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Off the Dot: Bolts claim Governor's Cup while carrying a season best five-game win streak into the break

Off the Dot is an ongoing column of opinions, feelings and thoughts on all things Tampa Bay Lightning.  This is a knee-jerk reaction column for the many things that a fan maybe feels or thinks throughout a hockey season.

This is NOT a stat by stat analysis of the Bolts, but rather a theater of words concerning the Lightning and the many emotions tangled up in supporting your favorite NHL team; a theater for all fans to come to for a more personal take on Tampa Bay hockey.

That’s why I call it “off the dot”.  Because if we were “on the dot”, as in face-off mode, well, things would be decidedly more on-point and specific.  While off the dot, while we’re still just milling around the face-off circle, as I am now, waiting for the whistle to blow, then we’re just being conversational.  We’re just talking about our thoughts on strategy maybe or whatever random concept happens to come to mind, needing to be expressed.  The fun off-key banter of fans before someone (whoever) decides to hunker down, spread out their skates, and get nose-deep over the dot for the real face-off, and maybe say, statistically speaking, what happened in a win or loss in their more researched opinion.  And we have those articles all over Bolts by the Bay, and I very much encourage you to check out those articles too.

These are just my opinions, my feelings, and my thoughts – while we’re off the dot.


Alrighty.  I’m not going to take too much of your holiday time.  You good people of the Bolts Nation.  Today is a day to be spent with family and friends while enjoying quality time around the Christmas tree or cooking a delicious feast for dinner.

But as I try and write one of these columns the following day after every game if I can, I wanted to just quickly express how happy and proud my Lightning team has made me before savoring the rest of Christmas Eve with my family.

The Bolts have secured the Governor’s Cup from the Florida Panthers after last night’s 6-1 win in Sunrise.  One more win on March 13 and the Lightning will have swept the Panthers for the season.

Last night also saw the Bolts winning their fifth-straight game, a new season best win-streak, which amazes me.  It amazes me how tenacious our Lightning team is.  In how they are able to match, then surpass a record of wins that (for some people) may have only seemed possible with Stammer.

Lots of things are possible with Stammer, very true, but that doesn’t mean this Lightning team can’t pull together some amazing feats all on their own, which they have continually shown us, game in and game out, while Stammer recovers.

I’m just so impressed and very, very proud to say I’m a part of the Thunder in Tampa Bay.

Thanks, guys, for all the hard work on the ice and giving me the gift of the Governor’s Cup and a five-game win streak going into the Christmas break.

Not to mention holding onto second place in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference (10th in the league).  The Pens and the Bruins may be a bit out front right now (and we still need to figure out how to beat them) but we’re starting to catch up, game by game, chipping away at their lead and that’s all that counts.

Enjoy your time off with your families.  You deserve it.

From Off the Dot and Bolts by the Bay, and Lightning fans everywhere, I wish the entire Tampa Bay Lightning organization (the players, coaching, medical and training staff, owners, and everyone involved in the hockey club, no matter how small a job) a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you guys on Saturday.  Get your rest.   The Canadiens await.


Now I must return to the family and try to refrain from talking too much hockey around the table.

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Tags: NHL Tampa Bay Lightning

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