Back-to-back Stanley Cup champions for the Tampa Bay LightningCoach Jon Cooper couldn't believe that he was saying these words.
“We're going for three.”
Three consecutive Stanley Cups were won by an NHL team in 1981-83 as part of the NHL's era. New York IslandersThe ‘run of four consecutive championships.
“We're going after three.” Cooper stated that it was crazy to say this out loud, prior to his team's first round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, currently tied 1-1. These opportunities are rare. They rarely come along. It's almost like we have seen the top of the mountain. We can go on and on.
Only five occasions have the Islanders had the chance to win a three-peat since their run. Edmonton OilersAnd Pittsburgh PenguinsYou can go back-toback twice, and you will get the Detroit Red WingsOne time, two wins in a row. It was not possible for any of them to achieve a hat-trick.
The Lightning will become a dynasty, if they win the third straight Cup. They fall short. Hockey Hall of Famer Mark MessierThat's a very special kind of pain.
“It was crushing. It was terrible. It was one the most difficult experiences of our lives to be honest with each other,” Messier described the Oilers' second-round defeat to the Oilers. Calgary FlamesIn 1986, they lost their streak of two consecutive Cups.
“When you win two consecutively, it feels like you own the Cup. It was unpleasant to see another person parade around the ice.
Messier was a back-to-back winner with Edmonton, winning Cups 1987 and 1988. Hockey Hall of Famer Larry MurphyAlso in the 1990s with the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as the Detroit Red Wings, he had two attempts at a triple-peat. He is still haunted by that 1993 loss to the Penguins, in round two against the Islanders.
He said, “It was without doubt the most disappointing season of my career.”
Aaron WardHe was a defenseman on that Red Wings team that won back-toback Stanley Cups (1997 and 1998), before being eliminated in round two in 1999 by their archrivals, The. Colorado Avalanche.
“I don’t know if it’s better to be eliminated in the Stanley Cup.” [Final]He stated that to be eliminated in round two, however, it was pulling out the driver and not passing the novice tees.
The Lightning are pushing for the three-peat in their 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. But they're finding out how difficult the third round can be. Those who tried the three-peat but failed can sympathize.
‘We felt confident'
Had the Oilers won the 1983 Stanley Cup Final against New York they might have had a triple-peat. The Oilers weren't quite ready for it and were swept by New York for Cup No. 4.
Instead, the Oilers stopped the Islanders from winning a fifth Stanley Cup. They defeated them 4-1 at the 1984 Final. It started their own run with two consecutive championships, and it got them thinking about dynasty.
Messier, who is now a ESPN commentator, said that “our best chance was after winning in 1985.” “In 1986, Wayne was still with us [Gretzky]. Our team was still in position for victory. We didn't feel tired. We felt confident.”
In 1986, Edmonton was unbeatable. The Oilers' standings had the best NHL percentage of.744 percent. They scored 5.33 goals per game, which was the highest average in the NHL.
They demolished it Vancouver CanucksThey lost three straight games in round one of the playoffs. They then met Calgary in Battle of Alberta and lost in Game 7. This was despite a huge gaffe by the defenseman Steve SmithThe goalie who was able to pass the ball off to? Grant FuhrThe Flames won the third period with a goal by's leg.
“We felt as if we had let one go in 1986. But we had a healthy respect. Messier added that there was a healthy admiration and a healthy dislike. “Many people will say we became too complacent. But I don't believe so. Calgary was a fantastic team that year. We lost to two great teams, and it was hard to win.
Messier still regrets that missed opportunity.
“Did we have a strong enough team to win?” We did. We won it. No. He said that it was difficult to say whether we should have won because we didn’t.”
The Oilers regrouped and won two consecutive Stanley Cups, again in 1987 & 1988. However, 1989 was a transitional season in Edmonton. Paul CoffeyDuring the 1987-88 season, he was traded to Pittsburgh. Gretzky became the face for the Los Angeles Kings after The Trade1988, summer
Messier noted that the 1989 Oilers were “a different team.”
Lightning are, for the most parts, NotThis season, the Lightning were a completely different team. Messier was expecting big things from Lightning in the playoffs.
“When I look at Tampa this past year, I realized that you can talk yourself into doing anything. Messier said that if you are physically or mentally exhausted, you can convince yourself to feel great. Their team is my favorite. They have made the bottom six more solid. With Andrei VasilevskiyThey won't be easy to find in the net.”
“When it's too easy, bad habits sneak in”
The core was solid when the Pittsburgh Penguins won their first Stanley Cup in 1990-91: Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Mark Recchi, Joe MullenHall of Famers include Murphy, Coffey, & Coffey.
Recchi was traded for defenseman but the core of the Penguins' Stanley Cup-winning team was solid. Kjell Samuelsson, Rick Tocchet forward and goalie Ken Wregget; Coffey was moved to the Kings; Scotty Bowman replaced Bob Johnson behind his bench.
Many people outside of the team had high expectations for a Penguins Dynasty during 1992-93. They were even trying to defy those expectations.
It was very similar to the last season. There was little talk about the bigger picture. Murphy stated that it was all about winning the year. “There was a sense Mario's here, so we have even better chances. It turned out that was not the case.
Lemieux missed half of the season with Hodgkin's lymphoma. But, he was back to get the Penguins into the playoffs. They beat them New Jersey DevilsIn the first round, the score was 4-1. In Game 7, however, the Islanders stunned them. David VolekAt 5:16 of overtime,'s series-winning goal.
“Things were going well. Murphy said that then, we met the Islanders and it was all for nothing. “It was only a feeling of immense disappointment. There isn't always an opportunity.
His explanation for the Penguins' failure to achieve the three-peat?
“It was just too easy at end of season that hurt us,” he said. He said that if we had struggled to make it into the playoffs, we would have done better.” “When things are too easy, bad habits develop, and that was what happened in that year.
Murphy would have another chance to make it three times with the Red Wings, after winning in 1997 and 1998.
He said, “Right time at the right place,” in a joke.
The 1997 Stanley Cup was won by the Red Wings over the Flyers. Murphy says that things changed drastically in 1998. Following the Cup celebrations, a limousine with defensemen was created. Vladimir KonstantinovSlava Fetisov was struck by a tree. Konstantinov spent many weeks in a coma. Paralysis from the accident ended Konstantinov's hockey career.
Murphy claimed Konstantinov's presence around the team was a source of inspiration for winning back-to-back Cups.
“It certainly gave us motivation. He said, “To win it for Vladdy.”
“Winning the first one is a sign of determination to win it again. It's a continuation. It's a different kind of motivation. The third one is like “We know what it's really like to win the Cup.” Let's do it again.'”
The Red Wings would win two Cups.
“Why wouldn't it be possible to do it again?”
Aaron Ward recalls the Red Wings' dynasty talk.
“That is what our media were talking about. At the time, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press were constantly discussing whether there would be a dynasty. He said that there was a plan to win another and perhaps even challenge for a fourth.
It was loved by the fans. Coach Scotty Bowman did not.
Scotty would be upset. He wants to control how the message is received. Ward said that he does not want any member of his team to be thinking about any f—ingdynasty.”
Former NHL defenseman Ward knows what the Lightning are going though this season. Ward pointed out that Tampa did not play their best hockey in the regular season despite scoring 108 points.
He watched as Tampa Bay expanded. Brandon HagelNick Paul and Nick Paul at the trade deadline — he also remembered the 1998-99 Red Wings.
“I remember feeling like I was just getting to the trade deadline in 1998-1999. Get yourself well-positioned. It was inevitable that the organization would go out to get key pieces. They've done this in the past. There was no salary cap [at that time]”He said.
The Red Wings purchased defenseman at the 1999 trade deadline Chris CheliosFrom the Chicago BlackhawksForward Wendel ClarkFrom the Tampa Bay Lightning Ulf SamuelssonFrom the New York Rangers.
“So it turned out exactly the way we expected. [GM] Kenny [Holland]Major acquisitions would be made. Ward said, “When those three guys came in I was like, ‘Chalk that up, we have another Stanley Cup here.'” “When you win it twice in a row, you have to keep enough focus to make it to the playoffs. That's where the real battle begins. Two years ago, we have proven that we are capable. Why wouldn't it be possible again?
With 93 points, the Red Wings were first in the Central Division. This was also the highest score in the Western Conference. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were beaten 17-7 by the Red Wings in round 1. For the next chapter in their longstanding feud, they met the Colorado Avalanche. In 1996, the Avs knocked out the Wings on the way to the Stanley Cup. In 1997, the Wings did it again to the Avs.
Detroit won Denver's first two games. The Avalanche won four consecutive games and eliminated the Red Wings in six.
Ward said, “The strange thing about that one is… we weren’t complacent. But we didn’t have an answer.” We felt quite confident because we acquired those guys, and had the depth we had. It didn't work out for us. Colorado seemed to have the answer. In the same way that we had the answer in 1996-1997. It all came together. They had complete control. It was impossible for us to do it.
The players wondered why the game that used to win championships was no longer working. “We were still using left wing lock. Ward said that they were still playing the Scotty Bowman scheme. “Maybe that system had died. They might have figured it out. We had trouble defending against the Colorado Avalanche.
Ward claimed that not completing the three -peat was a “massive frustration for the Red Wings.”
“In the previous two years, you have proven that you are capable of doing it all. It's all in your back pocket. It is almost like a guidebook that you can refer to. “You've dealt with every kind of adversity you can face,” he stated. “The initial reaction was high frustration.”
Will the Tampa Bay Lightning feel exactly the same before June ends?
“Don't waste an opportunity”
The Lightning wins the Stanley Cup 2020And 2021These were in short-term seasons that had untraditional postseason formats. Although no one believes there should be an “asterisk” next to either of these, the Lightning are trying for a third consecutive chalice in an uncompressed 82-game schedule.
Although other three-peaters may have played more games than the Lightning, none of them have had to win in the unique tensions that comes with playing through a global pandemic.
“The COVID problem, the disruptions in the seasons and shorter seasons, is something that has never been addressed before. They are a solid team. Murphy mentioned that they were lucky with the salary cap situation last year. Murphy was referring to Lightning's star performance. Nikita KucherovRejoin us for the playoffs after spending the entire season on long-term injured reserve. “It is a well-respected team. They are able to play with ease.
Messier was impressed by all the teams that attempted dynasty status during the salary cap era. The Penguins won back to back Cups in 2016 & 2017. Although the Chicago Blackhawks did not win back-toback Cups, they did win three Stanley Cups over six seasons (2010-13, 2015).
The 2010 Blackhawks had no choice but to cut a large portion of their support cast due to the salary cap.
It's much harder now. Messier said, “You have to give credit to Pittsburgh and Chicago for winning three games and Tampa Bay for winning two.” It's difficult to keep a core together. Then you need to support them. A core by itself won't win the Stanley Cup.
It takes patience. It takes patience. The Lightning lost the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. The critical moment arrived: Getting sweptBy the Columbus Blue JacketsAfter a regular season of 128 points, the 2019 playoffs will be the first round.
Then, came the back-toback Cups.
“After 2019, I was a little skeptical. But we kept the group together. Cooper stated that we kept the faith. It takes many good players to get in this position. It takes a staff. It requires the right management positions. It requires an owner. They helped us get to the playoffs every year. We know that you won't win every year. We have a chance to swing for the fence.
Three consecutive Stanley Cups is quite a feat. Other teams have attempted to win the Stanley Cups since the Islanders' dynasty started in the early 80s. All have failed.
What would Larry Murphy, the man who almost pulled off the three-peat with the two franchises, have to say to the Lightning today.
“I would say the same to them as to any other team at any other playoff: Don’t lose an opportunity. He stated that you want to feel satisfied at the conclusion of the tournament. But it's not easy to do everything. It's possible they might long for it as much or less than the last two seasons. But, for whatever reason, it won’t happen for them.