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Lightning Round: Thank you, Tampa Bay Lightning

They were a couple of goals short this year, but they battled all the way.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

There was really only one thing that happened in the hockey world last night, and it wasn’t what we wanted to see happen. The Tampa Bay Lightning battled right to the end, but couldn’t find the equalizer as they dropped Game Six, 2-1, and had to watch the Colorado Avalanche celebrate a Stanley Cup victory at Amalie Arena.

Despite the loss, there is an immense sense of pride in this Lightning squad that started the season with a rebuilt bottom-six. Made it through a season that saw a multitude of injuries to important players. They saw divisional rivals like the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs improve and push them in the regular season. When they met again in the playoffs it was the Lightning that came out on top. They took down the New York Rangers in a tough Eastern Conference Finals. Then they took Colorado to six games.

While they didn’t hit their ultimate goal of the three-peat, they still showed the heart of champions, battling all the way through the season. They are still a modern dynasty in in my eyes, and as long as Andrei Vasilevskiy is between the pipes, this team is a contender.

They will take this loss pretty hard, we all will. Still, after a short period of reflection they will be back and challenging for the Cup again next season.

Thank you for the good times this season.

Thank you for the Stadium Series game.

Thank you for the great season, Steven Stamkos.

Thank you for the Game Seven victory against Toronto.

Thank you for giving your all.