Lightning’s Pat Maroon eyeing fourth straight Stanley Cup title

If the Tampa Bay Lightning are to make it a “three-peat” of Stanley Cup titles, for Pat Maroon, it will be that plus one more.

As the Lightning get set to face the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final Wednesday night, Maroon is on the cusp of his fourth straight championship.

Maroon’s run of 15 straight playoff series victories began in 2019 with his hometown St. Louis Blues defeating the Boston Bruins in seven games. That summer, he signed a one-year deal to join the Lightning and 13 months later he won his second straight Cup in the Edmonton bubble. A two-year extension to stay in Tampa Bay was signed weeks later and last July the forward claimed his third title in a row.

If the Lightning beat the Avalanche Maroon would become the first player to win four Stanley Cups in a row since 16 members of the New York Islanders dynasty teams of 1980-83 and the 45th in NHL history to do so.

“One seems crazy to me,” Maroon said during Stanley Cup Media Day on Tuesday. “Just to be a part of one is remarkable. There are guys that go years and play in the NHL 10, 12 years and don’t even get to the Stanley Cup Final let alone get to the conference final. It’s the hardest trophy to win in all sports, and to just win one is remarkable and crazy to me.

“And my first one with my hometown team. It’s crazy about what our Tampa Bay Lightning have been through. There’s no give up in our team. We give it everything we’ve got every single night, and that’s why our team’s had success these last few years.”

(If we’re looking ahead, 11 players — all Montreal Canadiens from the 1956-60 teams — have won five Cups in a row.)

[Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 schedule, TV info]

Maroon still loves his hometown, so much so that on the Pat McAfee Show this week, he expressed his distaste for the owner of the Avalanche: “I hate Stan Kroenke. I can’t stand that guy because he took the Rams from St. Louis.”

So, this one is a bit personal then, eh?

Hockey came full circle for Maroon after signing with the Lightning. The 34-year-old reunited with Jon Cooper, who was head coach for his first two seasons in the North American Hockey League as the two won a Robertson Cup together with the St. Louis Bandits in 2006-07.

Now they’re looking to make NHL history together and continue a run that’s been like no other in league history.

“I just can’t pinpoint words for it,” Maroon said. “I’ve said the word, ‘crazy.’ It’s just crazy to me. When you sit back and when your career is all over and everything’s all settled down, everything hits you at once. It just seems like it’s been so fast with COVID and a short season last year.

“I was home in St. Louis last year for six weeks [during the offseason], and the time before that I was in St. Louis for five weeks, so I’ve never had time to really just go put my feet up for three months at a time and realize just what’s happened.”

COLORADO AVALANCHE v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Game 1 – June 15: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 2 – June 18: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 3 – June 20: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Game 4 – June 22: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 5 – June 24: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 6 – June 26: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Game 7 – June 28: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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