Ranking the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Three Stanley Cup Titles on Impact

TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 12: The Stanley Cup is shown before the first period of a game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena on October 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 12: The Stanley Cup is shown before the first period of a game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena on October 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

In this ranking, we’ll be taking a look at the three Stanley Cup championships won by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The ranking for each one will be determined by impressiveness, the strength of the opponent, the path to get to the final series, etc.

Before diving in, this was a hard ranking to make. Each Stanley Cup has a load of pros that could make the case for number one out of the three. But, using the best judgement and the factors I listed previously. Here are the Stanley Cups the Lightning won ranked in order.

1. 2021 Stanley Cup Final- Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Montreal Canadiens 1

In 2021, the Bolts earned the coveted the title of “back-to-back” Stanley Cup Champions with a championship won in five games against the Montreal Canadiens.

They beat Montreal in five games and the two met due to division realignments for the 2020-21 season that placed Montreal in the North division that had all of the Canadien teams within it.

Of all of the Stanley Cup finals series, this is the one that took the fewest amount of games. This is impressive in and of itself.

There was also lots of speculation based on the 2020 title about whether or not the Lightning could get a Stanley Cup with fans in the stands since the previous championship was won in the  COVID-19 bubble in Canada.

This time around, Tampa Bay got it done on their home ice in a 1-0 victory with Ross Colton scoring the lone goal to clinch their third title

. And to mention, with fans present in both the Bell Centre and Amalie Arena.

The scenario of Tampa Bay going back-to-back

and becoming the 8th team in the NHL to do so

is enough to make this the greatest of their Stanley Cups. Not to mention, they did it in front of their home fans and in the fewest games of any of the other series.

2. 2004 Stanley Cup Final- Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Calgary Flames 3

The first title for the Tampa Bay Lightning came in 2004 in a back and forth series with the Calgary Flames.

This was a dominant season for the Bolts as they breezed to a first place finish in the southeast division and a first seed in the eastern conference.

When the playoffs came around, Tampa Bay stormed through the first two rounds beating the New York Islanders in five games and then followed it up with a sweep of the Montreal Canadiens to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

The challenges began to catch up to the Lightning as they beat the Philadelphia Flyers in a gritty seven game series. Next up, was Calgary.

The Stanley Cup Final had alternating winners all the way up to the very end. In game six in the Saddledome, the Lightning earned the win when Martin St. Louis scored the game winning goal in double overtime to force a game seven back at home.

St. Louis was a weapon for the Lighting in playoffs, finishing with 24 points (9 goals and 15 assists) and half a plus/minus of +6. Four of those nine goals came in the Stanley Cup Final round.

This game came off an overtime win for the Flames in game five to take a 3-2 series lead in their favor heading back to Calgary.

Tampa Bay Left Winger Ruslan Fedotenko netted two goals in a 2-1 game seven win to give the Bolts their first cup.

The impact of Tampa Bay winning their first cup with the star studded cast of St. Louis, Fedotneko, Dave Andreychuk, Vincent Lecavalier, and more was huge deal that set the franchise in motion for the long run.

3. 2020 Stanley Cup Final- Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Dallas Stars 2

Coming in the rear is the middle cup for the Bolts. This came in the COVID-19 bubble against the Dallas Stars.

The title brought the Lightning their first title in 16 years and was a valiant effort of overcoming a worldwide challenge to keep focus on the end goal for the season.

The series began with Dallas taking a 1-0 series lead after a dominant 4-1 victory. Tampa Bay would then storm back to take a 3-1 series lead. A top-notch overtime goal by Kevin Shattenkirk in game four would put the Lightning a win away from their second Stanley Cup.

The Stars would return the favor with an overtime winner in game five by Corey Perry. However, game six saw Tampa Bay win 2-0 and earn their second Stanley Cup.

The bubble cup was a story of resilience and a rekindling of the championship culture the Lighting have built over the course of their history.

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