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For the fifth consecutive season, the state of Florida is represented in the final.
Credit: Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Last night, the Florida Panthers officially asserted their status as the best team in the Eastern Conference for the second year running by reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

They defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning (in 5), the Boston Bruins (in 6) and now the New York Rangers (in 6) en route to the Prince of Wales Trophy awarded to the Eastern Conference champion.

The Panthers players didn’t touch the trophy this time.

In short, Florida will have the chance to win the prestigious Stanley Cup for a second consecutive season.

For a team that a few years ago was considered the laughing stock of the NHL, on a par with the former Arizona Coyotes, this is quite impressive.

The same can be said for Florida teams in general.

Indeed, when you look at the big picture, both the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning have really put Florida on the map in the hockey world.

With the Panthers’ victory yesterday, it’s a Florida team that, for the fifth consecutive season, will represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.

It’s pretty crazy when you think about it that Florida, a state where it’s much hotter than it is cold, and where players go to the arena in gougounes, is currently the state of the hour in the hockey world, and has been for five years now.

It was a far cry in 2019, when the Panthers missed the playoffs and the Lightning were swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets after a historic regular season.

Prior to 2022, the Panthers hadn’t won a playoff round since 1996, when they reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Since then, it’s been a Presidents’ Trophy in 2022, and two Stanley Cup Finals in 2023 and 2024.

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You can’t yet say the Panthers are a dynasty like the Tampa Bay Lightning were, but they’re on track to maybe be one the way they’re performing in the last two seasons.

In short, hockey in Florida took a long time to get going, but now it’s the state with the best teams in the United States.

To have the Eastern Conference champion five years in a row is very impressive.

What’s more, the Panthers clearly haven’t said their last word, and they could very well be back in the finals next season.

As Matthew Tkachuk predicted, last season’s Cinderella run was just the beginning.

In a Squall

– Indeed, the job’s not done.

– See also.

– Fresh from winning their 15ᵉ Champions League in their history, now Real Madrid have officially signed none other than Kylian Mbappé. Another incredible addition for Madrid, who won’t stop winning LDCs – on the contrary.

– A big match to watch.

– Coming up.

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