The Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2020 Stanley Cup champions after a hit the correct-of-7 Final in opposition to the Dallas Stars with a 2-0 victory in Sport 6 on Monday.
Their 2020 championship credentials are unquestioned, outlasting 23 moderately a pair of teams all thru a two-month tournament contested within the stable zones at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and Rogers Position in Edmonton.
But the place originate the Lightning stack up in opposition to every champion from the past 10 NHL seasons? Are they the correct? If no longer, who’s? We requested six NHL.com writers for his or her opinions:
2011 Boston Bruins
I’m going encourage 10 seasons on this one, to the predominant Stanley Cup Final I saw in particular person, a baptism by fire into the correct of the correct. The Bruins one way or the opposite managed to prevail in seven video games in opposition to the Vancouver Canucks no topic an almost completely powerless energy play all thru the Stanley Cup Playoffs (10-for-88; 11.4 p.c), tied with the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks because the worst among Cup winners since 2011. They dominated defensively, led by a tall effort from Zdeno Chara and a Conn Smythe-a hit efficiency from goalie Tim Thomas, allowing 53 objectives (2.12 per sport) and scoring 81 (3.24 per sport). Heart David Krejci used to be at his finest, and it used to be the correct initiating of the Patrice Bergeron generation. Boston used to be a spirited, physical group that performed spirited, physical hockey, and it won three Sport 7s on the style to the Stanley Cup. Oh, and the Bruins did it with a slight of skedaddle, alongside side pouring water from Boston onto the ice in Vancouver ahead of Sport 7. I’d spend this team in opposition to anybody. — Amalie Benjamin, group author
2013 Chicago Blackhawks
Amalie makes an correct case for that Bruins group, nonetheless there is now not any denying the greatness of the 2013 Blackhawks, who began 21-0-3 within the reasonable season and won the Cup for the second time in four seasons. The Blackhawks energy play used to be substandard (8-for-70; 11.4 p.c), nonetheless their penalty abolish used to be remarkable (69-for-76; 90.8 p.c). There used to be drama: Chicago got here encourage to defeat the Detroit Crimson Wings in time beyond guidelines of Sport 7 within the Western Convention Second Spherical after trailing 3-1 within the sequence. Within the Cup Final, the Blackhawks refrained from Sport 7 by scoring two objectives in 17 seconds, within the final 1: 16 of the game, the predominant by Bryan Bickell and the second by Dave Bolland, to spend the Cup with a 3-2 victory. Goalie Corey Crawford silenced detractors, allowing 46 objectives in 23 video games (16-7, 1.84 objectives-in opposition to reasonable, .932 attach share). Patrick Kane won the Conn Smythe voted as playoff MVP with 19 points (9 objectives, 10 assists) in 23 video games. This group ended the season as incredibly as it began it. The 2013 Blackhawks had been the correct. — Tracey Myers, group author
2015 Chicago Blackhawks
If you will spend this battle royal in opposition to immense teams like Amalie and Tracey selected, you would possibly perhaps need obtained to be oozing skill. These Blackhawks, like their 2010 and 2013 championship teams, had Hockey Hall of Fame ahead Marian Hossa and three gamers who in the end will be part of him there: defenseman Duncan Keith and forwards Kane and Jonathan Toews. Crawford used to be prominent, a hit the Cup for the second time by allowing two objectives on 82 shots (.976 attach share) within the final three video games of the Cup Final in opposition to the Lightning, all wins. The Blackhawks’ 16-7 go within the playoffs used to be highlighted by Sport 6 of the Cup Final in Chicago. They had a probability to spend the Cup on dwelling ice for the predominant time since 1938, a span of 77 years, and the joint used to be rocking in anticipation. The national anthem used to be among the many most electrifying moments I’ve experienced in three a long time as a sportswriter; my ears had been aloof ringing within the second length. It used to be a fitting and remarkable tribute to a immense group, which defeated Tampa Bay 2-0 for Chicago’s third championship below coach Joel Quenneville (2010, 2013, 2015). — Mike Zeisberger, group author
2017 Pittsburgh Penguins
Although the moderately a pair of teams on this listing are impressive, the 2017 Penguins accomplished something none of them would possibly perhaps perhaps well: They repeated. Successful the Cup as soon as is spirited. Doing it again the following season has confirmed very no longer going for every moderately a pair of group for the explanation that 1997-98 Crimson Wings. The Penguins’ goalie depth also separates this group. When rookie Matt Murray used to be injured within the origin of the playoffs, mature Marc-Andre Fleury (9-6, 2.56 GAA, .924 attach share, two shutouts) stepped in and carried Pittsburgh past the Columbus Blue Jackets within the Eastern Convention First Spherical and the Washington Capitals, the Presidents’ Trophy winners that season, within the second spherical. Murray (7-3, 1.70 GAA, .937 attach share, three shutouts) reclaimed the web in Sport 4 of the conference closing in opposition to the Ottawa Senators, which Pittsburgh won in seven ahead of defeating the Nashville Predators in six video games within the Cup Final. Pittsburgh had four gamers ranking at the least 20 points: Evgeni Malkin (28), Sidney Crosby (27), Phil Kessel (23) and Jake Guentzel (21). Crosby used to be the third player to spend the Conn Smythe Trophy in consecutive seasons, becoming a member of Mario Lemieux (1991, 1992 with Pittsburgh) and Bernie Parent (1974, 1975 with Philadelphia Flyers). — Tom Gulitti, group author
2019 St. Louis Blues
Comparing Stanley Cup champions, even within the breadth of 10 seasons, is an inexact science in a sport with so many variables. The Bruins, two Blackhawks and Penguins teams picked by my colleagues are all ravishing decisions. But I’m going with the historic first title for the Blues, a 1967 growth group that used to be almost flatlining turning into the 2019 calendar year, then parading in mid-June. Guided by coach Craig Berube, who took the reins Nov. 19, 2018, the Blues cashed in with the postseason goaltending of Jordan Binnington, Conn Smythe Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly and a solid of characters who would possibly perhaps perhaps well maintain rolled over months ahead of the playoffs began. As a replace, they place aside their heads down and steamed into the postseason, grinding out sequence wins of seven, six and 7 video games ahead of facing the Bruins within the Cup Final. They misplaced 5-1 at dwelling in Sport 6, with Boston carrying the momentum dwelling for the deciding sport, nonetheless it absolutely used to be lawful one more scenario, one met with a convincing 4-1 victory in Sport 7 and a maiden championship that Blues center Brayden Schenn talked about felt like a video sport. It used to be that, and a total lot more. — Dave Stubbs, columnist
2020 Tampa Bay Lightning
Man, there maintain been some rather special championship teams since 2011, nonetheless this Lightning group compares favorably with any of them. Or no longer it’s no longer recency bias either. How would you are concerned on to review them? Offensive explosiveness? Properly, since 2011, four gamers maintain scored as many as 30 points in a single postseason. Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov (34 points) and Brayden Level (33) are Nos. 1 and a pair of among them. But neither won the Conn Smythe Trophy because defenseman Victor Hedman had a postseason few of his contemporaries would possibly perhaps perhaps well contact. Persona? After the spherical-robin part of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, the Lightning went 10-3 in one-aim video games within the playoffs, 6-2 in time beyond guidelines video games and 6-0 in video games after a loss. I haven’t even talked about that they did all of this no topic the psychological hardships attributable to spending two months within the isolation of the Toronto and Edmonton bubbles, something none of these moderately a pair of champions had to suffer. In some unspecified time in the future, what the Lightning did this postseason will be more liked. I’m starting now. — Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Director of Editorial