Of all the championship celebrations in sports the one I enjoy the most is the Stanley Cup clinching win in the National Hockey League.
On Monday night the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Dallas Stars to clinch the cup, and even though there were no fans in the building it was great fun to watch the celebration. The Stanley Cup is like no other trophy in the world of sports, and probably the most coveted of all by the combatants.
While the Tampa Bay players swarmed the goalie as the final horn went off, throwing gloves high in the air, many Dallas players took a knee and wept. Shortly thereafter both sides lined up for the tradition handshake, which again is one of my favorite moments. After beating on each other in a hotly contested series there is always good sportsmanship at the end, even among the most “competitive” rivals.
By the time the cup was brought onto the ice the Dallas players had already retreated to their locker room, and then the real fun began as players took turns hoisting and kissing the cup. In this time of COVID-19 you wouldn’t expect to see 30 some folks taking turns kissing a bowl made of a silver and nickel alloy while you can’t even walk around in Wal-Mart without a mask. Oh well, its a tradition and I assume everyone was tested before the game.
Congratulations to the Lightning and to the NHL for being able to pull off a successful and entertaining Stanley Cup playoff tournament in these very difficult times.