Tampa mayor wants Lightning to win Stanley Cup on home ice
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (98) celebrate after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3. Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa mayor wants Lightning to forgo sweep of Canadiens, win Stanley Cup on home ice

The Tampa Bay Lightning have the opportunity to sweep the Montreal Canadiens Monday night to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup. 

Beating the Habs would also mean back-to-back Stanley Cup celebrations in isolation in Canada instead of celebrating in front of family and friends. Because of that, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor offered up a recommendation Sunday night, telling the Bolts to forgo a sweep of the Canadiens and clinch the Stanley Cup on home ice at Amalie Arena. 

"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," she said, according to ESPN. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. But they are playing some amazing, amazing hockey."

Lightning family members were not permitted by the Canadian government to cross the border for a potential celebration, so winning the Stanley Cup would feel a lot like it did in 2020, when Tampa Bay won in the Edmonton bubble. 

Castor's comments come after Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said thoughts of winning at home versus the sweep would not creep into the locker room. 

"It's about winning," Cooper said. "It's not about where you win. And that's all we care about."

If the Lightning win the Stanley Cup Monday night, they'll likely fly straight back to Tampa Bay for the festivities. Last year, the team was given a boat parade to celebrate its championship. That could be the same this year following the successful floating rally of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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