National Hockey League

The Lightning Could Make History For All The Wrong Reasons


Unfortunately for the Lightning, their astonishing regular-season form hasn’t carried over to the postseason, and now they find themselves on the precipice of an unprecedented failure: If they lose Tuesday night in Columbus, they’ll be the first Presidents’ Trophy winners to be swept out of the first round of the postseason in history.


Even if they aren’t swept but merely lose the series, Tampa’s collapse would be monumental — devastating for any team but especially so for a club that’s been knocking on the door of Stanley Cup glory for several years.


On the other side of the ice, Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has been nearly unbeatable, stopping 94 percent of the shots he’s faced — which is good for second-best.


None of this bodes well for the Bolts because save percentage is the single most important determinant of a team’s goals-per-game differential in the postseason, and therefore the key to a playoff run .


We wrote last week that anything short of lifting the Stanley Cup in June would feel like a failure for the Bolts and would put them in the same company as the 1995-96 Red Wings, another set of historically great losers.


Only four teams have managed to overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs.






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