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Sam Hitchcock's Archive

Lightning Midseason Awards

January 4, 2019 - 1:05 PM ET

Last night against the Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay raced out to a 4-0 advantage less than 21 minutes into the game by virtue of a five-on-three and Jonathan Quick being a below-average goaltender. Coach Jon Cooper told the media at the start of the Lightning’s California road trip that his teamâ€...

Lightning Midseason Awards, Part II

January 5, 2019 - 12:40 PM ET

The Lightning win and win and win. They play sloppy and they still win. They trail by multiple goals and they find a win. Or they score three or four goals quickly and coast to victory. The first 41 games have the Lightning up 12 points over the Maple Leafs, who have accrued the second most points i...

Lightning Flounder Against Sharks

January 6, 2019 - 3:14 PM ET

The Lightning have been scoring so many goals over this torrid 16-game stretch that it has masked underlying issues that have needed maintenance but were momentarily tabled until they cost the team a regulation-time loss. That defeat happened yesterday as the San Jose Sharks preyed on a disjointed b...

The Bolts' Everyday Greatness

January 9, 2019 - 10:25 AM ET

The Lightning can kill a team fast and slow. For the Blue Jackets, the precision and speed of the Lightning’s forwards and defensemen presented problems in transition and when the Bolts hemmed them in their own end. But there was also the Sisyphean torture of whipping shots on Andre Vasilevskiy fo...

Point Animates Bolts in Victory over Canes

January 11, 2019 - 12:51 PM ET

To the rest of the Eastern Conference, the Lightning are a bully. They batter and thump weaker opponents into submission. The best way to handle a bully is not to cower when faced with confrontation, but to put up resistance. The Hurricanes might not be the most talented squad in the NHL, but in l...

Kucherov-Stamkos Reunion Fells Sabres

January 13, 2019 - 1:24 PM ET

The reuniting of Nikita Kucherov with Steven Stamkos paid immediate dividends as the duo led the Lightning to a 5-3 comeback victory over the Buffalo Sabres last night. Stamkos’s spectacular December and January are a large reason why the Lightning have been blitzing opponents offensively and w...

Sloppy Beginning Dooms Lightning

January 14, 2019 - 11:14 AM ET

How do you fall behind 3-0 in the first five minutes of a game? The answer is a deadly cocktail of lethargy, poor execution, and an unlucky break. The Lightning lost 5-1 to the Islanders in Brooklyn last night, very clearly affected by it being the second game of a back-to-back on the road. Tampa Ba...

Don't Panic! Vasilevskiy Is in Goal

January 16, 2019 - 8:51 AM ET

Stars coach Jim Montgomery had a straightforward game plan: Make sure the Lightning forwards do not have possession and speed as they cross the blue line. To do that, his forwards would repose in the neutral zone to clog it, and act as a sticky, gum-like substance for puck-carriers trying to ferry t...

Leafs Overwhelm Lightning

January 18, 2019 - 11:56 AM ET

When the Lightning lose 4-2 in regulation like they did last night against the Maple Leafs, it is news. After all, we are approaching Martin Luther King Day and Tampa Bay just suffered only its tenth regulation-time loss of the season. Two of those ten defeats have come in their last three games. Ag...