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Felt the Lightning but waited on the thunder review

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PRESEASON OUTLOOK Great. Fantastic. none better. A perfectly put together team hungry for a championship was on the very shortest of short lists for favorites to win it all.


FINAL RECORD 62-16-4 128 points best record in all of Hockey only the second team ever to win 30 games both at home and on the road. Swept in first round by the Jackets.


HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR All year was a high point. I guess if I had to pick a high point it would have been when they beat the Sabres on Jan 12th they were on a streak of 18-1-1 simply swamping the rest of the league. All season long they only lost to in a row in regulation one time in early November. That is, until......


LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: If you have to ask.... Best record in all of Hockey, one of the greatest regular seasons ever all wiped out with a four game destruction by the Tortorella led Jackets setting up the most bitter of summer for a great team ever.


WHAT WENT RIGHT How long do you have? Cooper might have been the coach of the year, Hedman the games best defender, Kucherov the Hart winner, that is just for starters. Point became a superstar, Stamkos continued his race for the Hall of Fame, Ryan McDonough had a fantastic season, Domingue was brilliant as a backup in net. 11 players were double digit in plus minus, Tyler Johnson had 29 goals, Gourde, Miller, Killorn, Erne, Paquette and Joseph all contributed timely goals. Health was a non issue  as the team was ridiculously healthy.


WHAT WENT WRONG Sergachev was good but took a step back, Palat slipped back quite a lot, Stralman and Girardi were the exception to the health rule and were nicked up and have clearly lost a step. Calahan continues to steal his salary.


FREE AGENTS Half the defense is likely gone, Coburn, Stralman and Girardi are on the back nine and all UFAs likely none will return, instead they will look to replace them from within and perhaps a cheap vet or two as well. The big problem is the RFA's as Brayden Point will command a massive payday meaning that Johnson, Palat, Killorn and Miler will likely be shopped all offseason to free up cap space. Erne, Paquette and Martel are all RFA's who will need to be addressed as well.


OFFSEASON QUESTION MARKS Now what? After a regular season for the ages and a complete collapse do you rebuild, retool or stand pat? Where do you find the parts to rebuild the back end? do you trade Point or pay him? 


 The long summer has gotten longer in Tampa. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is all I can really say on their post season...……...


The boys need to collect themselves, take this past season as a personal insult, come back and do what they should have done at least this past year...deep playoff run, if not the Cup itself.


Some interesting things the Bolts have done in the off season (with some important things still to be done), but glad they didn't mess too much with their formula.

They have the horses, they have the talent, they have the ingredients.
Columbus blasted them out of the water and I want to see TB players absolutely use that as fuel for their fire.

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Saw your boys traded Miller to Vancouver today for the much needed cap relief, I think Miller is a solid all around player who can play any forward position well but was not quite a good fit with Tampa, easily replaced with one of the young kids coming up. To get a conditional first for him was amazing.

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