That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we are one step closer to the STANLEY CUP. The outstanding New York Rangers have been knocked out in a 2-0 shutout by who other than the, Tampa Bay Lightning….?
I don’t know about you guys, but at the beginning of the season it seemed like these guys came out of nowhere. Because, well, they did.
Tampa Bay has only been to the playoffs eight times (five of those times being 10 years ago) and have won the Stanley Cup just once over ten years ago, but since the start of the season all they have done is prove to the world why they deserve to go.
In Game 2 against the Rangers, the Lightning was just that, LIGHTNING. Honestly, in the third period it started looking more like a rowdy baseball inning than a hockey game.
For Tampa Bay, Captain Steven Stamkos leads the way this season, with 43 goals. Keep in mind Stamkos tied the franchise record with his eighth hat trick against the Canadiens earlier this season as well.
However when it comes to clutch game time performance, Ondrej Palat takes the cake. I mean, the guy did score the final goal in the third period past Hendrik Lundqvist to secure their spot in the cup, which is not something easily done against the multi-cup winning team. The Rangers were 7-0 playing at home in a Game 7. Better make that 7-1. Ouch.
Now the Lightning may have secured their precious golden ticket to our beloved Stanley Cup, but either opponent they face in the cup is no stranger to the playoffs or winning the cup.
The explosive Chicago Blackhawks and the hard-hitting Anaheim Ducks face off in Game 7 Saturday night and whoever comes out hot will have to face the Cinderella team for the cup and we couldn’t be more excited. Either way, this Florida team is on a heater (no pun intended) and is about to face off with one of the best teams in hockey. Who knows, if this Cinderella team can knock out the elite NY Rangers, they just might be able to get the glass slipper over the Hawks or the Ducks.
The series has been neck in neck with these guys, but as long as Anaheim stays solid on their power play kill, they could be heading to the cup.
Imagine that: A sunny Southern California team and a sunny Southern Florida team facing off for the icy Stanley Cup?
This might be one of the first times the Stanley Cup rink will be full of fans in flip flops and t-shirts.
Western Conference Final Game Info:
Series tied 3-3, Game 7
Blackhawks vs. Ducks- Saturday May 30th @ 5:00 PM on NBC, CBC, TVA