Tampa Bay isn’t exactly synonymous with hockey in the eyes of most people. But maybe it should be growing its reputation slightly as a hockey hotbed following the franchise’s second Stanley Cup victory in a nearly 30-year history. This particular team that clinched the title on Monday night is a special one that had looked like they had a chance to hoist it for the past five seasons or so.
It took a bubble and a long wait to do it, but they got it thanks to a 2-0 shutout win over the Dallas Stars in Game 6. For much of the game, they were rarely tested by the Stars’ offense, with only desperate attempts in the closing moments enough to scare them. Brayden Point scored, taking his playoff-leading tally up to 14, in the first period and that was added to by Blake Coleman’s goal in the second period to give them a 2-0 lead they would not surrender. Both teams had been in the ‘bubble’ for 80 days, something that has to be appreciated and respected. Defenseman Victor Hedman, who had an assist in the win, won the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the playoffs.
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