Bonjour, y’all! I don’t even know where to start. Last night, on the strength of one shorthanded goal from French Canadian Yanni Gourde and a shutout from Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Tampa Bay Lightning found a way to eke out a Game 7 victory over the New York Islanders, 1-0. The records came rolling in:
Yanni Gourde is the first player in @TBLightning history to score a shorthanded goal in a #Game7. #StanleyCup #NHLStats: https://t.co/6VMKkhnU4l pic.twitter.com/NY2NzruZ9z— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 26, 2021
Andrei Vasilevskiy now has four consecutive series-clinching shutouts to his name.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) June 26, 2021
It's the longest streak in NHL history pic.twitter.com/sj9RGnXYW4
Andrei Vasilevskiy became the first goaltender in NHL history with three series-clinching shutouts in a single playoff year. #StanleyCup#NHLStats: https://t.co/6VMKkhnU4l +tag lightning pic.twitter.com/zSTS1WGaDt— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 26, 2021
Let’s make it four, Vasy.
The @TBLightning (2004, 2015, 2020 & 2021) became just the fourth franchise to reach the #StanleyCup Final at least four times since 1992-93 - their inaugural season.#NHLStats: https://t.co/PGFhFyU1eR pic.twitter.com/vQZr89NAa6— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 26, 2021
In case you missed the recap, it is here:
Lightning will return to the Stanley Cup Final after 1-0 Game Seven victory
At even strength, the Lightning were suffocating the New York offense. Even when they could get into the zone, there just wasn’t much for them to look at. Case in point, with about three minutes to in the period Mathew Barzal had the puck on his stick. He dipped and weaved around on the ice, but couldn’t find an opportunity. He finally dished it off to Jordan Eberle whose shot was blocked and cleared by the Lightning. The Bolts structure in their own zone was textbook defense.
And the Islander’s version:
Lightning 1, Islanders 0: Tampa returns to Cup final, ending Isles’ run in Game 7
Alas, this rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference final ends with the same ultimate result — the Lightning return to the Stanley Cup final — but this one went seven games instead of six, and the Isles pushed the defending champions as far as you can without taking them down. Both franchises had the added joy of actually having fans present to make it all feel real.
Some stats from Micah:
https://t.co/TQMj59jnVf— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) June 26, 2021
Varlamov 15 GA on 17.8 xGA for +2.8
Vasilevskiy 11 GA on 19.4 xGA for +8.4 (zomg) pic.twitter.com/l57FDpWH5T
Here are a few other notable moments from last night:
Little factoid:— Matthew S Esteves (@MatthewSEsteves) June 26, 2021
Lightning played the last playoff game at Joe Louis Arena. They also played the last playoff game at Nassau Coliseum.
Folks … these apparently are The Traveling Kucherovs. @TBLightning pic.twitter.com/QKRwxD5v3c— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 26, 2021
Gotta have the Coach Cooper fist pump. #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/veQ49UooBg— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) June 26, 2021
There was a little bit of controversy about touching the Prince of Wales.
Just a reminder, Stamkos did not touch the Prince of Wales Trophy in 2015 and they lost. He touched it in 2020 and they won. https://t.co/TgVK7JMBrj— Raw Charge, a Champa Bay Lightning web site (@RawCharge) June 26, 2021
But history is apparently on the side of the touch-ers:
The Tampa Bay Lightning DID touch the Prince of Wales Trophy!— Complete Hockey News (@CompleteHkyNews) June 26, 2021
Results (Since 1999)
Yes (Win) - 7
Yes (Lose) - 4
No (Win) - 3
No (Lose) - 7 pic.twitter.com/yDzXt7fCRm
And let’s just stare at this again:
Lightning touch the Prince of Wales Trophy for the second straight year. Stamkos raises it pic.twitter.com/uIUrmVgKIG— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) June 26, 2021
Last but not least, here’s what to look forward to, the game schedule for the Stanley Cup Final.
The title defense continues when the @TBLightning clash with the @CanadiensMTL in the 2021 #StanleyCup Final, their first head-to-head playoff series since the 2015 Second Round.#NHLStats: https://t.co/cQtcLTo63v pic.twitter.com/iayMsaGL5o— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 26, 2021
There is a lot of very serious news going on right now in Miami, in the world, in hockey, and everywhere, but today we’re going to pause and enjoy each step of the way. Last year’s Stanley Cup victory came without a single one of us cheering on the team in person — this year we get a chance to support the team safely, and I am grateful.
Au revoir pour le moment!