Lightning having trouble stopping opponents

January 4, 2017 general

Wednesday, 3 a.m. The Tampa Bay Lightning, still spinning its wheels, finds itself in desperate need of an improved defense. The Lightning gave up a half-dozen goals (one on an empty-netter) in a 6-4 loss to Winnipeg Tuesday night. The Bolts have now given up three or more goals in 10 of their last 12 […]

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Bucs’ offense is slipping, but winning forgives it

December 13, 2016 general

Tuesday, 4 a.m. Winning changes everything. It forgives a team’s shortcuts. It consoles an underachieving receiver. It forgives a running back who can’t get going. It pats a quarterback on the back. That’s what winning does: It gives everyone a get-out-of -jail-free card. It fumigates the air. It brightens colors. It increases milage. It makes […]

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Ask Gary: Can the Bucs win five straight games?

December 3, 2016 general

(Each week, the readers take over and play Ask Gary. They send in a question, or a couple, on Thursday night or Friday morning and we all talk about the world of sports.  Think of it as a radio show where you don’t have to be on hold. Join us and ask a question, make a comment […]

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Can the Bucs defense convince you it’s better?

June 22, 2016 general

Wednesday, 6 a.m. Lavonte David says the team can be the best there ever was. Robert Ayers, on the other hand, says the Bucs’ defense is “a little less terrible” than it was. So who is right? And, as the months go flowing past, how good can these Bucs be? First things first. The Bucs […]

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David expects the 2016 Buc defense to be legendary

June 3, 2016 general

Friday, 6 a.m. Better than the Monsters of the Midway. Better than the Steel Curtain. Better than the Fearsome Foursome and the No-Name Defense and the Purple People Eaters and the Doomsday Defense. Better than the best of the Bucs or the best of the Ravens or the best of the Raiders. Better than anyone. […]

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Defense has to show up for Lightning to win

May 26, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. There for a while, Victor Hedman was the Ice Linebacker. He was fast, and he was large, and never seemed to make a mistake. He skated, and the opponents got the dickens out of his way. He single-handedly made a mortal out of John Tavares. For the second straight year, there was […]

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Rays defense, bullpen lead to victory over Orioles

April 26, 2016 general

Tuesday, 11:12 p.m. Are the Tampa Bay Rays still supposed to be able to play defense like this? The Rays bailed themselves out of trouble repeatedly Tuesday night, moving to .500 with a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays have surrendered only one run in two games against Baltimore. It helps when a […]

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Improved defense gives Lightning hope

February 24, 2016 general

Wednesday, 6 a.m. Think of Victor Hedman as a linebacker, rangy and strong. Think of Anton Stralman as a strong safety, tough and mean. Think of Braydon Coburn as a cornerback and of Andrej Sustr as a defensive end. Together, they will try to carry the Tampa Bay Lightning into the playoffs. As of late, […]

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Can Smith be the next Monte Kiffin for Bucs?

January 21, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. We don’t want much from Mike Smith. Just everything. Or, for the opposition, nothing. No yards. No points. No hope. It would help if Smith would talk in a loud whisper. And if his hair had a mind of its own. And if he crossed the field looking like knobby knees and elbows. […]

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The questions Koetter must answer are defensive

January 14, 2016 general

Thursday, 6 a.m. The coach is offensive. The questions are defensive. It is doubtful that Jason Licht asked Dirk Koetter a lot about his offense this week. Does he want to know what he thinks about Jameis Winston? About Doug Martin? Look at the tapes. Want to know what he would do in a goal-to-go […]

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