On May 25, 2010, the Lightning hired the Red Wing god, the great Steve Yzerman, to be its new vice president and general manager. In his first year on the job, Stevie Y made a move here and a move there that would eventually result in the team making it to the Eastern Conference Final and one game from the Stanley Cup Final. This occurred just one season after the Lightning lost 36 games and only registered 80 points. Since then, the team has struggled to stay healthy and make a true impact on the league.
Not only have the Lightning reached the Stanley Cup Final, but it’s beaten three of the “Original 6″ teams in the Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers. None of those wins came easy. Each series extended to at least six games, with two going the seven-game distance. Needless to say, these young guns are here to stay.
The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, were one game away from having three straight Cup Final appearances. Their run at the top has been equally impressive due to the way they’ve built their team through the draft, beginning with Toews and Kane.
One tweet perfectly summarizes the Blackhawks captain:
Like Kyle, many others believe Toews doesn’t get his due. When you look at the numbers, the argument is justified.
He hasn’t scored more than 34 goals or registered more than 76 points in one NHL season.
Although he doesn’t put up the “superstar numbers,” the captain makes timely plays and scores timely goals.
Just look at this past series against Anaheim.
After putting up only one goal against the Minnesota Wild in the second round, Toews stepped up to score five goals in the conference finals. He willed his team to victory, scoring two goals in Game 5 and Game 7, respectively.
Along with Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks might boast the best tag team of players in the NHL. Good luck to the Tampa Bay Lightning in preventing these two from winning Chicago another Stanley Cup.