The Lightning’s win capped off one of the most bizarre seasons in NHL history, especially seeing the team celebrate their championship in an empty arena.
“It takes a lot to be in a bubble for 80 days or whatever long it was,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said. “But it’s all worth it now. We’re coming home with the Cup.”
Hedman was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP.
“That last period was probably the longest period of my life,” Hedman said just before winning the MVP award. “There’s so many emotions at the same time.”
Tampa Bay last won the Cup back in 2004, when the NHL was on the verge of a labor stoppage.
“The beauty of our team is everyone was chipping in,” Point said. “We got tremendous depth. We got contributions from anyone and everyone at different times, and that’s what makes this win so special.”
“I couldn’t ask more from our players,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said of his team following their elimination. “So it wasn’t enough to beat that team, so it wasn’t enough. But it’s better than sitting here saying how we could have done this or could have done [that]. We don’t second-guess anything we’ve done.”
“These last six weeks have been really emotional for my family and I, not only on the ice but off the ice,” captain Steven Stamkos said. “I just want to say to my family: I love you guys so much. To all the friends and everyone who supported us along the way: We love you. We can’t wait to celebrate with you.”
“To come back year after year and take our swings and take our licks and be talked about here as the kids who are going to be here every year — and now we’re talked about as the team who can’t get it done — and you know what? We got it done,” Cooper said. “And it wasn’t without failures along the way.”
“To come back year after year and take our swings and take our licks and be talked about here as the kids who are going to be here every year — and now we’re talked about as the team who can’t get it done — and you know what? We got it done,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “And it wasn’t without failures along the way.”
“We were in the bubble for this many days away from our friends and family, our support systems,” Stamkos said. “We love each and every person that has helped us and allowed us to come here and accomplish our dream.”