Fifteen years ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning won their first Stanley Cup after finishing tops in the Eastern Conference. Though they’ve come close a few times since, they’ve yet to clinch a second championship. This year, however, Tampa Bay flirted with one of the best team performances in NHL history, and there are some intriguing similarities between the club that won the Cup in 2004 and the group that’s aiming to lift the chalice this June. Will the story have the same ending? Players from the 2004 champs, some of whom remain with the organization today, and the 2019 hopefuls both know that winning the Stanley Cup is incredibly difficult. But confidence is high across the organization, and if you’re looking for historical parallels, you don’t have to dig too deeply.
In 2003-04, ...
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