The Conclusion of the Stanley Finals

By Ashlee Guardado, Staff Writer

Since the month of August, the National Hockey League has seen lots of action. There were previously eight teams left in the tournament, four in each conference. From the Western Conference, the matchups included the Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Las Vegas Knights. In the Eastern Conference, the matchups included the New York Islanders vs the Philadelphia Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning vs the Boston Bruins.


In the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars won against the Colorado Avalanche 4-3. This ended up being a very close game, though at first, the Stars had a 3-1 lead. The Colorado Avalanche began making a comeback in games five and six. Game seven was the last game to determine who was going to make it to the semi-finals. The game was tied 4-4, which meant that the teams both needed to go into overtime. Then, Joel Kiviranta scored the final goal and got a “hat trick,” resulting in the Dallas Stars progressing through the tournament. The next game in this conference was the Las Vegas Knights vs the Vancouver Canucks. The winner of this game was the Knights, winning 4-3 as well. The Knights were winning 3-1 against the Canucks, but they gave up wins in games five and six. In the final game, the Knights proved their worth and won 3-0, leading them to continue their fight to the Stanley Cup.


Meanwhile, in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning won 4-1 against the Boston Bruins. The Bruins won the first game, before losing the next four games consecutively. They were close to winning the fifth game, but Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning scored the winning point in the second overtime. The next game was the New York Islanders vs the Philadelphia Flyers, which the Islanders won 4-3. This matchup was similar to the two games in the Western Conference. The Islanders began by leading 3-1, but the Flyers made a comeback in the next two games. In the final game, the Islanders put their game faces on and won 4-0.


After all these games concluded, the conference finals began. The teams going against each other were the Las Vegas Knights vs the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference and the Tampa Bay Lightning vs the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference. The winners of these games were going to be competing in the Stanley Cup Finals.


The first game in the Western Conference began with the Dallas Stars winning 1-0 after scoring early in the game. During the next game, however, the Las Vegas Knights showed how dedicated they were to win the tournament by claiming a 3-0 victory. Unfortunately, luck was not on the Knight’s side. They lost the rest of the games and the Dallas Stars headed to the Stanley Cup finals. This was the first time in 20 years that the Stars were heading into the finals. 


The first game in the Eastern Conference started off strong, with Tampa Bay Lightning winning 8-3. They won the next game as well, but they ended up losing 3-5 against the New York Islanders. In the third game, Tampa Bay Lightning came back with a 4-1 victory but then lost the fourth game 2-1 in overtime. All the Tampa Bay needed to do was win the sixth game and they would make it to the Stanley Finals. In that game, they won 2-1 in overtime.


Now it is the time that you have all been waiting for, the Stanley Cup Finals. In the first game, the Dallas Stars started strong and won 4-1 against Tampa Bay Lightning. The next game resulted in Tampa Bay winning 3-2. In the third and fourth game, Tampa Bay won both games and started to lead the finals 3-1, just one game away from taking home the Stanley Cup. However, in the fifth game, the Dallas Stars won 3-2 in the second overtime, preventing them from getting eliminated. Were the Dallas Stars going to make a comeback? Were they going to win it all? Unfortunately, this did not happen. Tampa Bay Lightning won 2-0, making them the 2020 champions.


The National Hockey League games this year were so thrilling to watch and experience. Even though COVID-19 cut the regular hockey season short, it was still entertaining to see all of the games that were played for the Stanley Cup. Now, we have to wait until next year to see which team will be the next champions. Could the Vegas Knights finally win the playoffs or will the curse still resonate with them? We will just have to wait and see.