We talk pucks and objects of that kind. We yell, complain, and analyze in the language of hockey fandom. Gretzky can do no wrong.
Evander Kane: It's Always Something
Stop me if you've heard this before. Evander Kane is in the news. The reasons why aren't positive. It's connected to his past gambling. To say that Evander Kane is a controversial figure in the NHL would be an understatement. It is always something with Kane; he has been in a cloud of controversy for, pretty much, his entire NHL career.
Game Five: Lightning Strikes in the Same Place Twice
Those who say lightning never strikes in the same place twice...they haven't watched the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning only needed Ross Colton's 2nd period goal, and Andrei Vasilevskiy being a brick wall yet again to capture their third Stanley Cup in franchise history, and their second straight. Vasilevskiy captured the Conn Smythe Trophy, and it was definitely earned. His numbers in this year's playoffs: 16-7, five shutouts (three of them in the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Final), a .930 save percentage, and a GAA of 1.90. WOW! That's supernatural goaltending!
Game Four: Brooms Broken
The Tampa Bay Lightning entered this game knowing that a win would give them their second straight Stanley Cup. Their game plan was to dominate and take this game so they can hoist the Cup once again. While the Stanley Cup was at the Bell Center, however, the hometown Montréal Canadiens had other plans. The game did not start well for the Habs, as it was all Lightning when it came to shots on goal. Despite this, it remained scoreless until Josh Anderson's wrister beat Andrei Vasilevskiy 15:39 into the first period, and for the first time in the entire series, the Canadiens had the lead.
Game Three: One Win Away
June 9, 1993. The Montréal Canadiens defeat the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-1 in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final, earning them their NHL-record 24th Stanley Cup. Not only did that day mark the last time a Canadian franchise won the Stanley Cup, but it was also the last time a Stanley Cup Final game was played in Montréal, until Game Three of this year's affair. For the first time in this year's playoffs, the Canadiens' backs were up against the wall. With no answer for Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Canadiens find themselves in a 2-0 hole for the first time in this year's playoffs, and they were looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd.
Game Two: Vasilevskiy Takes Over
Game Two of this year's Stanley Cup Final was a milestone: it was the final NHL game for the NBC Sports Network, known to us puckheads as NBCSN. This year's Stanley Cup Final will mark the end of NBC's relationship with the NHL, which began in the 2005-06 season--the first season back from a season crippling lockout. The coverage included games on what was then known as the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), which later changed its name to Versus until converting to the NBC Sports Network on January 2, 2012. The cable channel aired games on Mondays and Tuesdays, and later added Wednesdays and Sundays as part of their schedule beginning in 2012. NBCSN also aired Stanley Cup Playoff games along with NBC's other networks, and always shared coverage of the Stanley Cup Final with NBC, who will air the rest of the Final from this point on.
Game One: Defending Champs Win Big
I absolutely love the Stanley Cup Final, no matter who is in it. My reasons are many, but among them is the prestige of the event. While I always know that the Stanley Cup Final means the end of another hockey season, it is a spectacular end. It is the end result of a long and grueling season played out by 31 teams (32 starting next season), with only two left standing facing each other in a best-of-seven series to determine who will hoist Lord Stanley's Cup. After all was said and done, the two teams left standing were the Tampa Bay Lightning (the defending Stanley Cup Champions) and the Montréal Canadiens, who are actually in the same division.
What Went Wrong: One Game
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders played a very thrilling and very captivating seven game Stanley Cup Semifinal series. It was close, nail-biting, and productive in many, many ways, but when the dust finally settled, it was the Lightning who emerged victorious. For the Islanders, this marked the second straight year that they were ousted by the Lightning in Round 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it took everything the Bolts had to defeat the Islanders.
Miracle of 1980
The final words of the broadcast that was heard worldwide was "do you believe in miracles?" Here in the United States at Lake Placid, New York the men's hockey team would try to overcome the emotional beating took from the Soviets in Madison Square Garden three days before the Lake Placid Games began, the Soviets routed the U.S. team 10-3 in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Two Perspectives of What Went Wrong: What Golden Knights Fans Will Say vs The Truth
The Vegas Golden Knights, for the second straight year, were eliminated in the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This time, it was the Montréal Canadiens who ousted them, a six game elimination that was sealed with a 3-2 overtime loss. This also marks the third straight season where the Golden Knights were eliminated in an overtime game, and the second straight year that they were ousted by a team with Corey Perry on it (Perry was with the Dallas Stars last season).
Vegas Golden Knights vs Montreal Canadiens
After an incredible second round, the Vegas Golden Knights advance to the final four of the Stanley Cup playoff. Waiting for them are the Montreal Canadiens. And even though everything has been wonky in this covid/first post bubble season, it has been confirmed the "conferences" will compete yet again for the "Prince of Wales and "Clarence S. Campbell" trophies accordingly. Then of course the obvious for the winner, a shot at the Stanley Cup in the Stanley Cup final. I felt that was important to mention since the league about a month ago said that they would not be competing for the conference trophies this year.
An Address to Any and All Avalanche Fans
What was supposed to be a dream season for the Colorado Avalanche came to an abrupt end, as the team was ousted in six games by the Vegas Golden Knights in the West Division Final. The Avalanche, who captured the Presidents' Trophy this season, won the first six games of the playoffs, but Game Two saw the Avalanche win despite the Golden Knights starting to take over the remainder of the game. Colorado's next two games would see them lose complete momentum against the Knights, resulting in back-to-back road losses, and while Game Five saw them go up 2-0 entering the third period, the Knights came back in the third and won in overtime. Game Six? The Avalanche tried, but mistakes and miscues were the team's downfall.
What Went Wrong: Is the Bruins' Window Closed?
The Boston Bruins suffered a blowout loss--6-2--against the New York Islanders in Game Six of the East Division Final, handing the team their 2nd-straight second round elimination since reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2019. The loss and elimination means that the Bruins have now gone a full decade since winning the Stanley Cup in the 2010-11 season--a drought that has seen the Bruins reach the Final twice, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks (six games) in 2013, and losing to the St. Louis Blues (seven games) in 2019.