The Tampa Bay Lightning have patented several things. Redemption is a big one, and cap maneuvering, too. Gathering around Gary Bettman for the Stanley Cup hand-off is another. Printing their own graphic t-shirts seems to be a specialty as well.
But boat parades, though. That’s the one they have on lock.
Tampa threw one on Monday for the second time in less than 10 months after capturing the Stanley Cup for the second time in as many seasons in this skewed sporting calendar.
It was hijinx last fall. Let’s see what experience — and a little more heat and humidity — offered as the Bolts rocked the boats for a second time.
Here are the best sights and sounds from the Lightning’s championship parade:
Vasilevskiy wears the Conn Smythe as a crown
He truly is the new King. And though the headpiece seems somewhat unwieldy, it’s befitting of a man who triumphed over Carey Price in a head-to-head clash of generational netminders in the Stanley Cup Final. Do you, Vasy.
The one boat you want to be on
One vessel on the aqua convoy seemed to be more advanced in terms of hydration, and it seems it’s no surprise who was on it. Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev reached and surpassed the threshold required to pour the product at least one of them is pushing — tasty, tasty Bud Light — over the top of a reporter’s head.
Lord Stanley’s mug wasn’t the only championship trophy cruising around. The Lombardi Trophy also made an appearance since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are reigning NFL champs. Kucherov looked like he might do his best Tom Brady impersonation and test his arm strength, but ultimately opted against it. Probably a wise call.
Stone cold hands
Perhaps as another nod to the Bucs, we saw plenty of footballs being whipped around from boat to boat. But as the day wore on, and the family-friendly fare was set aside, and the main air-borne projectiles were cans of beer.
In this clip, Pat Maroon proves that Stone Cold Steve Austin’s long-time wrestling bit required a reasonable level of athleticism, as he whiffed on several cans, which unfortunately sunk to the bottom of the bay.
It wouldn’t be a Lightning Stanley Cup celebration without jet-skis. It was perhaps the MVP of last year’s parade, Alex Killorn, using his as his main transportation source, and for a moment broke all the laws (minus the life jacket one) with Nikita Kucherov holding an open container on the back.
Eventually, that bottle of champagne was replaced with something else that can be used as open container when the time is right.
Eventually, it rained on the Lightning’s parade — torrentially. However, that only seemed to intensify the celebrations as the players transferred from water to land.
Yanni Gourde seemed especially pumped following the typical Tampa weather shift.
Weather, or thunderstorms, specifically, would ironically and unfortunately cancel what was left of the rally, but the Lightning did squeeze in as much celebration as they could. Most of it away from the cameras.
We’re pretty sure the Cup isn’t supposed to look like this:
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