It might have felt like it would never arrive, but we finally know who the 2019-20 Stanley Cup champions are. The season has been one of the most unusual in the history of the NHL, and here is everything we know about the Stanley Cup 2020 Final.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars played out an entertaining Stanley Cup series, with the Florida team taking the victory in game six. The 4-2 victory meant there was always a chance for the Stars to win it, but the Lightning kept the Dallas franchise at bay. After 63 days inside the grueling NHL bubble, the Lightning emerged victorious with a win to remember.
There might have been fears among the NHL players that whichever team won the Stanley Cup this season would have an asterisk against their championship. After all, this was a season like no other, but it’s impossible to say the Lightning didn’t have to fight hard to earn their Stanley Cup victory.
By many accounts, life inside the NHL bubble was not easy. Players and staff were isolated from their families, with only their teammates and opponents to rely on for company. That fenced-off community might have been tough, but it was worth it for the Lightning. It required a champion’s mindset to emerge victorious from the bubble.
The Bubble Worked Perfectly Well
The NHL bubble’s purpose was to make sure that players, coaches, officials, and key workers were safe. With no major outbreaks within the bubble, it’s fair to say that it was a success. It took the league and players’ union almost four months to work out the finer details of the bubble, but once the plan was made, the NHL never looked back.
The hopes were to avoid 2020 becoming a year like 2004 and 1919 as seasons where the Stanley Cup wasn’t awarded. There were over 31,000 tests among people living inside the bubble, without any players, coaches, or staff testing positive.
Although the arena was empty, when the clock ran down to zero with the Lightning leading 2-0, it was time for Tampa Bay to party. This wasn’t just a victory for the Lightning, however, and we’re sure those running the NHL were also feeling jubilant after the Stanley Cup was settled.
While the series might have gone to a sixth game, in truth, the Lightning were playing out their own coronation. The series scoreline of 29-22 showed the gulf in class between the two sides.
Back-To-Back Stanley Cups
It might have been a team triumph, but Pat Maroon will be enjoying the victory a little more than others. Maroon became the third player in the NHL expansion era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups after winning it with the St. Louis Blues last season.
The Lightning were crowned rightful Stanley Cup champions almost a year to the day that the 2019-20 season began. It has been an eventful year, but one to remember for hockey fans in Tampa Bay.