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Sam Hitchcock's Archive

A Dark and Stormy Night

March 1, 2019 - 8:23 AM ET

Unless done in a winking, tongue-in-cheek manner, speaking or writing in categorical statements is annoying and superficial. Rarely is a thing all good or all bad; nuances show an appreciation for complexity. But in last night’s game against the Bruins, the Lightning took a sledgehammer to nuance...

Sens Gobsmacked by Bolts' D

March 3, 2019 - 10:50 AM ET

It was as if the Lightning recovered their true identity last night, and it came at the expense of the Ottawa Senators, the worst team in the NHL. Tampa Bay’s defensemen had four goals, but they could have had more as they pummeled Ottawa 5-1. With less than five minutes into the first period,...

Spurred by Fourth Line, Bolts Blast Jets

March 6, 2019 - 8:59 AM ET

If asked to name a handful of teams who possess the best chance to topple the Lightning come playoff time, the Winnipeg Jets are included. They have speed, depth and, most importantly, high-end talent. But last night’s tilt between the two teams was very different from their last meeting. Winnipeg...

Wild Silence Lightning

March 8, 2019 - 9:00 AM ET

With the NHL playoffs a month away, it is hard not to frame everything the Lightning do in terms of how, and if, it will matter in the playoffs. Which brings us to last night, when the Lightning were shut out 3-0 against the Minnesota Wild. In terms of the regular season, it means nothing. The Presi...

Bolts' Regular Season Epilogue Begins

March 10, 2019 - 1:02 PM ET

Last night felt like the beginning of the epilogue to the Lightning’s regular season. Before puck drop Tampa Bay had officially clinched a playoff spot, and the lineup reflected a team that feels assured of its fate. Jan Rutta got his first opportunity to play in a Lightning uniform because Anton...

Bolts Stomp Leafs

March 12, 2019 - 9:08 AM ET

It’s uncomfortable knowing we don’t have total agency over our lives. The idea that luck affects who we marry, where we live, and what profession we choose is simultaneously dizzying and amazing. We look for signals in a chaotic world and even read tea leaves. For a hockey fan, rewatching a game...

Faster, Deeper Bolts Subdue Caps

March 17, 2019 - 1:18 PM ET

When the Washington Capitals played the Lightning in last year’s conference finals, the Capitals were faster, deeper, and made the Bolts’ breakout seem like a Sisyphean task. The Capitals were able to cycle and retrieve with impunity, and the reason the series went seven games was due to the unn...

On Stamkos's Historic Night, Bolts Tame Coyotes

March 19, 2019 - 8:31 AM ET

The Coyotes’ 1-2-2 defensive coverage stymies their opponents’ creativity. Even though the Lightning would try to use the stretch pass to bypass the Coyotes’ first two layers of skaters, the pair of Coyotes defensemen waiting for the puck-carrier limited Tampa Bay’s offensive capability on t...

Vasilevskiy Shields Bolts' Sloppy Play

March 21, 2019 - 8:45 AM ET

In some respects, the Lightning deserved to lose. No doubt, the Capitals’ shot total was boosted by their six power-play opportunities, but Andre Vasilevskiy was forced to make a career-high 54 saves. And yet, the Lightning entered the final minute of regulation play with a one-goal lead, and Vi...