The Tampa Bay Lightning are Stanely Cup Champions for the second year in a row. Tampa Bay defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 1-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. By winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships, the Tampa Bay Lightning cement their legacy atop the list of the modern-day dynasties.
The Lightning are just the second team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. Not only that the Lightning join a shortlist of teams to win two or more Stanley Cups since 2010. That list includes the Penguins (2016, 2017), the Los Angeles Kings (2012, 2014) and the Chicago Blackhawks (2010, 2013, and 2015). All these teams were considered dynasties before the salary cap played a role in the team either breaking up or rebuilding.
However, the Lightning are proving that regardless of whether there is a salary cap or not, they are a model of consistency. Just look what they have done since 2015. And by the way, in that year, the Lightning lost to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay has been to three Stanley Cup Finals in 2015, 2020, and 2021. Winning two Stanley Cup Championships. Not only that the Lightning have made the conference final five of the past seven seasons. And if you want to go back go all the way back to 2011, the Lightning have made the conference final six of 10 years. Talk about consistency.
— Full Press Hockey (@FullPressNHL) July 8, 2021
And think about this one. The majority of the team has been together since 2015, no other team that has won multiple Stanley Cups can really say that. While the other teams on this list did not change their core pieces around, the Lightning have kept everybody on the roster. Say for changing a couple of pieces around on defence and the goaltender. Other than that it is the same team that has been together since 2015.
And why is that, well the organization knows how to draft and develop well. Similar to those great Detroit Red Wings teams of the 1990s that won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008. They grew as a team and knew what it took to win going through some growing pains. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Andrei Vasilevskiy and others have been together for a while now. Add Victor Hedman on defence. Now to mention the addition of Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, and Anthony Cirelli. Each player has a role and plays it to perfection.
That is what made those Detroit teams so good. Everyone bought into the system and played their role perfectly. Not to mention, the scouting staffs were able to find players late in the draft and turn them into superstars. Just like Detroit, the Lightning did not bring up anyone that was not ready to play in the NHL. The triplets all went through the AHL, winning there before coming up to the NHL. And head coach Jon Cooper has been there since the beginning with a lot of those players.
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Every time we see a team win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships or win multiple titles in multiple years, we always say we will never see another team like this again. It is hard to repeat, especially in a salary cap era, but this Lightning team has a chance to three-peat. Even with the loss of some players via the expansion draft. The core is coming back and the way general manager Julien BriseBois can play cap gymnastics, he will figure out how to make them competitive again next year.
Just look what they accomplished this year. Finishing third in a tough Central Division without Kucherov. The Lightning might not have Victor Hedman next year as he faces the possibility of surgery as well. Think about this in the two toughest seasons in NHL history. One that was stopped and restarted and played in a bubble the Lightning were able to show they were the best team. Now this season to come back after a short off-season, play without arguably their best player and make the playoffs and make it back to the Stanley Cup Final is just remarkable.
Not only that they will win the Stanley Cup in another bubble environment. No team has gone what the Tampa Bay Lightning has gone through in two seasons to win the Stanley Cup. It is just remarkable, to say the least. That is why you have to rank them ahead of the other teams on the list of modern-day dynasties. The Lightning are number one in today’s day and age.