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04-08-2012, 10:12 AM
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A Reflection on the Season

Well, obviously the season didn't go exactly as us Lightning fans had hoped. Still, you can't question the fight of the guys on the ice, and I had a great time watching them this year. Roloson turned it on at the end of the year and had a good (probable) end to his great career. We witnessed the emergence of the Hedmonster, who will begin terrorizing the league with a Norris caliber season next year. Despite the **** that Tampa has gotten for their weak pipeline, our Norfolk Admirals call-ups have played quite well up here, and damn well down there.

This may also be the first time we really questioned SFY. Why trade Downie for just a 1st? I don't think a fan on these boards liked that trade when it went down. Still, like always, SFY had a plan, and that plan was JT Brown. I'm really excited to see this kid next year. He seems to have the hockey smarts, great speed, and hopefully a bit of a mean streak to make Downie's loss sting less.

Our big three. Marty didn't have a Hart-caliber season, but I blame that less on age and more on a semi-down year. He still had a great season (at or near PPG if I recall), and I have no doubts that he will come back next year and keep playing great. Vinny is Vinny. I don't know if he'll ever be a PPG player again, but he provides good leadership and is always a game changer. Teddy Purcell rounds out our Big Three with his coming out party. He's had a great season and has had amazing chemistry with... that other guy.

Oh yeah, that other guy. Steven mother****ing Stamkos. He has firmly entrenched himself in the "top three players in the NHL" debate. The guy is Mike Bossy mk. II, and just an absolute terror. It's the little things with Stamkos. He's less of a flashy player than the Crosby's, Ovis, or Malkins, but in my time as a hockey fan I can't recall a guy other than maybe Teemu that's so good at just finding that open spot on the ice and ripping off a quick, powerful, and accurate shot. His best attribute isn't his shot (which is off the charts), but his hockey sense. He's improved defensively (don't think he'll ever win a Selke, but he's definitely not a liability), and I think this season he really grew into a leadership role.

Anyway, just want to give a good ol' to, while not a successful season, an enjoyable season. Here's to next year!

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