In case you missed it last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final to become Stanley Cup champions! Your Tampa Bay Lightning are the 2019-20 COVID-19 Cup champions!
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The drink was flowing and the good times were rolling for the likes of Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and the rest of the Lightning squad, but across the hallway the Dallas Stars weren't exactly in party mode. After all, the Stars battled hard not only in this Cup Final, but in all four series' they found themselves in this post-season. The Stars played a heavy, relentless game and are the type of team that pride themselves on playing "the right way." But with the series over and the Lightning crowd as champions there's not much to say or do for the Stars. That much was pretty evident during a heartbreaking post-game interview with Stars captain Jamie Benn.
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Man, that's heartbreaking. This entire interview just feels wrong. The guy figuratively had his heart ripped out of his chest just minutes earlier and you put him in front of a camera and on TV? That just seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. In any case, the emotion on Benn's face is clear to see and anyone who thought the Stars might fold up just so they can leave the bubble is dead wrong. There's no way these guys are thankful to be going home. They wanted a Game 7 and the opportunity to hoist the Stanley Cup. Instead they were forced to stay in the bubble for another evening while they hear their opponent hootin' and hollerin' with the Stanley Cup down the hall. That's a tough pill to swallow and if I were a betting man, I'd bet that that reality hitting Jamie Benn in that moment.
Chin up, Jamie. You did play the game the right way and you were nearly rewarded for your efforts. But the fact of the matter is that hockey is a random game sometimes and you just happened to come out on the losing side. C'est la vie.