Even before last night’s decider, I was struck by the parting words of the reigning two-time champions’ coach, John Cooper:
– I don’t want someone to sit here and try, they say: well, we’ve already had two Cups, and in a row! – Does it mean that if Toronto wins today, it will be easier for us to survive, it will not be so scary and insulting? Delirium! Shit! We are on the threshold of greatness. Why don’t we break down this fucking door to eternity?
Powerfully said! Best motivational speech I’ve ever heard. Well done, John!
It was noted quite accurately: money, fame and titles do not solve anything here. The two-time NHL champions, in particular, Stamkos and Vasilevsky, Hedman and Kucherov, Point and Sergachev, Killorn and Cirelli, McDonagh and Maroon, Palat and Chernak already have all of this. How to raise them to fight when Everest hockey has apparently been conquered long ago? Of course, even in the seventh game, when no one will condemn him for failing to cross with a more than worthy opponent. That’s right: press on the moral and volitional factor, use the ambitions, the ambition and the passion of the pioneers.
Yes, two- and even three-time Stanley Cup winners in the 21st century are a dime a dozen in the NHL. During the salary cap period, becoming champion twice in a row is also not new. Crosby/Malkin/Letang Pittsburgh pulled this off five years ago. But neither the monstrous “Edmonton” Gretzky/Messier/Coffey, nor the Europeanized “Detroit” Bowman/Fedorov/Aizerman, nor the scandalous “Chicago” Quenneville/Taves/Kane, nor the same “Pittsburgh” – that under Lemieux and Jagr, than under Crosby and Malkin.
The last to do this were aliens from Long Island, led by a prominent Bossy-Trottier-Gillis trio with a worthy successor to the Orr case, the defender Potvin. The Islanders, by the way, did not stop at the third victory – in 1983 they won the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in a row!
Almost 40 years have passed and no one in the NHL can get close to New Yorkers. To do this in the 21st century in front of a new generation of fans, in the face of radically more competition in the Stanley Cup, truly break sports history!
That’s why Washington slips from year to year in the spring, because after the Stanley Cup win in 2018, the aging team just didn’t have playoff incentives. Well, by some crazy fluke, the “capitals” would have now moved to “Florida”, so what? Yes, the overdriven “Maple Leafs” or “Lightning” of these Washington sloths with a leaky fender would be dusted!
The meaning of the existence of the current Capitals for the next four seasons is the same: to do everything possible so that the Russian captain reveals who is on the scoring throne. This career is well received throughout the Gary Bettman office. Faced with a boring championship for non-advanced fans, where most of the playoff participants are known in advance, it is the rise of Alexander Ovechkin that draws the attention of all sports fans on the planet.
Tampa has a fundamentally different policy: the regular season is nothing, the playoffs are everything! And largely not by the will of the club. When the Lightning blew a $10 million hole in the salary cap due to the pandemic and a frozen transfer market, they had no choice but to fine-tune everything for the cup season.
Kucherov’s protracted recovery from surgery isn’t worth causing an epic, but the fact is clear: Nikita recovered just in time for the start of the 2021 Stanley Cup, where the salary cap no longer applies. Well, how could the forward carelessly treat this segment, having received his rightful $9.5 million in sick bay for his performance in the regular season? On the contrary, the Russian was as angry and mobilized as possible to demonstrate to all the ‘lightning’ fans that he does not simply eat American bread and is worthy of this fabulous money. As a result, Kuch became the playoffs’ leading scorer for the second year in a row and once again lifted the Stanley Bowl over his head.
To be honest, in many episodes today I was outraged. To see how Point tried to continue the game with his foot upside down, how Paul recklessly climbed, scoring both goals from the guests, how Captain Stamkos braided, as in the way of Tarasov, like a homeland! -Vasilevsky defended the goal, did not understand why he avoided the joints in every possible way, immediately got rid of the puck, Kucherov did not go to the blow. Although even with this, Nikita ruled the entire game of the five and the special team, and with the score 2: 1 he also hit the post.
Popular insider Darren Draeger tweeted today: Cooch was out of action for Toronto with an injury. It remains to understand how serious he is. As well as whether he can recover for the Florida Point series.
Having warmed up with Washington retirees, the Panthers approach the Florida derby fully armed. But this “Tampa” in any conditions will fight to the last bullet. Toronto will confirm it.
Interestingly, now Vasilevsky and Bobrovsky have the same season in terms of victories: each 43. Which of the goalkeepers will come out ahead in the Eastern final? Another super intrigue, and purely Russian!
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