August 11, 2022

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Lightning on third straight Remaining journey: ‘Unbelievable’

The Tampa Bay Lightning fell wanting the primary Stanley Cup three-peat since 1983 — however...

The Tampa Bay Lightning fell wanting the primary Stanley Cup three-peat since 1983 — however they don’t consider their dynasty has crumbled.

“Who mentioned we’re performed?” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos mentioned after his group’s 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Recreation 6 of the Stanley Cup Closing on Sunday night time. “This core is right here. We’ve battled. We’ve been via the whole lot you’ll be able to consider and, for essentially the most half, we’ve discovered a solution to come out on prime.”

The Avalanche captured their first Stanley Cup since 2001 with the victory. They have been favored to win the Cup because the playoffs started in addition to to win this sequence.

“It’s not like we misplaced to some powder puff,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper mentioned. “That’s a baller group over there. We by no means had residence ice. We performed all these star-studded groups. They discovered a method. We simply bumped into yet one more brick wall, and we simply couldn’t get via this one.”

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Cooper agreed with Stamkos that the Lightning’s run didn’t finish with the Avalanche. Prior to now eight years, the Lightning have been to 6 convention finals and superior to the Stanley Cup Closing 4 instances.

“The playoff streak ended. But it surely’s not the tip of our run,” Cooper mentioned. “I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in my teaching profession to have received championships at totally different ranges, and people are the groups you keep in mind. Typically, you don’t keep in mind as a lot {that a} group didn’t win. However I feel I’ll keep in mind this group essentially the most. What these guys went via, with the accidents … it’s been well-documented what sort of warriors they’re. You need to see what’s happening [with injuries].”

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The Lightning have been with out star middle Brayden Level, who missed the earlier two rounds with a lower-body damage he suffered in Recreation 7 towards the Toronto Maple Leafs on Could 14. Level performed the primary two video games towards Colorado and was ineffective, and he didn’t seem in the remainder of the sequence. Ahead Anthony Cirelli and defenseman Erik Cernak performed via accidents, as did numerous different gamers.

“When the damage report comes out, you’re going to be shocked,” Tampa Bay ahead Pat Maroon mentioned. “I’m simply so happy with these guys for what these guys have performed the final three years. We made a hell of a run. We simply fell quick.”

The Lightning enter the offseason with a handful of free brokers, together with clutch winger Ondrej Palat, commerce deadline pickup Nick Paul and regular defenseman Jan Rutta. However the group’s core is below contract for 2022-23.

Whether or not they make a bid for 3 Cups in 4 seasons or not, Cooper mentioned this group belongs among the many best groups in NHL historical past.

“These guys are proper up there with the Nineteen Eighties Islanders and the Oilers,” he mentioned. “Groups that you just discuss for many years.”

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