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Lightning Round: Welcome to the Stanley Cup Final Opening Day!

The final quest starts tonight at 7:30 PM ET

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Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After beating the New York Islanders on Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning will play in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2015. Since the NHL is trying to hold the tournament as quickly as possible, the opening game is scheduled for tonight.

During the Stanley Cup Final Media Day Jon Cooper praised the Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness, saying that “I’m probably not sitting here today without a lot of the help of Rick Bowness.” Julien BriseBois, who also attended the press conference, noted that Steven Stamkos still hasn’t been ruled out for the Stanley Cup Finals, however the Lightning’s captain is rehabbing and won’t play in Game 1.

Copper and BriseBois had an old school Tampa Bay Devil Rays hat laying between them during the press conference. On the same day the Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the SCF, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the playoffs in the MLB. Cooper finished his media availability by wishing good luck to the Rays.

The NHL also announced that the winners for the four most prestigious regular-season trophies will be revealed during a 30-minute show before Game 2 on Monday. Andrei Vasilevskiy and Victor Hedman are the only remaining Lightning finalists.

Dom Luszczyszyn of the Athletic has the Tampa Bay Lightning as the main favourite of the final series, however injuries might be a big issue for the Lightning [The Athletic, paid content]

The Lightning are as close as you can get to a perfect team. They have it all from elite forward talent to a stud number one defender, to depth at every position and strong goaltending. And that’s all while missing their captain, another elite player. The Stars have some of those things, but not enough of those things, and the things they have simply aren’t on the same level as what the Lightning have.

The Athletic have also a pretty amazing report about the Lightning’s celebration of the Eastern Conference title, which also revealed how every member of the Lightning organization in the bubble feels as a part of the team [The Athletic, paid content]

The Stars black aces refused to leave the bench to be part of the picture with the trophy. Not only did the Lightning’s black aces come on the ice for the photo and the celebration, essentially their entire traveling party in the bubble was on the ice and was in the photo. The only people missing were management. Otherwise, there were 48 members of the 52-person Lightning bubble on the ice celebrating. It was because they were all a part of it. They have all made a similar sacrifice. They have all been in that bubble working toward a common goal, one the Lightning are four wins short of attaining.

Other News and Notes

The negotiations between the St. Louis Blues and Alex Pietrangelo have stopped. The Vegas Golden Knights have recently expressed an interest in a Blues captain.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed Jared McCann to a two-year contract.

The Ottawa Senators return to its roots with the implementation of a modified original logo. The new uniform will be announced on October 6.