Lightning Eliminated, Maple Leafs Advance

The Tampa Bay Lightning were eliminated in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Could this be the end of the Lightning’s dominance in the NHL? Photo:

Folks, it’s finally happened. The Tampa Bay Lightning have turtled and allowed Toronto to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in the cap era. This article should congratulate the Leafs for their efforts, but it’s not.

I think this will likely mark the end of Tampa’s true contending window. You saw it all through the regular season when they sucked. We were prepared for them to morph into juggernaut mode for the playoffs, but it never happened. They just sucked after game one. With this talent, I don’t know if this is indeed the end, but if it is, I have a few parting words for you, Tampa. I hate you. I hate everything about you. I find most of your players to be unlikeable, your coach is a whiny buffoon, and most of your fans don’t have their heads screwed on straight. I want nothing more than to see you and your stupid Tesla coil wither and die in the abyss.

But I respect the hell out of you. To maintain that level of success after years upon years of choking in a salary-cap league? With little to no change in terms of the coaches and core? That’s impressive. They may have never won a cup in an 82-game season during this window, but they surely came close a few times.

This is where I will admit my bias as a Ranger fan and never speak about those years again. 2015 and last year give me nightmares. Regardless of his decision to quit in 2018, Steve Yzerman will forever be a legend in Tampa for what he did for this team. He took an organization reeling in mediocrity and turned them into… this. Just look at their drafting record over the last decade. Besides Stamkos and Hedman, nobody on this team was a top 10 pick. Vasilevsky was a 19th overall pick and wasn’t even Tampa’s first choice in that draft. Kucherov was taken in the 2nd round. Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli were taken in the 3rd round, and guys like Andrej Palat and Ross Colten were taken later in the draft. It’s a testament to Yzerman and the entire scouting staff he brought with him from Detroit. Tampa has been coasting off this for a while now, and the current GM, Brisebois, is incompetent at best. Seriously, man, five draft picks for Tanner Jeannot, how’d that work out for you, buddy? I think I’ll close this out by echoing the lines uttered by Bolts PR the last time they lost in the first round:


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