Every week, we'll provide a handy recap and accompaniment to the latest episode of "Quest For The Stanley Cup," the NHL docuseries about the playoffs, available exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+. The fourth episode for the 2020 playoffs is titled "We're not going home!"
Describe this episode in 10 words or less
Jon Cooper kisses a Prince (of Wales Trophy).
Best on-ice scene
The end of Game 5 between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights in overtime. You can feel the desperation when Zach Whitecloud accidentally sent the puck over the glass for a delay-of-game penalty, as the Vegas bench argued briefly that both sticks made contract before Whitecloud took the skate of shame to the penalty box. That's followed by Denis Gurianov's series-winning goal and the utter elation from the Stars players as they advance to an unexpected Stanley Cup Final. Really great stuff here.
Best ref moment
When Peter DeBoer was complaining about a Dallas player taking liberties with a Vegas defender in the crease in Game 5, referee Steve Kozari said it was nothing out of the ordinary, which piqued the interest of Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves.
Kozari: "There's nothing going on that I saw. That was just a good hard battle [motions to Reaves] like you guys do all the time."
Kozari: "You can do that all night, buddy."
Reaves: "OK." [Pretends to use his glove as a notepad] Let me write that one down real quick."
Apparently DeBoer greeted every Stars player with "go win it" after they eliminated Vegas in the Western Conference finals. Barry Trotz did the same with some Lightning players after they eliminated the Islanders. We want to say was a show of conference pride, but probably was one of those "at least we can say we lost to the best" type of deals.
Best kiss winner for QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP Ep. 4: Jon Cooper. pic.twitter.com/HYjOjjLREE— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 24, 2020
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper told his players that if "we win a trophy, we pick it up" before they touched the Prince of Wales Trophy and courted the wrath of the hockey gods. But, true to his word, the coach later planted one on the hardware.
Best bubble life
Cooper's sage advice to keep working out during the restart, as he sweats away on an exercise bike: "Bubble life ... if you don't do this, when you leave here, you're going to look like the bubble."
Watching QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP on ESPN+ and there's this great little moment after the @DallasStars win Game 5 against Vegas. The boys are celebrating, waiting for the Campbell Bowl. Bowness just turns and leaves and is like "the players got it" so he can go celebrate. pic.twitter.com/SJB8HoNoKM— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 24, 2020
Dallas coach Rick Bowness high-tailing it to the back to celebrate as the Stars were on the ice waiting for the Clarence Campbell Bowl. "The players got it," he said before disappearing down the corridor.
Jon Cooper, Lightning coach. Cooper has been one of the best things about this season of the show, whether it's kayaking on a lake with no fish (as seen on a previous episode) or running the gambit in Episode 4. We've got Jon Cooper working out, Jon Cooper cracking jokes, and more than a few scenes of Jon Cooper profanely motivating the Lightning players to not allow their opponents to "take away" the chance to win the Cup from them. Honorable mention: Anton Khudobin for the famous "We're not going hooooooooooome!" locker room bellow that's also in this episode.
The coaches? We've got plenty from them. But we still aren't getting the kind of on-ice banter and player vignettes that we've gotten from "Quest" in previous seasons. Outside of a short segment of the Stars knocking around some golf balls, this was the most player-light episode of the run.
Any lingering questions after watching?
I love that they did this with the Cup, for the record. pic.twitter.com/KvdD8Cvlon— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 24, 2020
Is Gary Bettman going to rappel down with the Stanley Cup to present it to the winning team? Or, failing that, is he going to lower it with a system of levers and pulleys?