Right about now, members of the Tampa Bay Lighting are probably kicking themselves.
They are talking to themselves, and sighing, and rolling their eyes over the opportunity they let slip away.
The Lightning, who were up 3-2 on the Pittsburgh Penguins, lost back-to-back games to get eliminated. Members of the team have probably reminded each other a few times of that in recent days as the Penguins have built a 3-1 lead over the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Granted, hockey – like most sports – is a game of matchups. Just because Team A beats Team B and Team B beats Team C doesn’t mean that Team A would beat Team C. Much of it is a matter of health and style and special teams.
Still, the Lightning missed an opportunity to play the Sharks for the championship of hockey. Everything else is conjecture. Still, the Lightning is left to wonder what a healthy lineup (Steven Stamkos had just returned, Anton Stralman was back and Ben Bishop was close) could have done against San Jose.