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Quick Strikes: 15-year anniversary of the biggest hangover in Tampa Bay Lightning history

Don’t even lie.

2004 Stanely Cup Tampa Bay Lightning victory parade Photo by Chris Livingston/Getty Images

The Bolts

Fifteen years ago yesterday, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup, joyfully exiting the list of teams without one. Today is the anniversary of the day after, and while we try not to think back too hard on the hangover, let’s ruminate on all the teams that still haven’t tasted ultimate hockey bliss. The rest of the list?

  • First, let’s pour one out for the Thrashers Jets you know what never mind. [Seldo reminds us that the city of Winnipeg has never drunk from the Cup, despite being on their second franchise.]
  • Vegas Golden Knights have existed for two seasons without a Cup, bless their hearts.
  • The Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets have made it to 19 seasons without a Cup; on top of that, the Jackets have never been to a Cup Final ever.
  • The Arizona Coyotes have also never made a Cup Final, and have been howling fruitlessly in the desert for 21 seasons.
  • The Florida Panthers have existed for 24 seasons without a Cup, about half as long as Roberto Luongo’s remaining contract. (No, not really.)
  • The San Jose Sharks got booted from the Cup Final this year by the Blues, extending their winless seasons to 35 years.
  • The Minnesota Wild have made it to the Cup Final twice in 43 seasons, and have won zero (0) of them. [We’re being nice and giving them credit for the North Stars history. Or...maybe not so nice]
  • The Buffalo Sabres nearly achieve most pathetic at 47 seasons without a Cup, but...
  • At over half a century (51 seasons) without a Cup, and three Cup Final appearances, the winner of the Most Cup Thirst has to go to the St. Louis Blues. The Bruins have enough Cups, here’s hoping the Blues have it in them to break this curse.

So here’s to the memories.

On this day, Lightning created indelible memories [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

If you believe all the stories, 100,000 people filled the arena the night the Lightning captured the Stanley Cup with a Game 7 victory against the Calgary Flames.

And lest we forget: Clouded Cup: The most controversial Stanley Cup Final moments since 1980 [THN]

Over the line – Calgary Flames vs. Tampa Bay Lighting (2004)

Flames fans love talking about this game, but only if you define talking as shouting expletives in the comments section of any post involving Game 6. But can you blame them? Replays show that Martin Gelinas’ redirection just crossed over the goal line, beating Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin by a hair before entering back into the play.

The Game

Loserpoints wrote an article about one of the most hot-button players around, Phil Kessel, and how Kessel illustrates the evolution of metrics. ALSO Loserpoints made us a toy so that we can see how our favorite or least favorite players have changed in the way they are evaluated over time.

The Phil Kessel Situation: When new metrics challenge what we thought we knew [Raw Charge]

Using better stats than we had the last time he was available in the summer of 2015, Kessel’s most recent season looks rough. But this is only the second worst season of his career. What was the worst? Inconveniently for all of us who made up our minds about him years ago, his worst season was 2014-2015, just before the trade out of Toronto.

Here’s the toy: NHL Player Evaluation Changes from points to WAR

Officiating seems like such a strange mix of blatant disregard for the rules and strict adherence to them. I guess the line is checks to the head?

Are the Rangers pulling a Yzerman? John Davidson’s first Rangers priority is an AHL overhaul [NY Post]

“We’re putting more of everything into Hartford, from A to Z. You want to have a winning culture there, that’s to everyone’s advantage, you want to bring in high quality and character vets to establish a template for your kids, but the priority is development and you can never emphasize that enough. That’s where it starts. That’s the focus. That’s where it’s at.”

Where did the Kelly Cup go? It’s a matter of dollars and sense [The Athletic, paid content]

Hardly anyone knew the Kelly Cup remained in northern Colorado after the Colorado Eagles won their second straight ECHL title in 2018. But that changed a week ago when the private and mostly unknown dispute over a minor-league hockey trophy erupted into a public spectacle.

Martin Lind, the Eagles owner, claims the ECHL mistreated him. The league, for its part, says it acted fairly and by the book.

The draft is a’comin, I can feel it in my bones. The combine is over. The poor top prospects already had to deal with Don Cherry at the SCF, and the next step is simply the sorting hat.