The resilient Lightning

Down 2-0 in the second period in game 5, the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied back to take the win in overtime.

Resilience. It’s been said over and over the past month, specifically about the Tampa Bay Lightning; not one person, not one game, rather a mantra the team preaches like a gospel choir on Sundays.

If you’ve been watching the Lightning play these past few weeks, you may notice a common pattern: ups and downs, adjustments and alterations, but never a sense of panic.

Just look at the previous series against the New York Islanders: both games 3 and 4 (in New York, keep in mind) the Bolts were down late in the third period. They were outshot, outhit, won fewer faceoffs, blocked fewer shots, and plenty of other unfavorable statistics. What wasn’t found on the scoresheet, however, was their persistent belief in the intricate system head coach Jon Cooper and General Manager Steve Yzerman have ingrained in their players.

It’s not a coincidence that in both games 3 and 4, the Bolts ended up tying the game late and won early in overtime, and mimicked that performance last night in Pittsburgh for game 5.

In fact, there’s even a french expression that is commonly used throughout the hockey-sphere in Canada: “jamais deux sans trois,” translated as “never twice without a third time.”

This ancient saying perfectly suits the Lightning this season, as they seemed to be all out-of-sorts prior to the playoffs, yet none of what was executed was done by accident.

Furthermore, the team has had such calm, cool, collected-playoff success this past month all without their captain and superstar Steven Stamkos. Although this raises questions with his value to the team, his absence has simply portrayed the leadership within the highly underrated team.

Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, and Anton Stralman have taken the team by storm (pun intended) since Stamkos’ injury and have kept the young team in-check with its discipline towards its tactics.

Ultimately, the three former New York Rangers players have been to two Stanley Cup Finals and lost both times: their fiending for the day they hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, and their mouths are watering once again as they’re one game away from seeking a back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearance.