It’s funny, if you remove the recognition, the qualities and the plays that we attach to who wins and who doesn’t, and just look at the results on paper, the difference is small. We attach a gap between the teams that lift the cups and the ones who won, but in reality the difference is a few inches or percentage points.
For example, Boston Bruins is the post show (Chara is in 2OT in Game 1 of the 2013 Final) and one more win – one or two other goals – from joining the Penguins and Blackhawks as having won three Trophies in the past 11 years. The hawk itself is a bad call or one bounce away from having four cups at the time, maybe three in a row. She also bounces off here or there from the presence of two or one. Consider the number Of the matches those teams played over the course of seven, eight, or 10 years, winning or losing a match or two is hardly a tenth of a percent in the variance in results to completely change the narrative around them.
By any reasonable or reasonable measure, Tampa Bay Lightning has been the most successful team in the league in the past six seasons. They have the most organizing wins. Thanks to their penalty shoot-out rules and stupid overtime, they have the second most points, one point behind the Washington Capitals. They have reached two finalists and two finalists moreover. No team came close to matching such wins in the qualifiers at the time, either in regulation or in overtime. They have 13 more qualifying wins at the time than anyone else. They have six more organizing wins. They have been “around” more than anyone for the better part of a decade.
However, no hockey watcher would call them that because they didn’t get that 16th win until last night.
Again, on paper, they were only smidge away from having the same or the same term as Pens or Hawks. They lost three games with one goal to the Hawks in the 2015 final, which is what makes them into coin flip hockey. We attach to it a “win-win or quality mentality” that cannot be measured, but it can simply be like a rut in the ice here or there or a stick that scuttles a fraction of a second to lose a pinch in front of it rather than distracting it. He took the ultimate champion of Penguins and Capitals to the 7s game in the Conference Finals. They were basically equal to these two teams, and given the much larger sample of regular season matches before, they were actually much better than the Capitals. They just lost their last dice at the end.
Lightning came here by being, quite simply, the best-managed organization in hockey and one of the best in any of the major sports. Of the 20 skaters last night, 13 were either from Tampa or from the two sites without drafting. Another five are obtained by trade, which is an expert use of the assets or strengths that Lightning built through crafting and which can then be transformed into major parts of the hero.
Perhaps the most impressive, and perhaps the most dramatically impressive, is that only three of these players play in the first round. Draft Footage (Stamkos, Vasilevskiy, Hedman). Lightning finds men at all levels of draft and beyond. Alex Kilorn is the third round pick. Nikita Kuchirov, last year’s best player, came in the second round Picking or picking. Ondrej Palat, who made a great impression on Marian Hossa, was a pick in the seventh round. Brayden Point, who could easily have taken Conn Smythe home if Hedman dropped her somewhere, was a pick in the third round. Tyler Johnson wasn’t even formulated. Nor Yanni Gord.
Bolts has the advantage of having no income tax in Florida. They used that to sign Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, Hedman and Palat deals a little lower than the market, but to the end in the end because these players would hold just as much if not more money if they signed elsewhere. But hey, anything that breaks hearts in Toronto and Montreal makes them curse their gods (I suppose it’s Gordon Lightfoot or Neil Burt, and if not, then it should be) for not providing them with what they thought they deserved. It’s a boon to all of us (even the funnest thing as half of residents in both places end up moving to Florida anyway).
If hockey is the biggest cat sport, then it’s absolutely healthy for the league that lightning won. While the Bolts are not a small team, they do not value it as highly as the others. They don’t pack their third and fourth lines with missionaries on the road or drool over their mouths who can’t spell “goblin” and certainly never look for it. Anthony Cirelli, Pointe, Gorde, even Johnson back in the day the apprenticeship served in the fourth line, where lightning just wanted more speed and skill. They advanced their way into the line-up, then speeded ahead with their skills.
The problem is that lightning is difficult to copy. Any GM, and you’ll find that most NHL front offices are headed by a guy who wouldn’t describe him any more than “any GM”, he can find a good goalkeeper and a bunch of plugs to collapse around the crease and block a lot of shots. This is what the stars do. This is what the islanders do. You can participate in the playoffs, win a round or two, and keep your business by doing so. Perhaps the cards only appear on your way once, earning a banner and years of job security.
Doing what lightning did and what it does is much more difficult. You have to click on more selections, and you have to make the right deals (Sergachev seems to Drouin more and more like it should be tried in The Hague with every passing year) and you have to go against the famous hockey game by thinking about what the bottom of your list should look like. . There are pitfalls everywhere.
Because of the random and violent nature of hockey, it rarely works. Predators have tried it, and they only get one final and they’re at the rear of their bow. The Leafs has yet to win a seminal series. She only made the Hurricanes the final of one conference, and she didn’t win a match there. The Knights had similar success as Lightning in the past three seasons, but they haven’t won yet. Avalanche is on the upper side of their journey, but they still have the biggest steps to go. Except for the steps that were no bigger than those taken by these teams, they were just described and thought of as gigantic because that’s where the devices are.
But the designations themselves have more meaning than they describe. The more teams that take this path will lead to a better product. Now everyone can see the benefits.