The Tampa Bay Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. After defeating the Montreal Canadiens in five games, the Tampa Bay Lightning have become only the second team in the salary cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. They join the Pittsburgh Penguins, who achieved this in 2016 and 2017.
Andrei Vasilevsky wins the Conn Smythe Trophy
After posting a .937 SV% and 1.91 GAA during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevsky was the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy.
There were a plethora of deserved candidates that easily could have taken home this trophy. Brayden Point scored in nine consecutive playoff games, only one game from tying Rechie Leach’s record. Nikita Kuckerov put up an insane 32 points over the playoffs.
Nikita Kuckerov’s interesting post-game press conference
Following his team winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, Lightning superstar Nikita Kurcherov had some interesting things to say.
“I didn’t want to go back to Montreal. The fans in Montreal, come on. They acted like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? There final was last series.”Nikita Kucherov talking about Montreal Canadiens’ fans
As Kucherov articulated, Montreal Canadiens fans were very excited following their team staving off a sweep in Game 5. Canadiens fans fled into the streets of Montreal to celebrate following Josh Anderson’s overtime winner.
After taking a shot at the Canadiens and their fans, Kucherov didn’t stop there. The Lightning center proceeded on to say Golden Knight’s goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was undeserving of winning the Vezina Trophy.
“(Vasilevsky) was outstading .. MVP. I was telling him every day, ‘Vasy, you’re MVP. You’re the best player.’ And then they gave it to whatever the guy in Vegas, the Vezina. And then last year, the gave Vezina to somebody else. Number one bulls–t. … Vasy took both cups. He took MVP and I kept telling him he’s MVP. He’s the guy .. he’s the best.Nikita Kucherov talking about his goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky
Last hoorah for Tampa Bay?
Following his team winning the Stanley Cup, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper was blunt when discussing his team’s situation.
“The team knows we’re probably not going to be together next year.”Jon Cooper on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s cap situation
Nikita Kucherov missed the entirety of the 2021-2021 regular season with a hip injury. Due to this, the Lightning placed their star on the Long Term Injury Reserve. Because of this, Kucherov didn’t count towards the teams’ salary cap. Just before the start of the 2021 playoffs, Kucherov made a return. Keep in mind; there is no salary cap in the playoffs.
Due to this fancy maneuvering, the Lightning could keep all their stars without being over the salary cap. In reality, though, the club was $18M over the cap — much to the dismay of fans.