Well, that was fun.
Six months of hockey to determine what we found out this past September; the Tampa Bay Lightning are really good.
They took down the upstart Montreal Canadiens in 5 games, with All-World netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Now, the NHL off-season beckons, but not before player buyouts, possible trades, the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, the NHL Entry Draft, and finally the Free Agent Frenzy dance teams do every summer.
When the NHL gets going again sometime in October, with the intention of returning to an 82-game regular reason with “normal” divisions, one of the big questions will be, can the Lightning win three Stanley Cups in-a-row?
It’s a rare feat to accomplish, and living in the salary cap era, it might be impossible to pull off, even when working the cap to your advantage.
The last NHL team to win three Stanley Cups in a row were the New York Islanders, from 1981 through to 1983 (and, of course, also the 1980 Cup). Edmonton (84-85 & 87-88), Pittsburgh (91-92), Detroit (97-98), and Pittsburgh (16-17) have come close since.
Only the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and Islanders have ever pulled off the Hockey Hat Trick, while the Stanley Cup has been under the control of the National Hockey League.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were the first NHL team to win the Stanley Cup three years in-a-row (47-49). Montreal did it during their 5 in-a-row (56-60). The Leafs were there again (62-64), and then Les Canadiens once again during their four in-a-row (76-79), and, as mentioned, the New York Islanders (80-83).
As for our 15th Annual “NHL Fearless Predictions Pool”, super producer Bruce Bolton (The Power Play) broke away from the pack, and won his second ever crown.
Only Bruce, and Joe Thistel, had tabbed the Bolts to win it all when we asked for predictions on the eve of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Only Bruce, and Mick, correctly picked the Lighting to take the Stanley Cup in 5 games. And there are your top three finishers for this year.
The Funniest Man Alive © Jessie Ralph, won the “Popular Vote Award’, correctly picking 10 out of the 15 post-season series.
All Hail The Tampa Bay Lightning. All Hail Bruce Bolton.
FEARLESS PLAYOFF PREDICTION CHAMPIONS
2021 Champion – Bruce Bolton (2)
2020 Champion – Dennis Bernstein
2019 Champion – Jim Gordon
2018 Champion – Joe Thistel (3)
2017 Champion – Peter Berce (2)
2016 Champion – Mike Lippa
2015 Champions – Peter Berce & Nick Alberga
2014 Champion – Joe Thistel (2)
2013 Champion – Bruce Bolton
2012 Champion – Mick Kern (4)
2011 Champion – Joe Thistel
2010 Champions – Scott Laughlin (2) & Shawn Lavigne
2009 Champions – Scott Laughlin & Mick Kern (3)
2008 Champion – Mick Kern (2)
2007 Champions – Mike Ross & Mick Kern
46 points is the maximum number of points one can achieve. Mike Lippa set the record with 36 points back in 2016.
- 1 point for correctly choosing the winner of each 1st round series
- 2 points for correctly choosing the winner of each 2nd round series
- 2 points for correctly choosing the winner of each 3rd round series
- 3 points for correctly choosing the 2021 Stanley Cup winner
- 2 points for correctly choosing the 2021 Conn Smythe winner
- 1 point for correctly choosing how long a series goes, but only if one also correctly picks that series’ winning team
- 3 points for correctly choosing the 2021 Stanley Cup winner before the playoffs begin
- 3 points for correctly choosing the 2021 Conn Smythe winner before the playoffs begin
Our Fearless 2021 Final Standings
- Bruce Bolton 25 Points (9 for 15)
- Joe Thistel 19 Points (9 for 15)
- Mick Kern 18 Points (9 for 15)
- Jesse Ralph 17 Points (10 for 15)
- Jonathan Davis 16 Points (8 for 15)
- Shane Malloy 15 Points (8 for 15)
- Steve Kouleas 14 Points (9 for 15)
- Scott Laughlin 14 Points (8 for 15)
- Mike Lippa 14 Points (8 for 15)
- Tyler Madaraz 13 Points (8 for 15)
- Dave McCarthy 13 Points (8 for 15)
- Jim Gordon 13 Points (7 for 15)
- Bernie Corbett 11 Points (7 for 15)
- Dennis Bernstein 10 Points (7 for 15)
- Peter Berce 10 Points (6 for 15)
- Jake Hahn 9 Points (6 for 15)
- Gord Stellick 8 Points (6 for 15)
See you next April.