NHL Morning Skate: Stanley Cup Final Edition – July 8, 2021

THREE HARD LAPS

* The Lightning blanked the Canadiens to run it back for their second straight Stanley Cup and third in franchise history.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, who clinched a series with a shutout for the fifth time since the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

LIGHTNING BLANK CANADIENS TO CLINCH SECOND CONSECUTIVE STANLEY CUP
Andrei Vasilevskiy (22 saves) recorded another series-clinching shutout and rookie Ross Colton scored the only goal in Game 5 as Tampa Bay defeated Montreal to capture its second straight Stanley Cup and third in franchise history (also 2004 & 2020).

* The Lightning became the ninth different franchise to repeat as Stanley Cup champions and fifth to do so among clubs that joined the NHL in 1967-68 or later, joining the Flyers, Islanders, Oilers and Penguins.

* Tampa Bay’s three Stanley Cup wins trail only Detroit (4: 1997, 1998, 2002 & 2008) for the most titles among all teams since the Lightning entered the NHL in 1992-93.

* Tampa Bay is just the second Florida-based franchise to win at least three titles in either the NHL, NBA (Miami Heat: 3), NFL (Miami Dolphins: 2; Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2) or MLB (Florida Marlins: 2). The Heat (2012, 2013) and Dolphins (1973, 1974) repeated as NBA and Super Bowl champions, respectively.

VASILEVSKIY AWARDED CONN SMYTHE TROPHY
After posting a 16-7 record (1.90 GAA, .937 SV%, 5 SO) en route to claiming his second consecutive Stanley Cup, Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to “the most valuable player to his team in the playoffs.” The winner was selected in a vote by a panel of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

* Vasilevskiy (Tyumen, Russia) is the first goaltender born outside North America to be named playoff MVP. Overall, this marks the 17th time a goaltender won the Conn Smythe Trophy since the award’s inception in 1964-65.

* Vasilevskiy, just the fourth active goaltender to win multiple Stanley Cups, became the first netminder in NHL history with four series-clinching shutouts in a single postseason and the third in League history with multiple Cup-clinching shutouts (consecutive or otherwise).

MORE ON TAMPA BAY’S SECOND STRAIGHT STANLEY CUP

Nikita Kucherov (8-24—32 in 23 GP), who also led all players in points during the 2020 postseason (7-27—34 in 25 GP), became the sixth different player in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to lead the Stanley Cup Playoffs in points in consecutive years (outright or tied).

Brayden Point (14-9—23 in 23 GP) finished the playoffs with six more goals than the next closest players after also pacing the 2020 postseason with a franchise-record 14 goals. Point had a nine-game goal streak – the second-longest such run in NHL history – and became the first player to record 14-plus goals in consecutive playoff years since Lemieux (1991–1992). The only other players in NHL history to do so are Mike Bossy (1981–1983) and Jari Kurri (1984–1985; 1987–1988).

* After winning his first Stanley Cup in 2019 with the Blues and second in 2020 with the LightningPat Maroon claimed the trophy for a third straight year. Already one of eight different players in NHL history to win a championship in consecutive seasons with different teams, Maroon became the first player to win three straight Stanley Cups since multiple players did so with the Islanders dynasty from 1980 to 1983.

* After playing just 2:47 in the entire 2020 Stanley Cup PlayoffsLightning captain Steven Stamkos dressed in all 23 games for Tampa Bay in the 2021 postseason where he produced 8-10—18 to rank tied for third in NHL scoring and match a career high.

* Ross Colton, who scored the game-winning goal in his League debut on Feb. 24 earlier this year, concluded his first NHL season by scoring the Stanley Cup clincher for the Lightning. Colton became the seventh rookie in NHL history to score a Cup-clinching goal and just the second to do so in the League’s modern era (since 1943-44), joining Mike Rupp in 2003 (w/ NJD).

Jon Cooper and Julien BriseBois have now claimed three championships over the last 10 years as a head coach-general manager tandem, winning two Stanley Cups with the Lightning (2020 & 2021) and one Calder Cup with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals (2012). Forwards Tyler JohnsonAlex Killorn and Ondrej Palat were also part of each championship.

* BriseBois, who acquired key players such as Maroon, Blake ColemanBarclay GoodrowJan Rutta and David Savard after being named to the position Sept. 11, 2018, became the second general manager in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup multiple times within his first three seasons with that title, joining longtime Canadiens executive Sam Pollock (2 from 1964-65–1966-67).