TAMPA, FL - JUNE 7: Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Calgary Flames in game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 7, 2004 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. The Lightning won the Stanley cup by defeating the Flames 2-1. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
I'm getting ready to leave for the St. Petersburg Times Forum for game 7... I'll be joined by my colleague from the great white north, Keith, who'll be adamantly hoping his Calgary Flames can win the Cup...
...While the Tampa Bay Metro region that surrounds him will be hoping for just the opposite.
We never expected it to come to this. And I can't believe it's happening - not only am I going to a Stanley Cup final game, but I am going to the grand finale of the series -- Game 7. The Cup will be in the building and, if God wills it, Gary Bettman just may say "Dave Andreychuk, come get your Stanley Cup" when all is said and done.
-- From the post Final Fight, published on Boltsmag.com June 7, 2004
Everybody's got a story to tell about where they were when a grand event touched their lives and history was made. For me, I have the twist of not just remembering the where, when, how, why of June 7th, but I get to declare that I was doing that blogging thing - chronicling the events online. In 2004, the Internet and media landscape was vastly different, and while Blogspot/Blogger/LiveJournal and other online web log hosts were becoming more prominent, they wouldn't reach critical mass in the culture for another year.
And for Hockey? The fledgling hockey blogosphere would have a grand die-off with thanks to the labor war that ensued from September 2004 through spring of 2005.
But I'm still here, eight years later. We're still here, marking the occasion as we (the fans) have annually ever since:
It happened. That was us. And it can happen again. Lightning can strike twice. Dreams do come true. And Lord Stanley's Cup may once again be engraved with the names of the members of the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise.