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Bruins de Boston
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Hardcore Boston Sports Fan. Gunna be a tough few decades of losing once brady/bill belichick retire.
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<strong>V4 Season 2 Playoffs

Stanley Cup Finals</strong>

<strong>#4 Tampa Bay Lightning at #2 Carolina Hurricanes</strong>

The Lightning won series versus the #13 LA Kings, the #5 Calgary Flames, and the #1 Colorado Avalanche on their way to their 2nd consecutive GM Game Finals. Also returning to the Finals are the Carolina Hurricanes, who swept the #15 Vegas Golden Knights, toppled the #7 Ottawa Senators, and beat the #3 Toronto Maple Leafs along the way. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the game this season and thanks to all GMs who voted for the playoffs.

Game 1: Tampa scored a couple quick goals on the road and didn't look back, taking the first game of the series in decisive fashion. The young goaltender of the Hurricanes looked a little shaky in his SCF debut. Shesterkin stopped just 18 shots and the Lightning were able to frustrate the Canes shooters by keeping everything to the outside and away from danger. TBL wins 4-1. Arvidsson with the GWG.

Game 2: The Hurricanes lost home ice after game 1 so they really needed a response to avoid falling into a big 0-2 hole in the series. Game 2 looked very similar to the first matchup between these sides, with the Bolts securing an early lead and taking advantage of their counterattacking opportunities as the Hurricanes had to push for more offense. Conor Garland's opening tally proved to be the game-winner as Tampa won 3-0 on the back of an Andrei Vasilevskiy shutout. The Canes were in trouble, down 2 in the series and looking for a spark as they headed into enemy territory.

Game 3: Enter Jordan Binnington. The streaky goalie that wound up as the backup in Raleigh was given the net for game 3. And he did not look nervous. As Darren Pang put it best, "Binnington stood on his head and spit out wooden nickels" all night long, frustrating the defending champs into over-passing and missing their marks. Still, the Hurricanes couldn't find any chinks (sorry Justin) in the armor of the Lightning's Russian goalie. This one went to overtime as a 1-1 tie. With 8 minutes left in the first OT period, Alex Goligoski found ice on the weak side, received an area pass, and made no mistake burying into the top corner over the glove of Vasilevskiy. The veteran defenseman's 8th playoff goal was the biggest of his career. The series was heating up - the Bolts had a 2-1 lead heading into a huge Game 4.

Game 4: As the Little Giants put it, "it looks like Mr. Momentum may be changing his address". The Hurricanes were firing on all cylinders in Game 4. The ice had tilted for the visitors. They applied waves of pressure and made the nerds that read the "deserve-to-win-o-meter" very happy. Sebastian Aho scored a goal in each period, finishing off a hat trick with an empty netter to seal the game. Canes win 5-2, Aho's 2nd period goal was the game-winner. The away team won each of the first 4 games of the series. All eyes on Raleigh, North Carolina.

Game 5: As you would expect, Game 5 was the tightest-checking affair of the series. Neither side wanted to give anything up; the team who scored first had won each of the first 4 games, so both sides understood the importance of defending their net. Minutes into the 3rd period of a so-far goalless affair, Roman Josi was sent off for 2 minutes for sending a puck over the glass and Steven Stamkos capitalized on the ensuing power play to give the Bolts a 1-0 lead. The Canes had to make a push to get the next goal, and thanks to some slick passing from Adam Fox and Ryan Getzlaf, it was Chandler Stephenson who provided the answer halfway through the 3rd. Game 5 went to overtime and early in extra time Pavel Buchnevich found room between the legs of Vasy. The shot barely snuck over the goal line. The Hurricanes had now won 3 straight and had the defending champs on the ropes. Canes win 2-1 in OT.

Game 6: The crowd in Tampa did their best to rally their team to force a game 7. This game had everything. At one point, the game was so chippy that each team was playing with 3 skaters on the ice and a small crowd in each penalty box. There were goals, too. 9 of them, to be exact. The Hurricanes tied the game at 1, then 2, then 3, but ultimately a power play marker from Nikita Kucherov in the 3rd period gave Tampa a 4-3 lead, and 2 empty netters sealed off a 6-3 win for Tampa.

Game 7: Stanley Cup Finals Game 7. Binnington vs Vasilevskiy. The showdown to determine the 2021 v4 Stanley Cup Champions. It all came down to 60 minutes... or more...

Carolina had control of the game early on, forcing turnovers and putting the pressure on the Lightning defense. The Canes found an early lead thanks to a point shot that was deflected 6 feet in front of the goalie, who had no chance after the redirection. The Lightning scored the second goal of the game to level the score, one apiece. With 12 minutes left in regulation, despite Carolina owning a majority of the scoring chances in the game, the Lightning scored a huge goal to take a 2-1 lead. Eight minutes stood between them and another cup ceremony. But Carolina didn't give up. Immediately following a timeout, with the extra skater on the ice, the Canes found the back of the net to tie the game. The crowd erupted. Game 7 was going to be decided by sudden death overtime.

There wasn't much happening in the first overtime period until a blue line turnover quickly became an odd-man break. The only man back went to the ice to take away the cross-ice pass. The puck carrier held on as long as he could to find an opening before firing a beautiful wrist shot. Mika. Zibanejad. Overtime Hero. Canes win Game 7 and win the Stanley Cup.

Thanks again for a great season and thank you for reading! Congrats to the Carolina Hurricanes.