TAMPA, FL. – The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to do what no team in the NHL has done since 1983. That’s winning three consecutive Stanley Cups.
The Isles went on to win four consecutive Cups. Bolts have won back-to-back Stanley Cups and have to get by the Toronto Maple Leafs to clear hurdle number 1. Lightning TV play-by-play voice Dave Randorf thinks the Bolts are certainly talented enough; they just have to continue to play steady.
“They’ve got the best goalie (Andrei Vasievskiy) in the world,” Randorf said. “They’ve got arguably the best defenseman (Victor Hedman) in the world. They’ve got a core up front and one of the most explosive defensive threats up there with (Nikita) Kucherov, (Steven) Stamkos, and (Brayden) Point. If they get consistency out of those players, against a very good opponent, it’s hard not to like the Lightning going forward in this round and further rounds.”
Bolts head coach Jon Cooper is the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL. He’s led the Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Randorf feels Cooper is more of an overseer at this point and doesn’t need to try and pump up his team.
“I don’t think the coach (Jon Cooper) has to give any rah-rah pep speeches here,” Randorf said. I think the players understand. The leadership and character in this room, which starts with Stamkos and Hedman from the top down, they understand the opportunity they have in front of them.”
Since that powerful New York islanders four-peat, the chance to three-peat has come only five times. The Edmonton Oilers and Pittsburgh Penguins went back-to-back twice, and the Detroit Red Wings took home the Cup two years in a row. Randorf says the players all know about that history.
“I think that’s just an extra realization to do something extremely rare and to be a team that will be talked about for years,” Randorf said. “To do it three years in a row, in a salary cap era, it’s almost unheard of right now. it hasn’t been done for 40 years and they recognize it’s right there. So I don’t think the coaches have to remind them of that. They’re all well aware of that.”
Buckle up hockey fans, it’s going to be a fun series, and who knows, you may be watching NHL history.