GM GAME V4 PLAYOFFS
STANLEY CUP FINAL RESULTS
TBL v CAR
The #1 Tampa Bay Lightning and the #3 Carolina Hurricanes met in the v4 Stanley Cup Finals. Let's look at how each team got here. Both teams swept their first round opponents. Tampa was tested by Philadelphia in Round 2, but despite the #1 team entering the series with an unfavorable GM vote, they were able to get the bounces and come out on top in 6 games. Carolina moved to 8-0 after two rounds thanks to series wins over Minnesota and Columbus. The Lightning beat out the Canucks in a seven-game battle to advance to the Finals. Vegas was ousted by Carolina, setting up our Stanley Cup Final.
Amalie Arena was loud for Game 1. The home team brought out Marty St. Louis for the ceremonial puck drop and when he ripped off his breakaway pants, his quads stole the show. The first game set the tone for the series. It was a very tense, back-and-forth affair. Neither team could break through... until a 3rd period goal from Connor Garland put the Bolts up 2-1 in the game and 1-0 in the series.
2-1 TBL (Garland)
Series: 1-0 TBL
The Lightning picked up right where they left off in Game 2. They scored a couple early goals and didn't look back. Vasilevskiy picked up a shutout and the Bolts took a commanding 2-0 series lead.
3-0 TBL (Dadonov)
Series: 2-0 TBL
The teams traveled to Raleigh to play Games 3 and 4. Despite being down 2-0, the Canes had plenty of life. They used their Finnish connection to tilt the rink, finishing off a couple of beautiful passing plays on the power play to claw their way closer to back into the series.
4-1 CAR (Laine)
Series: 2-1 TBL
The 4th game was a chance for CAR to get the series back to even, and also a way to guarantee a return visit to Raleigh with a potential Game 6. Neither team could break through in regulation time. In overtime, a timely save at one end of the ice led to an odd-man rush at the other end. The 3-on-2 became a 4-on-2 when Anton Stralman crept into the play and buried his 7th career playoff goal. The Bolts would return to Tampa with a series lead and some momentum.
4-3 (OT) TBL (Stralman)
Series: 3-1 TBL
Game 5 was what the Workaholics would call "tight butthole". Neither team would give up an inch on the ice (that's 2.54 cm for the Canadians in the crowd). The Canes scored first, but the Lightning answered on the power play. The game stayed 1-1 through regulation and for the second consecutive game, this time in an elimination scenario, we had Stanley Cup Finals Overtime.
2-1 (OT) CAR (Laine)
Series: 3-2 TBL
Carolina survived a dramatic Game 5 and returned to Raleigh with hopes of forcing a Game 7. The home crowd seemed to empower them; when Jordan Binnington was interviewed before the game, he said "it helps to have the home crowd there to settle some nerves". Just kidding, he didn't say that. The power play came through again for the Cardiac Canes, and they successfully extended the series to a dramatic game 7.
4-2 CAR (Carlson)
This is what we live for... Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I did some perusing through the simulations, and game 7 of these finals was the closest game out of any of the games in the v4 playoffs. The game-point margin was 0.2 points. That's 0.2 points out of the 65 points that determine an outcome. 0.3% of the points. 32.6 to 32.4. Get it? It was insanely close. The kind of drama that you can only pray for when you set up a random number generator and a voting system to decide these types of things. The sort of thing that when you type up a narrative like I'm doing now, you get to say this: "Game 7 Triple Overtime!". In the 109th minute of the last game of the season, Tyler Johnson took a pass from Victor Hedman. He flew down the right side and dropped his shoulder on John Carlson. He looked up just in time to see the poke check from Binnington. Dekes to the backhand. Puck on end, he swipes at it to get just enough power on the shot. Over the sliding pad of the goalie, into the net. Red light, game over, series over, your Tampa Bay Lightning are Stanley Cup Champions!!! Congratulations to General Manager @TabooPenguo
3-2 (3OT) TBL (Johnson)
Thanks to everyone for playing along. I hope everyone enjoyed another season of the GM Game. Offseason shenanigans are starting ASAP.
TBL wins 4-3