Take a minute to think of the teams that have eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins in the post-lockout era of the NHL.

Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

For each, it wasn’t difficult to find a way to cheer for their opponent in the next round (or next season, in the case of the Wings), but for the Lightning, it just seems unnatural to do so.

Unlike other teams, they just seemed to play fair.

There isn’t much chirping or whining; very little in the way of dirty or cheap plays; and certainly no unsportsmanlike demonstrations.

The fact that they played a relatively clean and sportsmanlike series against the Penguins should be enough to give them a vote of confidence moving forward.

But watching them dismantle the first place Washington Capitals in their second round sweep just had to bring a smile to any Penguin fan’s face.

The Lightning have now won an impressive seven consecutive playoff wins and were the first team to finish their second round series.

They have a long way to go before hoisting the Stanley Cup, but their success against two of the Eastern Conference’s powerhouses has proven them capable of not only winning, but dominating.

Here’s to the Lightning as they transition to the Eastern Conference Finals.

They may have beaten the Penguins, but they’re the type of team that makes the Stanley Cup Playoffs so unpredictable.