Written by Lauren Roth
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many professional sports seasons, canceling or postponing many of them halfway through the season. Roughly seven months later, those many sports that had their seasons postponed are finally reaching their postseason, something many thought would never occur.
The National Hockey League finished their postseason on September 28th after the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup for the second time in franchise history. The Dallas Stars put up a fight in game 5, taking the Lightning into double overtime and coming out with a 3-2 win, keeping the series alive. In game 6, Tampa Bay shut out Dallas with 2-0, winning the series 4-2. A standout player for Tampa Bay was defenseman Victor Hedman who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs. He had 10 goals throughout the playoffs, just two goals shy of Paul Coffey’s record of most goals by a defenseman in one postseason. Both the Lightning and the Stars should be applauded for their phenomenal playoff runs with a well-fought, competitive series.
Another sport that is in the midst of their playoffs is the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat began the NBA Finals on October 1st, with the Lakers winning soundly 116 to 98. LeBron James finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists. Anthony Davis added 34 points and had three blocked shots. The Lakers held a 32 point lead before Miami started to come back, with Kendrick Nunn scoring 18 points. In game two, the Lakers secured their second win in another sound victory, with the score ending at 124-114. Though it was clear from the start that Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra had a sound plan coming in, his plan was met with the talents of LeBron James and Anthony Davis once again, as the duo scored 65 points. The Lakers won, taking them 2-0 in the series. In game three, the pace changed dramatically as the Heat took their first victory of the series. The Lakers came out sloppy in game three and Miami capitalized on their 12 turnovers. Jimmy Butler finished with 40 points, 11 rebounds, and 113 assists. Butler’s performance gave Miami some courage to tackle the next games. In game four, the Lakers came out on top yet again with a 102-96 win. In response to Butler’s dominance in game three, the Lakers changed their defense to put the pressure on him. This game was old-school, physical, and heavily defensive, and the Lakers can win that way. As the Lakers lead the series 3-1, they will wait to see if they can grab one final victory to secure the series with their Black Mamba jerseys, which they have never lost a game wearing. Game 5 will be played on October 9th at 9 p.m.