To repeat, Lightning might find the skating rougher

by Gary Shelton on October 8, 2015 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Lightning

Stamkos, ready for the start of another journey./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Stamkos, ready for the start of another journey./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Thursday, 6 a.m.

The ice might not be as smooth.

One of the Triplets could have a nagging injury.

Steven Stamkos' contract talks could get sticky.

Things could go wrong, in other words. The power play might not have any. The penalty kill could die lonely. Slumps could happen. Another team might be heaven-kissed. There could be injuries. There could be losing streaks. Small details could become big problems.

And suddenly, the promised land looks too far away from the promised teams.

It happens. If any community knows all about that, it's this one. Historically, Tampa Bay and sequels haven't been kind to each other. We have never quite been able to retrace the footsteps to success.

Oh, every now and then, Tampa Bay has seen wonderful seasons. But they don't come in pairs. Success not only says it's fleeting, it calls it over its shoulder as it walks away. So far, we haven't had time for repeats.

Remember the Super Bowl season of 2002? That was a fine time in Tampa Bay. But it didn't last. The next season, the Bucs fell to 7-9, and then to 5-11. The Bucs looked to be in fine shape the next season, but Tampa Bay still hasn't won a playoff game since that Super Bowl season.

Remember the Stanley Cup season of 2004? That was terrific fun here in Tampa Bay. But it didn't have legs, either. Heck, you could say that the Lightning didn't win a game the next

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