Tampa Bay celebrates as many Lightning-turned-Rangers look on

Food for thought: If the actual Prince of Wales came out and presented the Prince of Wales trophy to the Eastern Conference champion, would the captain of the team feel more obligated to lay a hand on it?

It’s definitely something the NHL should consider as Steven Stamkos followed superstition and did not touch the trophy. Even more boring was his interview with Pierre Maguire. Drink (responsibly) every time you hear a cliche:

Still alive? Wonderful!

Sitting through all that nonsense was worth it to see a little bit of emotion from he normally stoic Stamkos. He gets all kinds of (Canadian) Gene Simmons on us as he walks through the hall.


This, though, wasn’t the best celebration of all the Lightning players and staff tonight. That honor goes to head coach Jon Cooper. Something tells me he never laid a smooch on a judge in court when he was an attorney the way he did on assistant coach Rick Bowness.


Following the initial celebration by Tampa in a nearly silent Madison Square Garden, there was a final tradition that had to take place – the handshake line.

It was a special, possibly awkward, moment for the Lightning and Rangers players as many of them had been on the opposite team just a season ago.

First, let’s look at the embrace between Stamkos and once favored son of Tampa, Martin St. Louis.


Short and sweet. No animosity as best we can tell. Even if he said something, St. Louis was probably muffled as he spoke directly into Stamkos’s shoulder pad.

Then there was St. Louis, who is around 4-foot-5 (estimate), and goalie Ben Bishop, (approximately) 7-foot-2.


St. Louis looked like a dad who was wishing is goofy, gangly son the best in the championship, as he secretly wished it was him in his place.

Finally, St. Louis and Ryan Callahan meet face to face after swapping places with each other last year in the captain-for-captain trade. And their interaction was …


… uneventful.

It was a good series with out a considerable amount of bad blood and shenanigans between the teams, so the lack of drama during the handshake line should come as no surprise.

Here’s the full video of the entire ceremony:

(As usual, s/t to Steph for her work during the playoffs.)