Jon Cooper and the Tampa Bay Lightning have made three straight Stanley Cup Finals since 2020 and solidified themselves as the most successful hockey team of the 2020s thus far, but they have a lot of work to do to make it four in a row.

After defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games in last year's first round, the rematch begins in Canada on Tuesday night.

“We're represented the Eastern Conference for three straight years and we plan on doing it a fourth,” Cooper said on Monday, according to “We have some different players and will have to do it some different ways, but we have a core group there that wants to keep this train rolling.”

Although they've been the class of the league the past three postseasons, Tampa Bay are officially underdogs against the Leafs in the Eastern Conference first round after losing eight of their final 12 regular season games.

“The Leafs are going to be a problem,” Cooper explained. “They are a heck of a team. Two teams that know each other well. I would expect a heck of a series, especially with the star power that both teams produce. To be the best you have to beat some of the best teams in the League. The Leafs are one of them.”

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The Leafs finished with 13 more points than the Bolts, while making some huge additions at the NHL Trade Deadline including Ryan O'Reilly and Jake McCabe.

The seven-game series between Tampa and Toronto was electric in 2022, with the Lightning erasing both a 3-2 series deficit and a 3-2 score in the third period of Game 6 before winning inn overtime and taking out the Leafs at their home barn in Game 7.

It's a battle between a regular season powerhouse and a team that has won an astounding 11 of their last 12 playoff series, The rematch is shaping up to be just as mouthwatering for hockey fans.

“Until somebody gets us, we're the team that wants to be on top,” Lightning's Jon Cooper said. “And we're going to do everything we can to stay on top.”