The Lightning are just a win away from capturing their second straight Stanley Cup title, but the mayor of Tampa doesn’t want them to go too fast.
Mayor Jane Castor told reporters on Sunday that she wants to see the Lightning hold back on capturing the Stanley Cup in Montreal and wait until a potential Game 5, which would be held in Tampa, on Wednesday.
“What we would like is for the Lightning to take it a little bit easy, to give the Canadiens just the smallest break, allow them to win one at home and then bring it back to the Amalie Arena for the final and the winning of the Stanley Cup, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Castor said, according to Spectrum Bay News 9. “But they are playing some amazing, amazing hockey.”
Due to travel restrictions in Canada, Lightning fans living in the U.S. are not able to travel to Montreal to see the Stanley Cup Final as the border remains closed through July 21 for all nonessential travel between the two neighboring nations. The ban extends even to family of the Lightning players. The NHL and NHLPA lobbied for the Canadian government to make an exception for team family members, but the border remains closed to all living in the U.S., according to ESPN.
Aside from the obvious fact that teams are not allowed to willfully throw a game, the Lightning would of course not like to give the Canadiens any chance of a comeback. The Stanley Cup Final has seen only one team come back from a 3-0 deficit — the 1942 Maple Leafs over the Red Wings — but the fact that it has happened before is all the reason a team would need to not want to become the second to allow it to happen.
Tampa has dominated the series against Montreal. The Lightning outscored the Canadiens a combined 14-5 through the first three games as they look to seal their second straight Stanley Cup title and third in franchise history.