Wednesday, 3 a.m.
And then, the chances were down to virtually none.
Oh, Tampa Bay isn't officially done with the NHL playoffs, according to scientists who are developing chewing gum technology. There is a lotto-sized chance, times three, that the Bolts can sneak in.
But it's over. We all know that it's over. After Tuesday night's thumping at the hands of the Boston Bruins – you know, a playoff team – the Bolts have run out of gas.They've been pretty good lately, but Boston and Toronto have
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been better. Sure, there is a chance – and a guy falling out of an airplane might land on a big, soft bird. But it isn't likely.
No, the Bolts lost this playoff back during the season, back when Ben Bishop couldn't gather himself, and the offense went on walkabouts, and the defense bumped into each other, and Arizona kept winning against Tampa Bay and there were injuries. The Bolts dug quite a hole for themselves, and then they tried to dig their way out. But it didn't happen.
So now it comes to this. The Bolts would havce to win their final three, and have either Toronto or Ottawa lose their final three. Also, pigs have to fly and someone has to score goals.
"We're not out of it yet," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "It's obviously a tough hill to climb, and we need a lot of things to go our way."
Hill? This is a mountain, with razor blades and carnoverous mountain goats. This is like flipping a coin 100 times, and having it land on its edge every time. This is like stepping off a building and falling up.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper blamed a power play opportunity at the start of the second period where "we did nothing."
“We ran into a tough situation where we had to play short tonight," Cooper said. "We've asked so much from these guys. Guys were playing who in normal situations wouldn't be playing. These guys have given everything they had. We got beat by a better hockey team tonight.
The Rays take on Toronto Thursday night in an effort to stay alive.