NHL Stanley Cup Final 2021: Lightning vs. Canadiens Game 5 Twitter ReactionJuly 8, 2021
It's hard to win the Stanley Cup. It's even more difficult to win it two years in a row. However, the Tampa Bay Lightning are a special team, one that's going to go down in history as one of the best of the salary-cap era.
On Wednesday, the Lightning successfully completed their Cup defense, beating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. After winning the first three games of the series, Tampa Bay fell on the road in Game 4 but bounced back in a big way.
In case you have forgotten, the Lightning won 62 regular-season games during the 2018-19 campaign before getting swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Since then, Tampa Bay has been unbeatable in the postseason, as The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun pointed out:
Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun
The 62-win Lightning of 2018-19 got swept by Columbus in the first round. Since then, Tampa Bay has won eight straight playoff series, never trailed in a series, never lost back-to-back playoff games en route to winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. That’s something.
Prior to last season, the Lightning had won the Stanley Cup only once in their first 27 seasons as an NHL franchise. Now, they have won two in less than a year. They beat the Dallas Stars in September in the NHL bubble once the season resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Perhaps the Lightning have had a good luck charm: Tom Brady. Tampa Bay has won back-to-back Stanley Cups since Brady joined the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who also won the Super Bowl earlier this year. And it isn't the first time Brady has brought good fortune to a city:
Squire Barnes @sbarnesglobal
When Tom Brady was in Boston as a NE Patriot (2000-2019). Pats won 6 SB's, Red Sox won 4 WS, Celtics and Bruins each won one championship. Since signing with Tampa Bay in March 2020, Bucs have won a SB, Rays the ALCS, and the Lightning 2 SC's. The GOAT of good luck charms
One of the biggest reasons for the Lightning's success this postseason was the play of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, who was the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy. The 26-year-old allowed only eight total goals in the five-game series, while recording 132 saves.
After Vasilevskiy ended the Stanley Cup Final with his fifth shutout of the postseason, there were plenty of people on Twitter giving Tampa Bay's goaltender the praise that he deserved:
The Lightning were so impressive this postseason that they may even be converting fans of other teams. Professional wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash, who is a known fan of the Detroit Red Wings, clearly liked what he saw from Tampa Bay:
When the Lightning had a 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final, a lot of attention was garnered by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who suggested that the team should lose Game 4 in Montreal so that it could win the Cup on its home ice in Game 5. Of course, that's a risky thing to do. Momentum can easily shift in a series.
As it turned out, though, that's how things unfolded. The Canadiens extended their season with a Game 4 win, but the Lightning rebounded to provide Tampa with a championship celebration. That resulted in Castor chiming back in after the victory:
For now, the Lightning will continue to celebrate their latest Stanley Cup victory. But at some point, their focus will shift to the 2021-22 season. They will be looking to become the first team to win the Cup in three consecutive years since the New York Islanders, who won four straight from 1980-83.
Considering how strong this Tampa Bay team is, it has a strong chance to do just that.