Game 5 takeaways: Tampa Bay Lightning repeat as Stanley Cup champions

The Tampa Bay Lightning are Stanley Cup champions, proper. After winning inside the sanitary confines of a COVID-19-free bubble last summer miles away from home base, the Lightning earned the opportunity to celebrate a second consecutive championship — this time with fans, family, friends, and loved ones — following a Game 5 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night at Amalie Arena.

Ross Colton is the unlikely goal-scoring hero for the Lightning, notching the lone marker in the nail-biting 1-0 victory, while netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy posted his fifth consecutive shutout to close out a postseason series, making 21 saves. He was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner for his marvellous playoff performance.

Having three legitimate Conn Smythe Trophy candidates — of which didn’t include the MVP from last summer’s Stanley Cup triumph — really says everything about the Tampa Bay Lightning and their dominance as an organization and in these playoffs. Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and the ultimate winner, Vasilevskiy, each authored MVP-worthy bullet-points on their postseason resume.

Kucherov won the scoring title by seven points, and did things only Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux had when coupling in last year’s totals. Point had a goal-scoring streak that fell one shy of the record, and was in many ways the heartbeat of the club.