The NHL (National Hockey League) usually ends in June, however, this year the season looked a little different.
As a result of COVID, the NHL had to end its season early and take a brief break. They started back in the summer but had to stay in a bubble. Half the teams stayed in Toronto, and the other half stayed in Edmonton. First, there was a round robin series to determine the ranking of the teams that returned.
The Tampa Bay Lightning was successful in this round, getting the No. 2 spot. In the first round they would face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The first game went into five overtimes until eventually the Lightning scored for a final score of 3-2. The Blue Jackets had no chance in that series, with the Lightning winning the series 4-1.
The Lightning didn’t stop there. In round 2, they faced the Boston Bruins, and once again the Lightning had an amazing series. The team won the series 4-1, yet the Lightning had competition in round 3 against the New York Islanders. The Islanders gave them serious competition, but the Lightning succeeded winning the series 4-2.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had been the talk of the league. The Lightning has been one of the best teams for the last couple of years, but it has not won the Stanley cup since 2004. The team got to the final round a couple years back but fell short. Each year, the Lightning seemed to fall apart in the playoffs because of injuries.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, is one of the best goalies in the league and has continued to prove that. The offensive and defensive players had to step after their star player Steven Stamkos was injured.
The last round was the Lightning vs. the Dallas Stars. Game 1 went terribly wrong for the Lightning. They lost by a score of 4-1. After that disappointing loss, they responded by winning game 2 with a score of 3-2. The Lightning struck again in game 3, winning by a score of 5-2.
The Lighting won the series 4-2 against the Stars, becoming the Stanley Cup Winner. This is the franchise’s second Stanley Cup win.
Hopefully, next season, fans can attend and cheer on their favorite hockey team live in person.