Pat Maroon knows his pre-game routine doesn’t make television convincing, but it’s hard to argue with the results.
Hours later, Maroon would win his third straight Stanley Cup championship and his second with the Lightning. Then you’ll excuse her if her routine is a bit bland.
The seventh and final episode of season six of “Quest for the Stanley Cup”, an unlimited series, begins before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens. The episode airs Friday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN + in the US and YouTube.com/NHL in Canada.
From the fans outside the Amalie Arena to the players and coaches in the locker room, the pre-game scene closer to the face-off was filled with passion and determination. No one associated with the Lightning wanted the Stanley Cup to leave town.
As Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme cautioned his players against trying to be lagging behind the Best of 7 Series 3-1 superheroes, Lightning coach Jon Cooper uttered a A sharp sermon that he reiterated during the second intermission on the closing of the match and the series with force. .
“At the end of the day, it’s our will. It’s our will and our attitude to eliminate them, ”Cooper said. ” That’s it. They will at some point tonight – because of you and your will – they will decide to lose. It will happen at some point. If you play the same way with the same grain and the same passion that you have been playing for the past two years, they will choose to bow out. Get them to them. Let’s go. “
When the game ends, the contrast of experiences between winning and losing teams becomes stark, starting immediately after, and then in post-match press conferences. But no side portrayed him more clearly than the Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher, bruised and dejected, walking the halls of Arena Amalie at the end of the night in front of a row of large-screen TVs showing the Lightning celebration on the ice.
“Injury, schedule, COVID, even in the playoffs, being down, up, we’ve grown a lot as a team,” Ducharme said. “We want to come back here with a different result. “
For the Lightning, the party started when the final buzzer sounded and, unlike last season, they were able to celebrate in front of their home crowd and loved ones.
In the days that followed, players were able to take the Stanley Cup to their neighborhood for impromptu community celebrations. Defender Ryan McDonagh Took him to a neighbor’s house with Maroon, where they shared a heartfelt moment. Afterwards, a barista from his favorite café had a drink at the Cup.
Ultimately, in a break from the whirlpool, Cooper set the cup down on a table by his garden pool, sat down, lit a cigar, took a few puffs, and began to think about what was to come next. .
“Last year was such a special experience because it was our first championship, but the only thing that was stolen from us was doing it in front of our family, friends and fans,” Cooper said. “When you win a championship you might have a tendency to say, ‘We won’ and catch your breath. This team was so hungry to win another, so passionate. They were not going to be denied. It was just so much fun to be a part of it.
“I guess it’s time to go for three. “