After spending more than 60 days sequestered from family and friends battling for the Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars 2–0 last night in game six to capture hockey’s ultimate prize. Moments after hoisting the most famous trophy in all of sports on ice, the team continued the celebration inside their locker room with Champagne and cigars, fitting rewards for a memorable cup run.
Players Pat Maroon, Barclay Goodrow, Anthony Cirelli and Mitchell Stephens could be seen in social media posts enjoying well-deserved victory cigars. And while the exact brand the players lit up remains a mystery (email requests to the Lightning’s media team went understandably unanswered), the players didn’t seem to mind as they puffed along and took turns drinking beer from the Cup.
“I’m speechless. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world, and to be able to celebrate with this group of guys is a dream come true,” said team captain Steve Stamkos in a post-game interview. A 12-year veteran, Stamkos actually had to watch his team clinch the best-of-seven-games series 4–2 from the stands due to an injury that kept him out of the postseason.
He was only able to play for 2 minutes and 47 seconds during game three, but still managed to score a goal.
Filling in the leadership void was none other than alternate captain Victor Hedman, a Swedish-born defenseman who’s been in the league since 2009. The imposing blueliner scored 10 goals and 11 assists while averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time per game. For his efforts he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs.
For veteran Maroon, this year’s win was especially special given that he also won the Stanley Cup last year as a member of the St. Louis Blues. This fact was front and center in a memorable video he posted on his Instagram account.
Head coach Jon Cooper may have best summed up the feelings of the team during the postgame press conference, which you can see below.