Flashback to September 28th/bleeding into the early morning of September 29th. The Tampa Bay Lightning had just been crowned the 2020 Stanley Cup Champions after taking down the Dallas Stars in game 6. It was the first trip to the Final for the Stars since 2000. So once you get there, you never know if you'll make it back. And that thought seemed to be creeping up on Jamie Benn during this post-game press conference.
The man was completely gutted. You could tell that loss took everything out of him. Let's be clear here. Jamie Benn is an absolute fucking menace on the ice. Dude is tough as nails and will beat the brakes off of you if necessary. But as tough as he is, he could barely get any words out during the presser.
But turns out the fact that he was even make it to the podium in the first place was a miracle. The whole locker room was cleared out. Jerseys stacked up in the laundry bin. Guys have already showered and getting ready to head on the bus to get back to the hotel so they could get home as soon as possible. And Jamie Benn is still sitting there fully dressed. Because he knows there's a chance that as soon as he takes that jersey off, there's a chance he'll never be dressed for a Stanley Cup Final game again.
What sucks for the Stars is that it's not like the Lightning losing to Chicago in the 2015 Final. That was a young Lighting team who could use that loss as a learning experience and build on it over the next few years like they did leading up to this year. This Dallas team is older. That core doesn't have a 5-year window to work with. But I'd just be on the lookout for a Jamie Benn revenge tour next season. Can't imagine he ever wants to feel like that again. Only thing that could potentially derail that revenge tour from really taking off would be those god awful thirds they just unveiled the other week.
Christ those are awful.