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Canadiens Sweep Ends Lightning Season



The final period of game four pretty much summed up the Lightning’s entire season. Great work ethic, disappointment, hard pressure, success, only to have bad luck strike them down and end their season.

The Lightning season was filled with hard luck. First a broken leg to team leader Steven Stamkos put the season in question. The Lightning fought through this, and posted a 100 plus point season. Then star goalie Ben Bishop goes down with an injury, but the Lighting still managed to win home ice in the first round. Then who could forget the fact that team captain Martin St. Louis asked for a trade prior to trade deadline day. General Manager Steve Yzerman obliged him by pulling off a trade with the New York Rangers that brought Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay. Callahan proved to be a impact player, but did not produce the offense that St. Louis once did. It was a difficult season, and unfortunately this trend continued in their first round playoff matchup versus Montreal.

With two-minutes to go in the third period of game four, Cedric Paquette of the Lightining was whistled for a questionable tripping call. This resulted in a Canadiens power play goal for Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty’s first ever playoff goal clichéd the sweep for the Canadiens, and ended the heartbreaking season for the Lightning.

Without Ben Bishop in net the Lightning struggled to maintain any momentum throughout the series. Anders Lindback was pulled again in game four in favor of Kristers Gudlevskis who played very well, but not enough to steal the game for the Lighting.

Momentum is a huge part of a playoff series. The Canadiens maintained it throughout the series, and the Lightning were never able to get on track. The difficulties should take nothing away from the play of Montreal. They took charge and never let up on the bewildered Lightning.

This will be a long off-season for the young Lightning crew. When they look back at the season, there will be numerous questions of what could have been. What if Stamkos was never injured? What if St. Louis could have put his differences with Yzerman aside? What if Bishop would have been healthy for the playoffs? What if some of the questionable calls would have went in their favor? What if???

The positive for the Lightning is that they are young, and talented. They will definitely be a force to reckon with next season.


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