The Stanley Cup playoffs have proven to be a rough go for many of Nova Scotia’s top NHLers.
Coal Harbour’s Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins were bounced in the qualifying round by the Montreal Canadiens, as were the Winnipeg Jets and Logan Shaw of Glace Bay. Halifax’s Matthew Highmore of the Chicago Blackhawks was eliminated in the first playoff round.
The Halifax tandem of Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins) and Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) made second-round exits from the NHL postseason, as did MacKinnon’s Avs teammate Ryan Graves of Yarmouth.
Halifax is still in with a chance to bring home Lord Stanley’s mug, though and it’s a good one at that. The Tampa Bay Lightning are up 2-0 on the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference final. The Lightning include on their roster forward Alex Killorn of Halifax.
Across some of the top Canadian betting sites, Tampa Bay’s strong play has made a significant impact. Currently, the Lightning are the +115 favorites to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. Prior to the start of the conference final round of postseason play, the Vegas Golden Knights were listed as the +145 betting choice to win the Cup.
Might Tampa Bay Finally Do It?
The Lightning do have a Stanley Cup win to their credit but it was back in 2003-04. The core of the current team has endured its share of playoff heartbreak over the past five seasons.
In 2014-15, Tampa Bay lost a six-game Stanley Cup final series to the Blackhawks. Left-winger Killorn was part of that team. He collected 9-9-18 totals in 26 games for the Lightning during that playoff run.
In 2016, Tampa Bay lost to Crosby and the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Two years later, the Lightning were also victimized in Game 7 of the East final by the Washington Capitals. In both of those series, Tampa Bay let a 3-2 series lead slip away.
A Killer Influencer
Killorn has collected 4-3-7 totals through 15 playoff games, including 2-1-3 performance in a 7-1 victory over the Bruins in Game 3 of their second-round series. Tampa Bay is unbeaten (3-0) in the playoffs when Killorn scores a goal.
As the NHL awaited to get back on the ice during the COVID-19 caused pause to the season, Killorn became a bit of a social media influencer. He launched an Instagram show from his Sea-Doo entitled Dock Talk With Killer. He interviewed several teammates, as well as other Tampa-area athletes.
On the day that the NHL officially announced that players could return to the ice to begin training for the resumption of the season, Killorn produced a video with several of his teammates joining him on Sea-Doos set to the Thin Lizzy song The Boys Are Back In Town.
The entertaining video with a comedic flare went viral.
“I was talking to (Lightning GM) Julien BriseBois and he was thanking me, because he said it was great for free-agent recruiting,” Killorn joked during a Zoom call set up by the NHL.
Nova Scotia Stanley Cup Challenges
No team from Nova Scotia has ever won the Stanley Cup. In the Cup’s pre-NHL days as an amateur competition, Halifax lost a 1900 Cup bid to the defending champion Montreal Shamrocks, going down to defeat 10-2 and 11-0 in the two games.
In 1906, New Glasgow fell to the champion Montreal Wanderers by scores of 10-3 and 7-2.
Plenty Of Local Inscriptions
Few Canadian provinces can measure up to Nova Scotia’s success rate of producing Stanley Cup championship players. Of the 50 Nova Scotian-born NHLers, 11 have won the Stanley Cup. That’s a 22 percent success rate.
Those 11 players have combined for 16 titles. Crosby leads the way with three, followed by New Glasgow’s Colin White (New Jersey Devils 2000, 2003), North Sydney’s Flash Hollett (Bruins 1939, 1941) and Halifax’s Wendell Young (Penguins 1991, 1992) with two apiece.
Parrsboro’s Stan Jackson was the first Nova Scotian NHLer to earn a Stanley Cup inscription with the 1922 Toronto St. Patricks. You’ll also find the names of Halifax’s Marchand (2013 Bruins), Sydney’s Paul Boutilier (1983 New York Islanders), Al MacInnis of Inverness (1989 Calgary Flames), North Sydney’s Bobby Smith and Sydney’s Mike McPhee (1986 Canadiens), and New Glasgow’s Jon Sim (1999 Dallas Stars) inscribed on Lord Stanley’s mug.