Stanley Cup Final: What Fans Think and What Fans Know

Chicago vs. Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Final

As the Tampa Bay Lightning contributor for this website, my responsibilities are to write about the team.  Every facet of this organization from top to bottom and everything in between.  As the Lightning are battling in the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, the team is under a much bigger spotlight and the information that our readers and hockey fans all over the globe want to know is seemingly never-ending.

With that in mind, it is my pleasure to present some little known or under reported items from the fan bases of both teams.  I’ve created a list of things that Blackhawk fans think and a comparative list of things that Lightning fans know.

Think vs. Know

Blackhawk fans think because they won Game 1 that they ought to buy brooms.

Lightning fans know that in the team’s only previous Stanley Cup Final in 2004, Game 1 was lost at home before winning the Cup.


Blackhawk fans think because the Triplets didn’t register a point in Game 1, they solved them.

Lightning fans know that the Triplets were held pointless in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers before torching them for 24 points in the remaining six games.  Ouch.


Blackhawk fan thinks the Stanley Cup is now a one game, winner take all series.

Lightning fans know it is still and always will be a best of seven.


Blackhawk fans think that to mention Corey Crawford and Ben Bishop in the same sentence is insulting to Crawford.

Lightning fans know that Bishop beat Carey Price AND Henrik Lundqvist in back to back playoff series, so Crawford doesn’t exactly give them the willies.


Blackhawk fans think their boys have team depth even when their coach has scratched their Game 1 hero earlier in the playoffs for lack of confidence.

Lightning fans know that their 4th line center, Brian Boyle scored 15 goals this season, most by any 4th line center in the league.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Blackhawk fans think going with four defensemen is no problem even with the heavy minutes some of them are playing because of lack of confidence their coach has in his 5th and 6th defensemen.

Lighting fans know coach Jon Cooper continues to roll out with his 11-7 alignment, showing supreme confidence in his top seven defensemen.


Blackhawk fans think Joel Quenneville is the second coming of Scotty Bowman.

Lightning fans know that Jon Cooper has won at every level he has coached in during his second full year at the helm.  By the way, this is his second full year coaching the Bolts.


Blackhawk fans think Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have no equals among current active NHL players.

Lightning fans know that Steven Stamkos, who is two years younger than both Toews and Kane already has more goals than both, more power play goals than both and has 39 game winning goals which is four more than Kane but trails Toews by only four.  Did I mention that Stamkos is two whole years younger?


Blackhawk fans think Duncan Keith is the best defensemen in the NHL.

Lightning fans know that Victor Hedman is a bigger, stronger and faster Duncan Keith.

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Blackhawk fans think they have no salary cap issues that Stan Bowman cannot fix.

Lightning fans know that with only 14 players signed totaling $64,045,129 of projected $70,000,000 cap for next season, that Chicago will have less than $7,000,000 to sign approximately nine players.  That comes out to $661,652 per player.  NHL minimum contract is $525,000.  Of course, Lightning fans also know it means they will break up the band in Chicago.


Blackhawk fans think that their team has a wealth of playoff experience.

Lightning fans know that since going deep in the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season, playing 111 games in that span, many of the Blackhawks have aged well beyond their chronological age.


Blackhawks fans think that Victor Hedman was being a dirty player because he shoved Patrick Kane after Kane whacked Hedman’s goalie after the whistle.

Lightning fans know that Andrew Shaw is dirty because Shaw went all Mike Tyson to Hedman’s Evander Holyfield during that scrum.


Blackhawk fans think that the Tampa Bay Lightning put into effect the ticket policy that required a Florida residence to purchase a ticket just to keep their fans out of Amalie Arena.

Lightning fans know that the policy was instituted once the Lightning made the playoffs and was rendered moot for the Stanley Cup Final when remaining tickets went to the general public and were purchased before even the opponent was determined.  We also know that teams in the NFL, NBA and other teams in the NHL have had this type of policy for years.


Blackhawk fans think that their team is simply too much for the young, inexperienced Lightning.

Lightning fans know that Detroit fans felt and said the same things.  Montreal fans were so sure of victory and the New York Rangers spoke of unblemished Game 7 records and history dating back to the 1940’s and every single challenge faced by Tampa was met, fought hard against and ultimately beaten.


Blackhawk fans think this series is over but the coronation.

Lightning fans know that Blackhawk fans have another think coming.