The Tampa Bay Lightning are back to the Stanley Cup Final for the second year in a row. Sure, there’s a different blue and white team I would rather cheer for in the final, but given the circumstances I am grateful there’s one there at all.

Lightning will return to the Stanley Cup Final after 1-0 Game Seven victory

Side note: I have no idea what it is everyone in the crowd threw on the ice there at the end, but I guess it’s better than the shower of beer cans—some of them nearly full—that got thrown at the Islanders players at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday.

Vasilevsky’s performance has been historic.

The Final is set to begin with game #1 on Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET. In fact all the games will be at that time except a possible game #7. Interestingly, they are going without Saturday games for this schedule and dancing around the coming Canada and US holidays.

Go blue and white team go!

If You Tell Me To Cheer For The Habs One More Time I’m Going To Punch You In The Face

The Leafs made their usual 5:00 p.m.. Friday night news announcement to send us scrambling yesterday, this time to announce the hiring of Ryan Hardy, previously the GM of the USHL’s Chicago Steel. There was already some known connections between these two teams, especially Marlies coach Greg Moore who used to be head coach of the Steel, so it’s not a surprise they essentially created a new position for him to have here.

Maple Leafs hire Ryan Hardy from Chicago Steel

Where could the next Maple Leafs executive come from?

Sault College approves first ever Sports Management program - Sault Ste. Marie News
“You think of the Saultite Kyle Dubas who went to Brock University and took sports management and is now the  General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you go down to Brock University you’ll see a big banner and a picture of Kyle Dubas who’s kind of the poster child to market that program,” the Dean of the program said, pointing to Sault College’s similar marketing of its aviation program grads who have done well in the aviation world.

Other News

Rick Westhead continues to follow the fast developing Blackhawks scandal, and the critical documentation of who knew what was going on, and what they did or did not choose to do about it. There are a lot of big hockey names in play here, and it’s difficult to know where this will go next as it appears to envelop more of the organisation with every new detail that comes out.

Westhead: “This is a sober and serious story” - TSN
[AUDIO] Rick was on TSN 1260 Edmonton to discuss the details of this story, and walks through the history known so far as it continues to develop since the first lawsuit was filed in May by a now ex-Blackhawks player who alleges he was sexually assaulted by the team’s video coach in 2010 and told management about it; the same video coach the Blackhawks management later endorsed for a job coaching a high school boys team where he was then arrested and convicted of doing the same a few years later.

Blackhawks organization named in multiple lawsuits detailing sexual assault allegations - Second City Hockey
The story has continued to grow over the last month.

Enjoy your weekend, or at least the parts where it isn’t raining. It’s supposed to rain almost every day over the next week in Toronto, rubbing salt in the wound as we watch the Cup be given out once again to not us.

We should also remember there are many teams far worse off right now than the Leafs. Some are so bad that the algorithms have learned how to dunk on their fans.