It was just another ordinary Monday night back in June of 2011. WWE Monday Night Raw would air like it has every week since 1993 but this particular episode would go down in history. WWE superstar CM Punk would cut a promo known as a “pipe bomb” that was must see television. Punk’s promo crossed the boundaries of scripted to real life and fans couldn’t get enough of it. Punk’s pipe bomb was in lead up to that year’s Money in the Bank main event. With his contract set to come to an end, Punk was ready to leave the WWE. Punk was one of the best performers on the microphone and one of the best heels the company has seen in decades. Which leads me to Wednesday night where the Tampa Bay Lightning won their second straight Stanley Cup championship. Following the game, Nikita Kucherov would drop an amazing post game pipe bomb during his press conference.
Kucherov was an Un-Likely Villain This Season
Kucherov was public enemy no.1 in many fans eyes this season. If you are not a Lightning fan, you had an opinion on Kucherov and his time spent on long-term injured reserve. His time spent on LTIR allowed the Lightning to be over the salary cap heading into the playoffs.
Kucherov silenced his critics during the postseason with scoring eight goals and he had 24 assists. He was able to silence his critics with the work he did on the ice and on Wednesday night he responded to them off the ice.
Similar to Punk when he sat down at the top of the stage during Monday Night Raw, Kucherov sat down and aired his grievances post game.
The Kucherov Pipe Bomb
A shirtless Kucherov would take the stage ready for all the reporters and their questions.
Kucherov would have some choice words for Canadiens fans saying, “They acted, the fans in Montreal, like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? … Their final was last series.”
He would also back his goaltender and Conn Smythe winner Andrei Vasilevskiy, “Vasy was outstanding. MVP… I was telling him every day, ‘Vasy MVP. You’re the best player.’ And they give it to whatever the guy in Vegas, the Vezina.”
The guy in Vegas he was talking about was Marc-Andre Fleury.
“@JoeSmithTB let’s hear it.” 😂
Nikita Kucherov with a legendary press conference following the Stanley Cup Final.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) July 8, 2021
Kucherov was a big part of the Lightning going back-to-back and winning another Stanley Cup. Fans and NHL pundits will have their opinions on LTIR and whether the Lightning circumvented the rules.
I don’t believe the Lightning did, they followed the rules the NHL set forth for all teams to abide by. However Kucherov’s post game press conference was a perfect ending to the NHL season.
The forward backed up his play off ice and silenced his critics, went after the Les Habitants fan base, defended his goaltender and was the ultimate teammate in the process.
The road to the Stanley Cup goes through Tampa Bay until further notice. And while traveling down that road, teams will have to deal with the likes of Kucherov and company.
Grab that man another beer and build him a statue outside Amalie Arena.
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