On this day in history... the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup
It was March of 2004, and a good friend of mine was off to see his beloved Maple Leafs tangle with the suddenly-successful Tampa Bay Lightning.
I was a tad jealous, telling my friend that he'd have a chance to see one of the best teams in the NHL, the league's next great contender. My friend scoffed. "They're not that good," he said. "It's Tampa Bay. They play in that weak division."
I'd be lying to say I was surprised, let alone disappointed, when the Lightning rolled into the Air Canada Centre that night and won 7-2.
Still, however, the Leaf fan's allegiances die hard. "We'll see how they do in the playoffs!" Two months later, and exactly a year ago from today, Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup.
John over at Boltsmag is remembering a year ago over on his site, and he still seems a tad speechless. I was firmly on the Flames' bandwagon a year ago, that is, once they had eliminated the Canucks, so it's not with glee that I recall the Lightning's triumph. Calgary was the first Canadian club in the playoffs since Vancouver made the trip 10 years earlier, and a win for former Blazer great Jarome Iginla and the underdog Flames would have provided some solace for the long months ahead without hockey.
Here's hoping John realizes how lucky he is to have his fledgling club win a Cup so early into their existence. Because, up in these parts, all we seemingly have to cling to is our stubborn misconceptions.