On Wednesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals, beating the Montreal Canadiens in five games. Ross Colton scored the lone goal in a 1-0 shutout for Tampa, while Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 22 saves in the win.
The win continued a pretty crazy run for Tampa sports. For the Lightning, this is a second-straight Stanley Cup. The team won its first Cup in 2004, and has now added Nos. 2 and 3 in back-to-back years.
In between them, of course, was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Super Bowl. The team added Tom Brady in the 2020 offseason, just days into the COVID-19 pandemic. He would lead that solid roster to their first title in almost 20 years.
The Tampa Bay Rays almost made it a perfect sweep for pro sports teams in the area in 2020. The MLB club won the AL Pennant, but fell short against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. Still, it has been a miraculous run for teams from Tampa over the last year-plus.
for nearly two decades Tampa was a city waiting to win another pro sports championship
then Tom Brady came to town
MAR 2020: Brady signs w Bucs
SEP 2020: Lightning win Stanley Cup
OCT 2020: Rays make World Series
FEB 2021: Bucs win Super Bowl
JUL 2021: Lightning win Stanley Cup
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) July 8, 2021
March, 2020: Brady signs with Bucs
Sept, 2020: Lightning win Stanley Cup
Oct, 2020: Rays make World Series
Feb, 2021: Bucs win Super Bowl
July, 2021: Lightning win Stanley Cup
What a run for the city of Tampa Bay 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Y4YfpFqxFC
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 8, 2021
It probably isn’t appropriate to give the full credit to Tom Brady, but that isn’t stopping people. Brady did start off a crazy run of titles in Boston, including the Red Sox snapping their 86 year World Series drought in 2004, amid his first trio of Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.
Since Brady joined the Buccaneers, Tampa Bay has…
Won a Super Bowl.
Won two Stanley Cups.
Made a World Series.
The new title town. Wherever this man goes, winning follows. pic.twitter.com/bat319Su55
— Jared Haibon (@haibon_jared) July 8, 2021
The biggest shock may be that Brady is 0-2 in The Match in that time. Golf truly is the great equalizer.
For the Lightning, the back-to-back titles are an incredible accomplishment. They’re the first back-to-back champions since the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins, becoming just the second franchise to accomplish that feat since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings.
Meanwhile, the Rays are 51-36, just 2.5 games back in the AL East. They have the fourth-best record in the American League overall, so there’s a very real chance they’ll be in title contention this fall.