The Lightning Don't Need An Enforcer When They Have Steven Stamkos Running Around Kicking Everybody's Ass

Bruce Bennett. Getty Images.

You want to know why the Tampa Bay Lightning are 2x defending Stanley Cup Champs? You want to know why they're just 1 win away from going back to their third straight Stanley Cup Final and their 4th in the Stamkos era? Part of it is because of no state tax and salary cap loopholes. But the other part is because this is their leader, this is their captain, this is the man they follow to the depths of hell. He's a deranged lunatic. A man on a mission. The game is over, he could have just gone home and got some rest before closing out this series in Tampa in game 6. But not Steven Stamkos. He has some more ass to kick before he gets out of there. 

Lindgren gives a little slash to Kucherov, Kuch returns the favor by giving a little puck of the toe to Fox, Fox gets pissy and then it's a donnybrook. But it's all a chain of events that starts with Lindgren and ends with Stamkos sending little Alexis Lafreniere into timeout. 

That right there. That is the exact difference in this series. You have Steven Stamkos with his glove off and ready for carnage, and then you have Alexis Lafreniere still throwing with his glove off. Maybe that's just the difference between Quebec and Ontario, but it's everything you need to see that this series is over. The Bolts know what it takes to get the job done and they're willing to do whatever that is. The Rangers thought they had the series wrapped up when it was 2-0 and now have no idea what to do after dropping 3 straight. 

Even the Trouba Train is off the tracks. 

So weird how it always looks like he's trying to cave someone's skull in with his elbow. I wonder why that is. I mean he can't possibly be a dirty player or anything like that. Rangers fans are constantly trying to tell me that he's not. The same way that they're constantly trying to say that Igor is better than Vasilevskiy. And that Vasilevskiy can't play in MSG even though I'd say stopping 24 out of 25 shots faced last night is pretty decent. But "Igor Is Better" is on a shirt so it must be true! 

Anyway, Stamkos rules and the Bolts are in the driver seat because of it. No need to bring in any additional enforcers when the guy wearing the 'C' on his sweater can take care of business himself. Turns out the only punches the Rangers are landing are over the "sucker" variety. 


Brutal fanbase. They lost their team the series by poking the Vasilevskiy bear, and now they're sucker punching dudes while leaving the barn after getting their hearts ripped out of their chest by Ondrej Palat. Tough scene.