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Just a note to point out our TBP-initiated drive to raise funds for the Bulls Football IPF - doing our share, and more.  Please consider donating at least $23 to the effort, and passing on to others as well.  You can read more about the project at the link above.  

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Brad Brad
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Jonesy Bull

Lightning continue to Roll

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Jonesy Bull said:

You make good points, and I agree with some of them......this is a world class organization with a lot of smart people.  Despite what happened in the playoffs this year, this team is still ultra talented and most of the core will be back next year, and we are set up for another run at this thing.  I think they will make some adjustments to fix some of the Defensive deficiencies that were exposed this year......Its ultra disappointing, but for now I've turned the page on Hockey.  Its on to Baseball and looking forward to football season next year!

They are certainly a top team in the league and there are plenty of pieces in place to make a run at the Stanley Cup for the next couple of seasons. I worry that they are heading down the path that Blackhawks are currently on and the path that the Penguins are seemingly on as well. They have too much money tied up in a few players with others who deserve a big payday (Point this off season and Vasy after the 2019-2020 season)

BriseBois has some very difficult decisions to make in the next 2 off seasons with the way the Lightning will be up against the Salary Cap. I can't see Girardi, Stralman, and Coburn coming back because they won't be worth what they are asking for on new contracts and their also getting up there in age. If they plan to keep Point, then they will have to trade a decent forward or 2, but they can get a a good return of young players and draft picks. Vasy and Domingue are free agents after the 2019-2020 season, with Vasy being a restricted free agent. If they can somehow trade Callahan, then that frees up $5.8 million in cap space, but I cannot think there is a team that wants him for 1 year at that price, so the Lightning may have to buy him out, which costs them some $$ against the cap.

Edited by John Lewis

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1 hour ago, John Lewis said:

Because recent history suggests that teams who are ahead of everyone else in points still upgrade their team for the playoffs.

I will go back and try to find an article written in The Hockey News about why the Lightning should be buyers at the trade deadline. They mentioned depth, mainly at D, in case someone was injured and that Dan Girardi was a weak link (which he is (and that pains me to say because he was one of my favorite players while on the Rangers)) to that D group. Losing Hedman was a big blow and you could tell he wasn't anywhere near 100% in Game 1 after Columbus burned him on their 2nd and 3rd goals.

There were tests during the season and the Lightning passed just about every single one. That test on 3/30 was a big F and should have opened everyone's eyes as to how vulnerable they actually were. Was it too easy for them because of the division that they play in? The Atlantic Division had 3 of the worst teams in the league and the Lightning feasted on them during the regular season.

I give Columbus all the credit. Great game plan, tremendous effort and heart, and they did a good job of staying out of the penalty box. They also found a weak spot on Vasy and they exploited that pretty well.

I'm not putting all the blame on BriseBois. I stated that he should take the majority of it. Cooper made some questionable decisions. There were some players who certainly didn't show up that also have to shoulder some blame.

They had just beaten the Caps twice in the previous 2 weeks so I just don't see that last loss as as big a deal as you do.

And again, the whole trade deadline thing is basically 20/20 hindsight. The team was hitting on all cylinders almost everywhere, seemingly unstoppable, so why mess up the chemistry? Plus, you don't know even if there were any opportunities for them to make a trade that made sense for them at that time. I'm sure if you had told BriseBois he'd be without 2 of his top 6 defensemen, including his top one, for basically the first round of the playoffs, he'd have done something at that point. I just have a hard time putting blame on him for this. All the blame, from the Lightning side, goes to The Room ...

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11 minutes ago, Triple B said:

They had just beaten the Caps twice in the previous 2 weeks so I just don't see that last loss as as big a deal as you do.

And again, the whole trade deadline thing is basically 20/20 hindsight. The team was hitting on all cylinders almost everywhere, seemingly unstoppable, so why mess up the chemistry? Plus, you don't know even if there were any opportunities for them to make a trade that made sense for them at that time. I'm sure if you had told BriseBois he'd be without 2 of his top 6 defensemen, including his top one, for basically the first round of the playoffs, he'd have done something at that point. I just have a hard time putting blame on him for this. All the blame, from the Lightning side, goes to The Room ...

One of those wins was in OT in a format that's not even used in the playoffs, so I look at the as an even game (BTW, I severely dislike OT format in the regular season).

Yes, it is 20/20 hindsight. I did find one of The Hockey New's articles I was looking for here  https://thehockeynews.com/news/article/buy-sell-or-stand-what-should-each-team-do-with-the-deadline-approaching , which stated that the Lightning should be buyers at the trade deadline even though it seemed "inconceivable". There is another article I am looking for that was written after this and pretty much mentioned that they needed to shore up their D.

Nothing wrong with having a difference of opinion on this. I'm just glad for all of the hockey talk.

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Good articles and they make some sense ................... but this line may have said it all:

In order to bring that defenseman aboard, though, Tampa Bay is going to need to be willing to pay the price and then do so without rocking the successful foundation they’ve built throughout this season.

BriseBois may have fielded some offers but I'm guessing none fit that criteria to his satisfaction and I can't really fault him for that. Bottom line is it was almost the perfect negative storm they could have faced. Losing 2 where they could ill afford to lose any and facing a team, which to me, looked to be the most dangerous one they could have drawn in that first round.

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On 4/16/2019 at 10:13 PM, Jonesy Bull said:

Columbus had the the defensive structure, goaltending, and power play production (who saw that coming) while Lightning couldnt get any breaks at all.  Why did bolts not get any power plays in these last 2 games......but Columbus was overall better they deserve it......this is tough to take after such a great season.

Another issue is that in the NHL playoffs penalties are simply not called as often and Tampa thrived on the power play all year.

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45 minutes ago, NewEnglandBull said:

Another issue is that in the NHL playoffs penalties are simply not called as often

Which is one of the very few drawbacks of the greatest tourney on earth ....

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16 minutes ago, Triple B said:

Which is one of the very few drawbacks of the greatest tourney on earth ....

Not sure I completely agree. I hate the tic tactic calls during the regular season. As long as the no calls are equal on both sides I am good. But it does mean the finesse teams will not win. You got to be able to muck it up on the boards and pay a physical price to win the cup. 

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38 minutes ago, NewEnglandBull said:

Not sure I completely agree. I hate the tic tactic calls during the regular season. As long as the no calls are equal on both sides I am good. But it does mean the finesse teams will not win. You got to be able to muck it up on the boards and pay a physical price to win the cup. 

This might be a little bit of sour grapes, but the calls for Columbus and the non calls for Tampa Bay in the last 2 games of the series were huge.  Yes, Tampa deserved the penalties they got, but it sure felt one sided to me.......I don't know if it would have made a difference because we couldn't stop their power play anyway. 

It really was a perfect storm (to steal Triple B's comment) that went against the Lightning, and the #1 seed doesn't usually have to play a #8 seed team the caliber and a team that was peaking at the right time like Columbus was.

I don't think there is a reason to over-react and make a bunch of changes for next year.  This team is still ultra-talented, and just needs a few defensive tweaks for next year (and hopefully stay healthy when the playoffs come).....Every year it has been key injuries at key positions that have been our downfall come playoff time.

Next year is a long way away, but this team is built for more Stanley Cup runs if it can keep the core together.

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15 minutes ago, Jonesy Bull said:

This might be a little bit of sour grapes, but the calls for Columbus and the non calls for Tampa Bay in the last 2 games of the series were huge.  Yes, Tampa deserved the penalties they got, but it sure felt one sided to me.......I don't know if it would have made a difference because we couldn't stop their power play anyway. 

It really was a perfect storm (to steal Triple B's comment) that went against the Lightning, and the #1 seed doesn't usually have to play a #8 seed team the caliber and a team that was peaking at the right time like Columbus was.

I don't think there is a reason to over-react and make a bunch of changes for next year.  This team is still ultra-talented, and just needs a few defensive tweaks for next year (and hopefully stay healthy when the playoffs come).....Every year it has been key injuries at key positions that have been our downfall come playoff time.

Next year is a long way away, but this team is built for more Stanley Cup runs if it can keep the core together.

You guys could use another quality defenseman though...of course almost every team in the NHL says the same thing. I did think Tampa would have made a move at the trade deadline and was surprised when it did not happen.

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