation.
Talk your shit, Kuch.
Everything about this unfiltered interview is all-time. Shirtless with a beer in hand and perfectly articulates how everyone feels about Montreal fans in broken english. He doesn't even know the name of anyone else in the league if they're not Russian or on his team and he doesn't care at all. But when you lead your team to a second Stanley Cup with 32 points you don't need to care.
Kucherov sat out all season for the boys "recovering a hip," while Bolts management exercised some cap circumvention. This allowed Kuch to return healthy for the playoffs and would have the Lightning 18 million dollars above cap space legally. Still unclear how this works and now this salary cap stunt has everyone calling Tampa the c word. But every great champion has been accused of cheating and the two words are nearly synonymous. You can't build a legacy without a strong dedication to winning and a whatever-it-takes mentality, just ask Lance Armstrong or any baseball player.
But while everyone is celebrating the back-to-back cups, Pat-trick Maroon gets his third straight summer with Lord Stanley. Players go their entire career trying to hoist the greatest trophy in sports and Patty is currently getting ready for his third consecutive parade on Monday. He now has more cups than 20 other NHL teams. Hockey players are the most superstitious people on this planet. If the Leafs are looking to lift the cup curse, I think a phone call with Julien BriseBois is a great start. But unfortunately Dubas has different ideas going into the off season and looks to improve the Leafs' offense...
A strong acquisition if you love President trophies and first round playoff exits.
But all great things come to an end. With all that cap creativity throughout the playoffs, Tampa faces some financial issues going into the summer. There will be a lot of moving parts this off season, although they still get to keep the best defencemen, best goalie and best playoff scorer in the league, This combined with their managerial magic has them comfortably in the top 5 on BBM's 2022 Stanley Cup favourites.
Not sure whats in the water over there but Champa Bay has collected three major trophies in the last 12 months and narrowly missed out on a world series for the fourth. Experts attribute this to Tom Brady. Success follows him wherever he goes. While TB was at school in Michigan, the Red Wings won back-to-back cups. During his tenure in New England, the city of Boston won 12 championships between the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. Now after one season in Tampa, the city has three and counting. As long as Brady is in the Bay and the Bolts have their big three, Tampa will be Title Town.