The Dallas Stars gave it a good fight and simply ran out of bodies and energy to keep up to a probably better team in the Tampa Bay Lightning. The result was a 2-0 Lightning Game 6 win to take this – perhaps the oddest of all-time – Stanley Cup Trophy in NHL history.
Point One: Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy Was Perfect
Perhaps he was not overwhelmed, regardless Vasilevskiy was perfect. He stopped all 22 shots the Stars threw on net in Monday’s 2-0 win. It was Vasilevskiy’s first shutout of the Stanley Cup Finals and, obviously, couldn’t have come at a better time.
Until the middle of the third period, Dallas didn’t put up much offense and the Lightning’s Russian goalie had faced only 10 shots on goal. But the Stars had 10 minutes of hard push, and Vasilevskiy was called upon to be solid – and he was. In the end, Vasilevskiy’s postseason record was 18-7 and he didn’t give up even two goals per game – with a goals-against-average of 1.90, a save percentage of .927, and three shutouts.
Point Two: Brayden Point Scores Again to Notch Game-Winner
Brayden Point was hot throughout the playoffs, and he scored the game-winner during the first period on a power-play goal. The 24-year-old ended the Stanley Cup Final with points in five straight games, scoring five goals and three assists in those games.
Point was the runner-up in voting for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after totaling an amazing 33 points in 22 games – that’s an average of 1.5 points-per-game. Point’s game-winner was the NHL’s-leading 14th goal of the playoffs. Who says size beats skill? Point is only 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds.
Point Three: Victor Hedman Wins Conn Smythe Trophy
In the end, long-time Lightning star Victor Hedman came away with the Stanley Cup Playoff MVP honors. He scored an assist on Points first-period goal, but it wasn’t his offense as much as his leadership that helped him take home the trophy.
Still, the doesn’t mean he didn’t score. During the playoffs, Hedman scored 10 goals and 22 points. He also had a plus-13 rating in his 25 games.
Point Four: Steven Stamkos Is the Leader of This Team
When the fake roar of the crowd calmed down, NHL Commissioner called over Steven Stamkos – who brought the rest of his team with him – to present the Stanley Cup to the team. Although Stamkos played only two minutes during the Final, he certainly remained the leader on this team.
As well, his friendship with Hedman was palpable. These guys have been together a long time, and it showed. Not that I’m that much of a Lightning fan, but I was happy for these guys. It was a good win, and they were the better team.
In the end, Stamkos wrapped it up well when he said, ”These last six weeks have been really emotional for my family and I, not only on the ice but off the ice. I just want to say to my family: I love you guys so much. To all the friends and everyone who supported us along the way: We love you, we can’t wait to celebrate with you.”
Congratulations Are in Order
Congratulations to the Lightning and congratulations to the NHL. Honestly, when the NHL announced this plan, I was skeptical. I didn’t think – given what I knew about the disease – COVID-19 – that the plan would hold together.
But players and staff were tested in total more than 31,000 times; and, there were zero positive COVID-19 cases reported among players, coaches, or staff inside the bubbles. It worked in terms of the disease.
It also worked in terms of the quality of hockey. From my perspective, the canned crowd sounds/noise didn’t detract and sometimes I forgot the arena was empty. And, the hockey was exciting and hotly contested. It was good hockey.
I wouldn’t have thought it, but it was a good Stanley Cup playoffs.
/ 18 hours ago
The Maple Leafs have filed for a two-year contract of $1 million per season...
/ 2 days ago
Can the Montreal Canadiens keep Phillip Danault after doing so many good things in...
/ 2 days ago
Joe Thornton spoke about why he joined the Maple Leafs and mentioned a suprising...
/ 3 days ago
Cody Ceci has signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Can he regain...
/ 3 days ago
LA Kings 2nd overall selection Quinton Byfield signed his entry level contract today. This...
The San Jose Sharks took to Twitter, responding to news Joe Thornton signed with...
/ 4 days ago
Is there anything the Edmonton Oilers can or will still do in this year's...