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A Reflection on the Season

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Old
04-08-2012, 11:12 AM
  #1
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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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Old
04-08-2012, 01:05 PM
  #2
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Great post

Looking forward to what the offseason brings us. Lots of reason for optimism. And a few concerns that I'm sure SFY will see to.

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04-08-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAB4Norris View Post
We witnessed the emergence of the Hedmonster, who will begin terrorizing the league with a Norris caliber season next year.
I think, just as with seasons past, he's given us glimpses. He was pretty good for the stretches of his last 1/3 of the season during which he really seemed to come alive offensively. If he had played all 82 games, he likely hits a career high in points. I don't think he's anywhere close to Norris contention but I do think we should should expect continued progression, especially offensively. I'll be mildly surprised if he doesn't hit 40 points next season, especially if he continues to see power-play time.

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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.
The present reality is definitely a far cry from what was, for many years, very much the truth: a barren farm system.

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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.
It may look that way but I don't think signing Brown was such a sure thing that Yzerman was willing to trade Downie with Brown as the consolation prize. No, I think the stockpiling of picks is a sure sign that the Lightning will be aggressive in the trade market heading into the draft. If, and I very much think it's possible, the Lightning wind up with Schneider or Bernier, I think it will be clear what Yzerman's intentions were all along.

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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.
I think Brown and Connolly will both be key to compensating for the offensive production that was lost with Downie's departure.

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Teddy Purcell rounds out our Big Three with his coming out party.
Yep. Both he and Downie struggled to start the season but ultimately Purcell made it impossible for Yzerman to consider moving him. Purcell made Downie the expendable piece.

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Oh yeah, that other guy. Steven mother****ing Stamkos.
Stamkos was mostly brilliant this season. A lot would have to go right in one season, but if he can match this season's even-strength production, score 20+ on the power-play again and manage around 5 empty-netters, he could be the first in a long time to hit 75.

The only thing I'd like to see Stamkos improve on is his passing. That's the final piece of his game. That said, he's not a terrible passer and I certainly don't expect him to demonstrate playmaking ability on the level of Crosby, Datsyuk or Tavares. Just a few more helpers and less cross-ice feeds behind or in the skates of linemates is all.


Last edited by nhljohnson: 04-08-2012 at 05:56 PM.
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04-08-2012, 02:01 PM
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I saw that Marty averaged more ice time (22:37) than any other forward in the league except for Kovalchuk.

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/hocke...-world/1224061
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Lightning RW Marty St. Louis said he will not play for Canada at next month's world championship in Sweden and Finland.

..."I just want to spend time with my kids. I want to get involved in their hockey, and it's an opportunity to do that in the next month and a half."

There also is this: "I'm not getting any younger," St. Louis, 36, said. "I want to rest the engine, I guess." St. Louis, because of the team's long injury list, played a lot more minutes than he or coach Guy Boucher wanted. His average 22:35 of ice time entering Saturday was second in the league among all forwards. "I'm a little banged up," he said.
Must of taken some toll on him this season.

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04-08-2012, 03:56 PM
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Agreed, great post. Lots of reasons to feel optimistic going into next year. Get the feeling our guys have really grown. Enjoyed this season a lot, despite the ups and downs and end result. Plenty of excitement, as always with this team. Can't wait for next season.

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04-09-2012, 02:41 PM
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"Tampa Bay had lightning in a bottle (yes, itís hokey pun, sorry).

The Bolts galvanized the interest of their fans by reaching the Eastern Conference Finals using mastermind Guy Boucherís donít forecheck defense.

They changed their unis and appeared poised to change the culture of hockey in Tampa.

The city even hosted the Frozen Four this season.

Then, the league figured out Boucher.

Next season itíll be back to the old drawing board for Boucher and his Bolts.

Grade: D"

http://*******************/articles/...grades/page/11

And he is an easy grader!

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04-09-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultra63 View Post
"Tampa Bay had lightning in a bottle (yes, it’s hokey pun, sorry).

The Bolts galvanized the interest of their fans by reaching the Eastern Conference Finals using mastermind Guy Boucher’s don’t forecheck defense.

They changed their unis and appeared poised to change the culture of hockey in Tampa.

The city even hosted the Frozen Four this season.

Then, the league figured out Boucher.

Next season it’ll be back to the old drawing board for Boucher and his Bolts.

Grade: D"

http://*******************/articles/...grades/page/11

And he is an easy grader!
Well, all I can say is there's a reason ** gets filtered around here.

And I can't read/hear that "Boucher's don't forecheck system" BS anymore. Especially when they mention it in the same sentence as our trip to the ECF. Why? This is why.

Those so called "writers" should try and watch an actual Lightning game instead of listening to guys like Mike Milbury.

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04-09-2012, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LightningStrikes View Post
And I can't read/hear that "Boucher's don't forecheck system" BS anymore. Especially when they mention it in the same sentence as our trip to the ECF. Why? This is why.
Classic

love the announcer (Eddie Olczyk?):
"And this is where we'll see the 1-3-1 right here" (as 2 lightning players are forechecking up near the net)
"It all starts with funneling people, watch funnel funnel" (at this point Purcell skates right next to the Bruins net, takes the puck from the D, and tucks it in for a goal.)

Obvious homer announcers are obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningStrikes View Post
Those so called "writers" should try and watch an actual Lightning game instead of listening to guys like Mike Milbury.
Yup, that article is a classic example. It was posted on bleacher report though, so I doubt that hack even watched a Lightning game all year (like most people with that "opinion").

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04-09-2012, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoundCake View Post
Classic

love the announcer (Eddie Olczyk?):
"And this is where we'll see the 1-3-1 right here" (as 2 lightning players are forechecking up near the net)
"It all starts with funneling people, watch funnel funnel" (at this point Purcell skates right next to the Bruins net, takes the puck from the D, and tucks it in for a goal.)

Obvious homer announcers are obvious.



Yup, that article is a classic example. It was posted on bleacher report though, so I doubt that hack even watched a Lightning game all year (like most people with that "opinion").
Shame on you.

That's the next GM of the Montreal Canadiens, Pierre McGuire.

The clip, for the lazy:


That clip does show the difference between last year's team, and this year's. The Lightning are doing a line change, and even though they are on the forecheck, they are aggressive on the pursuit. They close that ****ing gap when the other team is trying to take a breath.

This past season, we gave them the zone and would pick them up on the blue line. When we stifle their attack on a change, our fresh players also get a chance to get set. It's demoralizing to the other team to see they can't get opportunities when we're at our 'weakest'.

S&C is a problem if they don't have the jump necessary to come right off the bench and pursue.


Last edited by Felonious Python: 04-09-2012 at 05:46 PM.
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Old
04-10-2012, 10:51 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by nhljohnson View Post

It may look that way but I don't think signing Brown was such a sure thing that Yzerman was willing to trade Downie with Brown as the consolation prize. No, I think the stockpiling of picks is a sure sign that the Lightning will be aggressive in the trade market heading into the draft. If, and I very much think it's possible, the Lightning wind up with Schneider or Bernier, I think it will be clear what Yzerman's intentions were all along.
Great Season all in all, and I agree with Johnson, SFY has a plan, and I for one trust in SFY! Looking forward to a great 2012-2013 season........

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