TAMPA, Fla. — It's tradition vs. the new breed. The U.S. vs. Canada. The Cinderella underdog vs. the defending champs. It's the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
Thousands of Tampa Bay Lightning fans will be packed into Amalie Arena when they face off with the Montreal Canadiens. Many more will watch it on TV, be it at home or at a watch party. If you're one of those fans who loves to impress your friends with trivia, we've got a collection for you! Here are 10 fast facts about the Lightning and this year's Stanley Cup Final:
- The Lightning are trying to become the first team since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-17 to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Nine franchises have repeated at least once, and the Lightning would be the tenth if they can pull it off here.
- The Lightning are 2-1 all-time in the Stanley Cup Final. The Bolts beat the Calgary Flames in seven games in 2004. They lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 before coming back to win it all in 2020.
- For the second straight year, the Lightning beat the New York Islanders in the semifinals to get to this point. This year’s semifinal took seven games. The Lightning finished off the Islanders in six last year.
- The Canadiens hold the record for most Stanley Cup wins with 24. They last won it in 1993.
- No team from Canada has won the Stanley Cup since the Canadiens’ last championship. Four Canadian teams have lost a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 since 1994 – most recently the 2011 Vancouver Canucks.
- Tampa Bay is the southernmost team ever to win the Stanley Cup. Prior to 2004, the Dallas Stars held this distinction. They captured the cup in 1999.
- Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was drafted in 2016 (ninth overall) by the Canadiens. The Bolts traded another former top draft pick, Jonathan Drouin, to Montreal to get Sergachev. Drouin is currently away from the Canadiens and won’t play in the Stanley Cup Final.
- According to DraftKings, the Lightning (-195) are heavy favorites to beat the Canadiens (+170) in the seven-game series. Some Vegas betting lines have the Lightning as the biggest favorites to win a Stanley Cup in the last ten years. But Montreal upset the Vegas Golden Knights, who were -500 favorites, in the semifinal.
- Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has scored five goals and 22 assists in 18 playoff games this year. He missed the whole regular season to recover from hip surgery. "Kuch" tallied seven goals and 27 assists during last year’s Stanley Cup run.
- Brayden Point leads the Lightning with 14 goals so far in the playoffs. He also scored 14 during the last postseason. Point topped the Bolts with 23 goals and 48 total points during this regular season.
The Stanley Cup Final starts at 8 p.m Monday, June 28. The Lightning will host the first two games, as well as the fifth and seventh if necessary.
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