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TropicalFruitGirl26

The Challenge for the 2018-19 Lightning

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TyJo.thumb.jpg.f5ef584c44c7ed3311b8a6ebdae2b9c5.jpg

 

They seem to be running away with the division title again.

President's trophy? Almost assured.

 

But the Lightning did all these things last season too and then the league saw them hit a swoon where teams like the Leafs and Bruins ALMOST caught them for the division even after having such a huge lead.

 

In watching those games, seemed to me the Lightning were...….bored.
And I don't say that statement in arrogance (oh, they re so good they are bored with the competition!)...no, not at all.

I say that because teams NEED adversity, they need competition, and they need a reason to play 100% each and every game out in order to remain sharp.
That the TB Lightning are a skilled team, and elite team...THAT is not in question.

But what is in question is...how bad do they want to win the Cup? In fact, how bad do they want to make runs at SEVERAL Cups with the current core?
Because no matter how big a lead they have in the regular season, no matter how many times they win a President's Trophy, it won't matter a damned bit if they can't come away with at least ONE Cup with this group.....even though many feel this group is capable of even more.

 

But they face the challenge of staying focused and hungry. They just can't "sit around" and wait for the post season to start.
In recent seasons, they have lost to some of the very best (lots of eventual Cup winners, such as Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington), but that doesn't ease the pain of losing when you are considered one of the best.

And that might be what this team needs to stay focused.... Remembering the pain, the unfulfillment of bowing out before you were ready, and seeing another squad that you KNOW you can play with, raise that Cup instead of you.

 

It is also good that the Bolts, for the first time in recent seasons, are viewed as THE team to take down, THE feather in your cap to beat if you are the opposing teams.
It means TB gets the very best of just about every self respecting team out there....and some of these regular season games have felt like playoff games (Toronto, Boston, Winnipeg, Calgary, Nashville...just to name a few) due to the intensity and the all out "go get'm" attitude teams have towards the Lightning when they see them on the schedule.

Sure, the Bolts have been considered a top team for a while now, but it really wasn't until last season, arguably, but for SURE this season, that they are considered a no doubt about it favorite for the Cup.....and other teams want to be able to say, "Meh, we beat those guys"

 

So all that, in combination with remembering how it feels to see another squad celebrate a Stanley Cup win while they are still waiting should be enough to keep these Bolts motivated.

And it HAS shown in their games this season....they just need to keep that mindset for about 30+ more games before really ratcheting up the intensity for Stanley Cup caliber hockey in the post season.

 

Play like they DON'T have a big lead....play like they need every single goal they can muster....play like they just can't afford to let that other team go up even by just one goal..... and once in the post season, play like they might not have the chance to play for another Cup again.
I think that recipe can serve them well and help them avoid any swoons or post season lapses.

This team truly feels like it is one of the very best in a long time....but until they can actually win a Cup (or two, or three), it will always be "potential"...and they will be just another good team that didn't win.

Go Bolts!
:lightning:

 

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2 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

TyJo.thumb.jpg.f5ef584c44c7ed3311b8a6ebdae2b9c5.jpg

 

They seem to be running away with the division title again.

President's trophy? Almost assured.

 

But the Lightning did all these things last season too and then the league saw them hit a swoon where teams like the Leafs and Bruins ALMOST caught them for the division even after having such a huge lead.

 

In watching those games, seemed to me the Lightning were...….bored.
And I don't say that statement in arrogance (oh, they re so good they are bored with the competition!)...no, not at all.

I say that because teams NEED adversity, they need competition, and they need a reason to play 100% each and every game out in order to remain sharp.
That the TB Lightning are a skilled team, and elite team...THAT is not in question.

But what is in question is...how bad do they want to win the Cup? In fact, how bad do they want to make runs at SEVERAL Cups with the current core?
Because no matter how big a lead they have in the regular season, no matter how many times they win a President's Trophy, it won't matter a damned bit if they can't come away with at least ONE Cup with this group.....even though many feel this group is capable of even more.

 

But they face the challenge of staying focused and hungry. They just can't "sit around" and wait for the post season to start.
In recent seasons, they have lost to some of the very best (lots of eventual Cup winners, such as Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington), but that doesn't ease the pain of losing when you are considered one of the best.

And that might be what this team needs to stay focused.... Remembering the pain, the unfulfillment of bowing out before you were ready, and seeing another squad that you KNOW you can play with, raise that Cup instead of you.

 

It is also good that the Bolts, for the first time in recent seasons, are viewed as THE team to take down, THE feather in your cap to beat if you are the opposing teams.
It means TB gets the very best of just about every self respecting team out there....and some of these regular season games have felt like playoff games (Toronto, Boston, Winnipeg, Calgary, Nashville...just to name a few) due to the intensity and the all out "go get'm" attitude teams have towards the Lightning when they see them on the schedule.

Sure, the Bolts have been considered a top team for a while now, but it really wasn't until last season, arguably, but for SURE this season, that they are considered a no doubt about it favorite for the Cup.....and other teams want to be able to say, "Meh, we beat those guys"

 

So all that, in combination with remembering how it feels to see another squad celebrate a Stanley Cup win while they are still waiting should be enough to keep these Bolts motivated.

And it HAS shown in their games this season....they just need to keep that mindset for about 30+ more games before really ratcheting up the intensity for Stanley Cup caliber hockey in the post season.

 

Play like they DON'T have a big lead....play like they need every single goal they can muster....play like they just can't afford to let that other team go up even by just one goal..... and once in the post season, play like they might not have the chance to play for another Cup again.
I think that recipe can serve them well and help them avoid any swoons or post season lapses.

This team truly feels like it is one of the very best in a long time....but until they can actually win a Cup (or two, or three), it will always be "potential"...and they will be just another good team that didn't win.

Go Bolts!
:lightning:

 

You need to meet the Sabres in the first round.  Then you will face a true task. You cannot deny we have played your boys mighty tough.  Buffalo is the last team they want to see I am sure. Not saying we could beat them in a 7 game series ,  and not sure if they play best of 5 in round 1 any more?  i think only baseball?  The Lightning should get out of the East but you can never ever count out Washington.  Now the Capitals have the monkey off their back.  They will be a nightmare and so will the Penguins.  Those are the teams you must fear.  Not Boston .  Toronto you must also fear

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3 minutes ago, Hockey Junkie said:

You need to meet the Sabres in the first round.  Then you will face a true task. You cannot deny we have played your boys mighty tough.  Buffalo is the last team they want to see I am sure. Not saying we could beat them in a 7 game series ,  and not sure if they play best of 5 in round 1 any more?  i think only baseball?  The Lightning should get out of the East but you can never ever count out Washington.  Now the Capitals have the monkey off their back.  They will be a nightmare and so will the Penguins.  Those are the teams you must fear.  Not Boston .  Toronto you must also fear

 

Well, if the Buffalo Sabres play with any measure of offensive consistency and do better under pressure (something I believe the Lightning exposed during the games played between the two teams.... panic under pressure by the young Sabre defense), then they SHOULD get into the post season, perhaps as a wild card, and maybe we will be seeing a first round match up between Tampa Bay and Buffalo.

And shame on the Lightning if they don't come away with a series win there.

But first things first...the Sabres gotta get in, and right now, from the looks of things, they will have their hands full doing even that.

As for TB, like I said, EVERY team will be throwing their best at the Bolts....and that includes the Sabres….because they ARE one of the best teams in hockey...certainly one of the deepest and playoff ready.
So I expect nothing less than 100% from any team facing them.

Whether a team's best will be enough is always the question when it comes to taking down the Bolts, and as I already stated, the Bolts can be their own worst enemy when it comes to keeping sharp game after game.
But I think TB has learned...their core has matured, and hopefully, the now vets on the team can send that wisdom down to even the younger Bolts players on the team.... "Don't take any opponent lightly....from Detroit up to Toronto, to anyone in between".

Caps, Penguins....those are a given (and opponents who have ousted the Lightning in the past) that they will be tough outs.
But then again, to be the best team, you have to go through the best teams.
I don't think Jon Cooper or his boys would shy away or "fear" any of those two....but they will certainly be mindful of the threat they represent.

Buffalo is a nice story...and they WILL get better.
But assuming they DO get into the playoffs...and assuming they find themselves matched up against the Lightning in the first round it is the SABRES, not the Lightning, who may find themselves over their heads....and again, I don't say that statement with arrogance.
Just a simple fact of the matter based on team personnel, readiness, experience, and depth.

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3 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

Well, if the Buffalo Sabres play with any measure of offensive consistency and do better under pressure (something I believe the Lightning exposed during the games played between the two teams.... panic under pressure by the young Sabre defense), then they SHOULD get into the post season, perhaps as a wild card, and maybe we will be seeing a first round match up between Tampa Bay and Buffalo.

And shame on the Lightning if they don't come away with a series win there.

But first things first...the Sabres gotta get in, and right now, from the looks of things, they will have their hands full doing even that.

As for TB, like I said, EVERY team will be throwing their best at the Bolts....and that includes the Sabres….because they ARE one of the best teams in hockey...certainly one of the deepest and playoff ready.
So I expect nothing less than 100% from any team facing them.

Whether a team's best will be enough is always the question when it comes to taking down the Bolts, and as I already stated, the Bolts can be their own worst enemy when it comes to keeping sharp game after game.
But I think TB has learned...their core has matured, and hopefully, the now vets on the team can send that wisdom down to even the younger Bolts players on the team.... "Don't take any opponent lightly....from Detroit up to Toronto, to anyone in between".

Caps, Penguins....those are a given (and opponents who have ousted the Lightning in the past) that they will be tough outs.
But then again, to be the best team, you have to go through the best teams.
I don't think Jon Cooper or his boys would shy away or "fear" any of those two....but they will certainly be mindful of the threat they represent.

Buffalo is a nice story...and they WILL get better.
But assuming they DO get into the playoffs...and assuming they find themselves matched up against the Lightning in the first round it is the SABRES, not the Lightning, who may find themselves over their heads....and again, I don't say that statement with arrogance.
Just a simple fact of the matter based on team personnel, readiness, experience, and depth.

Well I have to agree.  Tampa is far more experienced and deeper.  The biggest threats are the Leafs, Capitals and Penguins and that is it.  I do not think Pittsburgh can beat them in a 7 game series. Washington and the Leafs are very dangerous.

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