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Mishkin's Musings: Hall-of-Famer Marty St. Louis transformed the game

As Martin St. Louis is enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Lightning radio broadcaster Dave Mishkin looks back at his transformational career

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Really, was there ever any question as to whether Marty St. Louis would be inducted into the NHL Hall Of Fame?

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Mishkin's Musings: New season, newly-found success

Lightning radio broadcaster Dave Mishkin discusses the transformations happening in the league this season

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

My first season broadcasting with the Lightning was 2002-03. Heading into that campaign, the Lightning had qualified for the playoffs just once in their first 10 seasons. Big things were not expected from the 02-03 Lightning, but the narrative changed when the team stormed out of the games and finished October with a 7-1-2 record.

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Mishkin's Musings: Anatomy of a 3-1-1 road trip

Lightning radio broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Bolts' tough - but successful - trip out west

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Jon Cooper often talks about the goal he sets for his team on multi-game road trips. He wants to bring home more points than games played. On the just-completed five-game trip, the Lightning met that challenge, accumulating seven points. Yes, it's true that they had gained those seven points in the opening four games before ending the trip with a blowout loss. That defeat in Arizona can be chalked up to a number of factors: fifth game in eight nights, second half of a back-to-back against a rested opponent, a big early deficit and, of course, strong play by the opponent. But the loss to Arizona doesn't take away from what was, overall, a strong trip. Here's how the Lightning were able to bank those seven points.

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Mishkin's Musings: Keys to a 4-1-0 homestand

Lightning radio broadcaster Dave Mishkin discusses what went right for Tampa Bay on its season-opening homestand

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Beginning the season with five consecutive home games sounds great, doesn't it? Well, it's great only if a team can take advantage of the favorable schedule. The Lightning knew that a challenging five-game road trip (which begins Saturday in Minnesota) spanning three different time zones awaited them after the homestand. So there was some pressure on the team to do well in the opening five. Fortunately for the Bolts, they avoided potential potholes and accumulated eight of a possible 10 points. Here are some of the reasons why they were so successful.

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Mishkin's Musings: A look back at a remarkable season

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recaps the Lightning's record-setting 2017-18 campaign

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Certainly, a Game Seven loss last week to the Washington Capitals wasn't how the Lightning wanted the season to end. But that tough defeat doesn't negate what was an incredible season. The Lightning set franchise records with 54 regular season victories, 25 regular season road wins, 113 regular season points and 53 regular season road points. They led the league in goals. They won their third-ever regular season division title. They advanced to their third Eastern Conference Final in the last four years and came within one victory of getting to the Stanley Cup Final. Here's a look back at how it all unfolded.

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Mishkin's Musings: How the Lightning beat the Bruins

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin lists six keys to the Bolts' Second Round victory over Boston

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As the Lightning prepare for the Eastern Conference Final and the Washington Capitals, let's take a look at how the Bolts were able to defeat the Boston Bruins in Round Two.

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Mishkin's Musings: How the Lightning beat the Devils

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin takes a look at what went right for Tampa Bay in its series victory over New Jersey

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

In defeating the Devils four games to one, the Lightning delivered a magnificent first round performance. Obviously, there were several components that went into the triumph - and we will examine those in this column. But first, a reminder about two important questions for the Lightning that were detailed before the series began. First, could the Lightning neutralize New Jersey's team speed, led by Taylor Hall? The Devils' speed created problems for the Lightning at points during the regular season series. Second, would the Lightning's penalty kill, which struggled during the second half of the regular season, be able to handle a New Jersey power play that finished the regular season with 16 goals in the final 19 games? The answer to both those questions turned out to be "yes". Here's how the Lightning did it, along with other critical factors that went into their series victory.

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Mishkin's Musings: Thoughts on Lightning-Devils

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin shares his opinions on the Lightning's first round matchup

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

On the "which team would you rather face" question:
If fans are asking this question during the closing weeks of the regular season, it means that their team is in good shape to make the playoffs. So the focus shifts from "will our team make it in?" to "what's the best matchup for our team in the first round?". Notice that fans of the Colorado Avalanche, who qualified for the postseason by beating St. Louis in their final regular season game, weren't speculating in recent weeks about the challenges of a first round matchup with Nashville, which won the President's Trophy. (Maybe they are now that the Avs are in).

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Mishkin's Musings: The race for first, year-end awards and rule changes

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin shares his thoughts on the Atlantic Division, the Coach of the Year & MVP and changes to the rules

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

On the Atlantic Division race...
The outcome of the two remaining regular season games between the Lightning and Boston Bruins will go a long way in determining which team finishes in first place in the Atlantic Division. Toronto, nine and eight points back of the Lightning and Bruins, respectively, has six regular season games remaining (or 12 potential points). So whether it's the Lightning or Bruins, the team that doesn't win the division will likely finish second.

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Mishkin's Musings: On the Lightning's team defense and the playoff race

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin provides four musings on the Lightning, the Altantic division race and the Eastern Conference playoff race. 

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Mishkin's Musings: Vinny memories

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recalls his memories of Vinny Lecavalier a day after his jersey retirement

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Watching Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement ceremony last night brought back plenty of memories. Obviously, a number of Vinny's greatest individual moments came during the Lightning's 2004 playoff run. There was his "between the legs" tying goal in Montreal, his fight with Jarome Iginla during Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final and his incredible assist on Ruslan Fedotenko's game-winning goal in Game Seven of the Final.

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Mishkin's Musings: What a difference a year makes

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin takes a look at what has changed this year for the Bolts

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Last night in Calgary, the Lightning opened the month of February with a win, their 35th of the season. They have played 51 games. Their 73 points currently are tops in the NHL, pending Vegas' game on Friday in Minnesota. One year ago tonight, the Lightning were playing at home against the Ottawa Senators in what was their 52nd game of the season. They lost, 5-2, and their record fell to 22-24-6. Based on the other results in the league that night, the Bolts, with 50 points, dropped into last place in the Eastern Conference.

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Mishkin's Musings:Four Thoughts on the Lightning and the Playoff Race

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin offers his four musings from the Bolts' current four game-road trip before the All-Star Break.

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Mishkin's Musings: Four things to consider as the Lightning hit the road

Four thoughts from radio broadcaster Dave Mishkin as the Lightning get set to head west

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Four musings on the Lightning as they prepare to begin a four-game road trip Tuesday in St. Louis.

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Mishkin's Musings: Two months in 2004

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin recalls his memories from the 2004 Stanley Cup run after Saturday's reunion

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

It was quite the trip down memory lane on Saturday, as the Lightning welcomed back members of the 2003-04 Stanley Cup Championship team. During the pregame ceremony, fans were treated to some of the top highlights of that club's incredible playoff run. Just as significant to that team's success, though, was the amazing stretch in the second half of the regular season that set the stage for the playoff journey that would follow.

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Mishkin: Seven musings after seven Lightning games

Lightning broadcaster Dave Mishkin gives his thoughts on the Bolts start to the season

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Seven games into the Lightning season, here are seven thoughts.

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Mishkin's Musings: A look back at the preseason - and more

Dave Mishkin addresses the Lightning's preseason as well as what to look for when the regular season begins

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

As the Lightning prepare to open the season on Friday, here are some random thoughts on the team's recently-completed preseason (plus a couple of other items).

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Mishkin's Musings: A primer on the new rules for the 2017-18 season

Dave Mishkin also looks at which rules will be more strictly enforced this season

by Dave Mishkin / TampaBayLightning.com

Welcome to another season of Mishkin's Musings, a periodic column in which I, well, "muse" on various hockey topics. Some are more Lightning-centric. Others less so. Also, after each Lightning game, I again will be producing "Extra Shift", a breakdown of how I saw the game from the radio booth. Extra Shift will begin when the regular season does.

Today's column will detail the new rules implemented this year in the NHL. Earlier this month, I attended the annual NHL Broadcasters Meetings. One of the most informative segments in the Meetings is when we learn about rule changes. As compared to other seasons, there aren't as many new rules this year. But that doesn't mean that they aren't significant.

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