Lighting the Lamp: Lightning lick Bruins; Golden Knights triumph again


Welcome to Lighting the Lamp, a year-round NHL column. This week, we’re breaking down series-clinching wins by the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vegas Golden Knights and looking back at the best moments of the Second Round so far.

This week in Licking the Lamp — uh, excuse me, Lighting the Lamp — we bid adieu to two more teams: The Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks have both been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As someone who has spent most of my life in Southern New Hampshire and San Jose, Sunday was, needless to say, a dark day.

But we move onward, looking ahead to a historic first Western Conference Final appearance for the Vegas Golden Knights in their first season and a possible first Conference Final appearance for the Winnipeg Jets in their seventh.

It took the Jets seven years and it took the Golden Knights seven months, but both franchises are simply happy to see 2018 deliver them their first franchise playoff wins.

With their swift defeat of the Bruins in a 4-1 series result, the Lightning, no surprise, have become the new odds-on favorites to win the whole thing, at 9/4, per OddsShark.

On Monday night, we could find out which teams will join the Golden Knights and the Lightning, as the Washington Capitals have an opportunity to put away the Pittsburgh Penguins (leading the series 3-2), as do the Nashville Predators to the Jets.

Let’s take a look at more of the best goals, moments and storylines from the past week of playoff hockey.

NHL power rankings

The Stanley Cup Final we most want to see based on the teams remaining

9. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Winnipeg Jets

8. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators

7. Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

6. Winnipeg Jets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

5. Nashville Predators vs. Washington Capitals

4. Winnipeg Jets vs. Washington Capitals

3. Vegas Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Vegas Golden Knights vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

1. Vegas Golden Knights vs. Washington Capitals

(Yes, we really want to see the Vegas Golden Knights in the Final.)

Lamp Lighters: The week’s best goals

In Game 4 between the Bruins and Lightning, we saw Steven Stamkos make what was probably, to date, the most important goal of his career:

Now that the Bruins’ season is over, maybe David Pastrnak can join the Red Sox?

This was a good goal I guess:

Marchessault is killing it. Keep an eye on him in the Conference Final:

Scheifele, that man has a family:

Coast to Coast: What you might have missed around the league

  • No disputing it this time: The NHL really, actually, in fact had to inform Brad Marchand that it is not acceptable to lick his opponents and, if he continued doing it, there would be consequences in the form of penalties. Of course, the Lightning bounced the Bruins on Sunday anyways, and so the NHL’s licking nightmare ceases…for now, anyway.
  • If you haven’t been keeping up with the IIHF World Championship, which started on Friday, Canada blanked Korea 10-0 on Sunday, while Russia shut out Austria 7-0. The Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell had one goal and two assists helping lead defending champ Sweden to a 3-2 decision over Czech Republic. Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes had two goals and two assists as Finland defeated Latvia 8-1. Norway beat Germany 5-4 in a shootout, and Switzerland defeated Slovakia 2-0.
  • Alex Ovechkin netted his 100th point of his playoff career.
  • Trades! The Arizona Coyotes acquired forward Marcus Kruger and a 2018 third-round pick from the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Jordan Martinook and a 2018 fourth-round pick.


1. Thank you, Rene Rancourt. For my entire life, I have listened to this man get the crowd in the spirit before Boston Bruins home games. Longer, in fact; Rancourt has been doing this for more than 40 years. Each game the Bruins advanced in the postseason was another potentially last opportunity to hear Rancourt’s iconic voice, but when the Lightning eliminated the Bruins on Sunday, Rancourt had sung his last anthem. Enjoy retirement, Rene!

2. ICYMI, two Winnipeg Jets fans got engaged at the Winnipeg Whiteout street party and the story is just as awesome as you’d hope. FanSided’s own Bruin Belisle spoke with the happy couple to find out how it all went down. We love to celebrate fandom here at FanSided, and this is a great way to make our annual Fandom 250 ranking.

3. The NHL continues to insist on forcing these Snoop Dogg Hockey 101 videos on us. I know they’re generally harmless, but to me, the videos just highlight the disconnect between the league, which is trying to modernize, and its fans, who see it as largely anachronistic. Note to the NHL: It’s all about Lil B now.

4. At the end of the day, sports aren’t about the contracts or the championships. Sure, this is a career, a skill, a way to make a living for these athletes, but without fans, what would be the point? The relationship between fans and their teams is the most sacred bond in sports, and the New Jersey Devils know that as well as anyone. When Lauren Liff asked for retweets to see if the Devils would come visit her in the hospital at Saint Claire’s in New Jersey, she had no idea it would actually happen. The visit was the single best social media moment around the league last week.

5. Say what you will about Evander Kane, but he’s as tough as they come. The San Jose Sharks left winger revealed that he had been playing with a separated shoulder and an MCL injury throughout the playoffs, though he still managed to net four goals and an assist in nine playoff games. Doug Wilson should have all the information he needs to sign Kane long-term and make another Western Conference Final push next season. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

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