The Lightning's three consecutive finals and two Stanley Cups should still be considered a dynasty but after losing to the feel-good Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay have taken on the role of NHL villain.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Well, what about The Tampa Bay Lightning here, man? like, I know that they lost. But I don't think there's that much shame in them losing, man. Like, three consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearances. They were this close to making a dynasty. I don't know if they're necessarily done. I think it'll be very tough for them to get back to the Stanley Cup Final because of how tough it is for losing teams. But they are a very good Eastern Conference team. And Omar has his hand up, and he is not going to let that go. So I'm just gonna let him go.
SAM CHANG: Has his hand up since you started.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I know. So just go ahead, brother.
OMAR: Can I--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Go ahead.
OMAR: --just get, like, three minutes? OK.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Three minutes? [LAUGHS] Good lord.
OMAR: Just three minutes. OK.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: No one has ever asked for three minutes before.
OMAR: Before we get--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: That's very specific.
OMAR: Before we get-- yes. Just before we get into Julian's question and topic--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Your timer is on.
OMAR: --I think it's-- thank you. --it's a very important one. I don't know if I want to say embarrassed, or if it was funny. Or I don't know, man. But the amount of whining that I saw on Twitter yesterday-- oh, the ref screwed the Lightning. Oh, the league needs to investigate the officiating.
What? What? Like, are you guys-- We're talking about, like, the same playoffs, the same playoffs that only had three suspensions, the same playoffs where Ryan McDonagh sent someone into flipping Narnia through the boards and only got two minutes? Like-- like-- so-- and the thing is, it's like, it'd be one thing if it was just, like, a couple of people. En masse-- en masse the complaints about officiating.
And it's like, hey, officiating's not perfect. And you know-- and you know why I know officiating isn't perfect? Here's another thing. You know what? We should get over officiating. And, you know, things just happen in hockey games. And that's just the way it goes. That's just playoff hockey. You know what?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: That is the way--
OMAR: I know--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: --that things go.
OMAR: Yep. That's the way-- and you know why I know that, Julian? You know how I know that-- Because Lightning fans were telling that to these fans for the entirety of the first round. Anytime we complained about officiating, ooh, you know, it's the playoffs. That's what happens. That's what happens.
So now that the shoe's on the other foot, now it's a problem. Now it's a problem. OK. You know what? You know what? David Kampf should have apologized. David Kampf should apologize when he high sticks someone in the shoulder and got high sticking for it because then--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know if he should apologize.
OMAR: Because then-- oh, no, no, because you know what? Because Steven Stamkos can fire a puck at a ref and apologize. It's fine. Fine. Fine. You know what?
SAM CHANG: I gotta say, like--
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Was that three minutes?
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah I think that's, like, under three minutes. I'm actually really impressed.
SAM CHANG: That was impressive. I was just gonna say, look, if we couldn't investigate the officiating in 2011 when Colin Campbell's kid literally played on one of the teams while he was-- well, he took a step back. I'm sure he did. I don't think you can investigate anything thereafter.
But on top of that, on top of your point, it wasn't just on Twitter. It wasn't just the whining that you saw from fans, which, like, fair enough. I think every fan base does that. You whine when the calls go against you.
It was the whining from the team. Like, up until this season, I enjoyed Tampa. I did not care that they circumvented the cab. Like, you know what? You want to take advantage of the rules, go for it. I enjoyed watching them play.
But this postseason, more than any postseason before it, it was, like-- somebody said last week, John Cooper's like allergic to giving credit to other teams. That--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Someone said that, yeah.
SAM CHANG: Consistently did that. It was Stamkos just complaining nonstop. Like, the whining from the team, Pat Maroon losing his shit because Belmar fell during that play, like, all of it together was just so ridiculous. It was so over the top.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Don't forget Kucherov on the bench, with, like, 20 something seconds left.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: That was wild.
SAM CHANG: Yeah.
OMAR: What was that?
SAM CHANG: Yeah.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know what that was.
SAM CHANG: Cuth nailed it. Cuth's tweet last night, I thought, was perfect.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: Yeah. I mean, while they were losing, they didn't know how to lose. And clearly it's been-- you know, it's been very rare for them to lose 11 straight victories. They didn't really know how to handle it. And honestly, I think that's why they lost game 6.
Once they gave up the lead, they just lost it. Like, everything they did over the next five minutes was self-destructive. And they couldn't get themselves back into the game. I will give them a credit, though. The whining and all that stuff stopped once the result was in hand. And I think John Cooper did redeem himself, to a certain extent, with what he said in the post game. And I think the players were fine.
Like, I think once they got-- when they were in the heat of battle, when it was very emotional, they were extremely emotional. And it wasn't the greatest look. I think there-- we talked about them being villains earlier today, Julian. And I think they're going to become more and more of that if they continue to be a very competitive team partly because of what we saw. But after they lost, I think it was fine. While they were losing wasn't so impressive.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, that's it, man. I think the Tampa Bay Lightning, the way they went about this series, this firmly implants them as the villain of the National Hockey League. And you need villains in sport. And it's fine that Tampa Bay is that villain.
SAM CHANG: Yeah, I want to clarify. I'm not-- I'm not saying they shouldn't do it. I thought it was highly entertaining that they were behaving the way they were behaving.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Sure.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: That was, like-- it was good versus evil at a certain point. Like, that's-- I'm not a movie guy. But I know movies are based on that sort of thing. That's entertaining. People like that. And it was a great Stanley Cup Final partly for that reason.