“Lightning strikes twice! The Tampa Bay Lightning win their second straight Stanley Cup!” – Kenny Albert
“Any time you can be in a sentence or a graphic with Ken Dryden — that’s what you call a heck of a run.” – Eddie Olczyk on Conn Smythe Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy
“Everything he touches turns to gold.” – Brian Boucher on Lightning head coach Jon Cooper
STAMFORD, Conn. – July 7, 2021 – The Tampa Bay Lightning won their second consecutive Stanley Cup tonight by defeating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., on NBC and Peacock.
Kenny Albert, Eddie Olczyk and Brian Boucher called the game on-site from Amalie Arena along with Kathryn Tappen and Pierre McGuire providing reports and contributing to pre-game and intermission coverage.
Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp provided studio commentary during intermissions and post-game coverage on NBCSN from NBC Sports’ headquarters in Stamford, Conn. First intermission studio coverage included a feature on Canadiens forward Josh Anderson, who scored the overtime-winning goal in Game 4.
Following are notes and quotes from the Lightning’s Cup-clinching victory:
Boucher on Lightning head coach Jon Cooper: “Everything he touches turns to gold. When you meet him and you talk to him, he’s a down-to-earth guy, but you can see the confidence he exudes. And I think that confidence extends to his players. He gets the most out of everybody.”
Boucher on Andrei Vasilevskiy: “Considering what he was able to do in clinching scenarios — often overlooked because there’s so much star power on this Lightning team — he deserves the respect and recognition. To me, he is the Conn Smythe (Trophy) winner…This team is not the same if they don’t have Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal.”
Olczyk on Vasilevskiy: “Any time you can be in a sentence or a graphic with Ken Dryden — that’s what you call a heck of a run.”
Boucher on Vasilevskiy: “What a goalie. He is the best goalie in hockey today. His durability, his athleticism, the mind, the way he reads plays. The fact that he had not lost back-to-back games in these Playoffs is incredible. It speaks to how terrific a goaltender he really is.”
Carter: “Teams are usually hesitant to draft a goalie in the first round, well it paid off in spades for the Tampa Bay Lightning. He’s the best goalie in the world and he’s the reason they won the Stanley Cup.”
Sharp: “This team has been building for years, going back to the draft pick of Steven Stamkos. They have been putting pieces together year after year.”
Jones: “The NHL was in a transition where speed was going to be the No. 1 factor…some teams were moving away from some grit and some toughness. Tampa went back to grit and toughness after Columbus taught them some hard lessons…that formula has not changed to win Stanley Cups. It’s a big reason why Tampa found a way to get it done in consecutive years.”
Boucher on Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh: “He’s a goaltender’s dream to have a guy like him playing in front of you. What a Playoffs. The shotblocking, the leadership — can’t say enough about his play defensively.”
Albert: “Lightning strikes twice! The Tampa Bay Lightning win their second straight Stanley Cup!”
Carter on Andrei Vasilevskiy: “He’s slowly creeping up the charts as a Conn Smythe (Trophy) winner if the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup…He’s been sharp all night long in a situation where the Lightning weren’t sharp.”
Jones on Ross Colton’s second period goal: “It was a great effort play from a line that hasn’t been doing a whole lot since Alex Killorn left the building…Colton wins the one-on-one battle with (Joel) Edmundson, gets the loose puck and now Tampa is on the forecheck…Colton then beats Edmundson to the front of the net with his stick on the ice to pick up the only goal of the game to this point.”
Boucher on Lightning forward Ross Colton’s goal, 1-0 Tampa Bay: “You watch Colton after that scrum — once (Ryan) McDonagh gets it, Colton goes right to the net and presents his stick. (Carey) Price has to respect (David) Savard and the shot. It’s a heads up play to find that backdoor stick. Tremendous work by the Lightning on the wall and tremendous work by Colton to get to the net.”
Sharp on attempting to win the Cup on home ice: “Different feeling with (the Cup) in the building, especially when you’re at home. The city, organization, fan base — everybody is preparing for a celebration. That’s a lot of pressure…I thought in that period, Tampa Bay looked like they were nervous with the puck.”
Jones on the Lightning: “There’s some nervous energy out there. Some bouncing pucks, some missed plays, some bad passes from Tampa’s perspective.”
Olczyk on what he’d say pre-game to the Lightning if he were head coach Jon Cooper: “It’s simple. We’re the best team in the National Hockey League. He looks at Andrei Vasilevskiy and says, ‘You’re the best goalie in the league. Victor Hedman, you’re the best defenseman in the league. Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov, you’re two of the top ten forwards in the league. We’re going to win tonight and we’re going to do it in front of our fans.’”
Olczyk on what he’d say pre-game to the Canadiens if he were head coach Dominique Ducharme: “He walks around that room and says, ‘Look – there is nobody in the hockey world that thinks that we can do this. But I do. And you do. So let’s go do it.’”