As many of you know by now, the Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last night, besting New York’s Rangers 2-0 in the seventh and deciding game of their Eastern Conference series. They await either Anaheim or Chicago, who play their Game 7 tonight.
It’s also a big moment for the Lightning in terms of where they stand against the other area franchises, the Bucs and the Rays. The Lightning become the first of the “big three” to play in multiple championships of their respective sport. Only the old Tampa Bay Rowdies played in multiple championship games, winning the 1975 Soccer Bowl (as an expansion team), then appearing in the NASL’s big game again in 1978 and 1979, losing to the New York Cosmos and Vancouver Whitecaps, respectively.
I like the Lightning’s chances to go all the way and hoist the Cup a second time regardless of who they play, but I am a little biased on the subject.