Record-breaking vies against playoff contention in the Lightning’s remaining schedule

Author’s NOte: I go the wins-in-an-NHL-season record wrong in this piece. The record is 62 wins by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wins. Research quick results were not clear on that. The Lightning could tie that mark. To break it would be next to impossible.

16 games remain in the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning regular season and hoo-boy, have those first 66 delivered. 50 wins in 66 games tie the NHL record for the feat.

While a contingent of fans might lock this performance into what the club will do in the playoffs, I warn you not to. That’s the Second Season. Everything starts over for every club involved in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and there have been incidents in the history of the NHL and professional sports in general where a paramount club is taken down with shocking ease by a lower ranking challenger.

Getting ahead of ourselves is not the point of this write-up, the point is actually the Bolts potentially threatening, reaching, and breaking said league record.

60 wins isn’t impossible, but it’s tough… or should be.

To take 50 wins from 66 games played gives the Bolts a mite over a .750 winning percentage. If you apply that simply to the number of games ahead, that’s 12 potential wins. A 62 win season shatters the NHL record and is… just math done by me.  You have to play the games and that’s what causes a win or a loss. Not ratio logic and blah-blah-blah by analysts, columnists or bloggers.

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The storm continues with Tampa Bay Lightning hockey

Ten days ago I wrote my shocked and impressed piece about where the Tampa Bay Lightning stand in mid-February: 92 points in 59 games played.

Ten days later, five more games in the books and the Bolts took every flippin’ one of them. 102 points in 64 games played. There’s more worth noting in that in franchise achievement:

  • 49 wins are one shy of the team record of 50, achieved in 2014-15
  • 252 goals-for on the season is four more than the Stanley Cup Champion 2003-04 Lightning team and 10 shy of the 2014-15 team.
  • The point-percentage of the club is now a startling .797
  • The simplified win-percentage is .766
  • The club has gone 12-0-2 in February with one game left to be played
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Eugene Melnyk and the suffering of hockey fandom in Ottawa

With the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline now passed, fans refkect on moves made by their respective franchises. and what was, what is, and what could be in the NHL’s pivitol second season (the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs).

Yet in Ottawa, Ontario, the reflection is of the demise of their love for the game of hockey and the perpetual rebuilding of the Ottawa Senators.

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Retelling the tale of True Love and remaking “The Princess Bride”

I won’t lead with a ramble here. If you saw that title and got curious, that’s nice. If you read the title and got confused, upset or pissed off that someone could even contemplate something like this, you’re where I am with the film industry in general. Rebootts, retellings, remakes? It’s like the studios can’t come up with something original and just go with properties that already made them money. To do that with the 1987 Rob Reiner classic? Oh God, ugh!

My idea is not like that, but it is like that. It’s like a sequel, but it’s the original film too.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a baby boomer or one of the later generations (Generation X, Y, Z, a millennial, whatever), The Princess Bride has its own place in cinematic history. It’s something fun to watch and savor. So why the hell can I have a thought that the film should be redone?

The answer is Fred Savage.

See, there’s a second story in The Princess Bride that happens to be the way we ever get told the story of Princess Buttercup, Wesley, Inigo Montoya, Count Rugen (the infamous Six Fingered Man), Prince Humperdink and all the various other characters in the story about True Love. The second story that enables the film is about a sick grandson played by Fred Savage. He has the story of The Princess Bride told to him by his grandfather played by Peter Falk.

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A tweet of note regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2019 NHL trade deadline

Via Joe Smith of The Athletic, a quick remark about things at this coming deadline (and deadlines in general):

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Lightning strikes blaze the NHL standings and Tampa Bay sports

Ninety-two.

Ninety-two points in February.

Ninety-two points in February?! My God!

Where the Tampa Bay Lightning sits right now is on the cusp of securing a 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff berth, and it’s only February 17th. They’re 15 points ahead of the #2 club(s) in the National Hockey League right now. For sports fans who don’t know the NHL point system (and any fan actually does know) 15 points amounts to 7 wins and 1 overtime/shootout loss.

In 59 games played this season, the Bolts have won 44 of them. That’s thousands of a point under a .750 win percentage. The Lightning is better than that in the NHL’s point percentage department — they’re .780, that’s 78% of the possible 118 points from those 59 games played. That’s better than three-quarters of the potential points.

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Via Reddit: To put the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success in perspective at this point (Feb 16, 2015)

It is damn good and ahead of the pack. Click the title to read the post.

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Spotify playlists and the follower flaw

There’s a downside to me trying to push indie music on Spotify. It’s not the fact I spend time trying to find tunes through radio streams and online sites curate the playlists accordingly, it’s not when people approach me with music – sometimes fitting, sometimes not – to consider for the lists. It’s the common habit with Spotify that people might follow a playlist, it doesn’t mean the people actually listen.

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My thoughts on the Bolts and the new alternate threds

We’re in the middle of the second-to-last month of the NHL season and lo and behold, the long-awaited Tampa Bay Lightning third jersey was unveiled last week before the Bolts were to square off with the St. Louis Blues.

I don’t know about other Lightning, but I was really really piqued and curious what was to come with the new jersey, it excited me. I mean, come on! This is a big opportunity to have something that mixes unique vision with nostalgia and fits the pretentious nature of the Lightning’s current clean look! It could be an additional morale lift to a season that is already a stratospheric thunderstorm! I had been wondering if this would even happen; a third jersey for Tampa Bay in 2018-19, but here it was, finally, and…and…and…!!

Meh.

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Summarizing my life with Neurofibromatosis Type 2

I had someone approach me to write my story to aid in lobbying Congress for research funding Neurofibromatosis (and Neurofibromatosis Type Two) research. The idea piqued my interest because, hey, I’m a writer! I’ve been doing it for so long and have a unique voice in saying things. I knew I couldn’t write a huge piece or an autobiography, but I thought it’d still be an opportunity…

Yeah, well, I had to work in a plea for funding in it, and I couldn’t have more than a page for my story. I could work in issues I’ve dealt with and family plights, but just a page!

I can’t write a story about what I deal with while having the genetic disease NF2 in only a page. Oh, I could summarize things in a bulleted list… but that doesn’t make a true case to politicians to actually give a care.

There’s also that aspect – politicians of the United States of America at the moment – that works against truly trying to coerce federal support toward researching a rare medical disease. After all, there’s a faction that thinks a physical wall is a necessity for national security, and that $5.7 billion is a worthy investment. That doesn’t touch on others who push for federal “aid” for multi-billion dollar conglomerate corporations who need no such help in order to profit.

Yeah, my story, as a short summary and plea for cash, would mean shit to that element of political America. Preventing a disease that affects about one in every 25,000 human beings on the planet is not something that these people are going to be sold on when it comes to listing ailments and hindrances in a few words.

Yet here I’ve written 300 and haven’t said a thing about my story. If a Congressional representative or the United States Senator ever reads these words is not something I expect. Nor do I expect to sell them or readers from the general populous on contributing to the NF Network and helping fund research and support for Neurofibromatosis/Neurofibromatosis Type 2 patients, but whatever. Here’s my story.

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Soft rock, easy listening, adult contemporary and the Tampa Bay music scene

With the growing and growing and growing and growing nature of the Underexposed Soft Rock and Easy Listening playlist on Spotify and me crossing work on the Music Tampa Bay playlists that embody the underexposed moniker and yet are also aging with some artists missing in general from social media, I’ve been compelled to start a new soft rock/adult contemporary playlist.

This isn’t open to all and any musicians; this is open to artists in the Tampa Bay metropolitan region. The Lighter Side of Tampa Bay currently has only nine musicians on it, but a number of songs from each:

There are more groups and artists in the region with worthy content than this. This is, in part, why I’m posting on my blog: Hey! Tampa Bay musicians with calmer tunes! Share’em with me and potential listeners online please!

You might want to listen to the list as-is to get an idea of the sound I’m going for. I don’t know if hip-hop would mix in, or a bass/beat heavy dance/pop number with wailing vocals. Explicit content is also frowned upon. Seriously, I’m not calling it “The Lighter Side of Tampa Bay” because of the sun.

Feel free to suggest artists or songs to me through comments or directly to me through the site contact form. I’ve also got a music-specific Twitter account or my Facebook page where I can be reached at.

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Music Tampa Bay’s 2015 Top 100 list is now a Spotify playlist

Music Tampa Bay, the St. Pete-based radio station and online streaming station that highlights music from Tampa Bay and West Central Florida musicians, is known for having an annual Top 100 list. The list is a compilation of 100 songs from the previous year that had received the highest vote tallies on weekly Top 40 lists/polls featured on the station’s web site. The Top 100 ran from 2008 up until this year.

I’ve done a service for featured artists on that list of putting together a link-to-the-works listing three times – 2008, 2016, and 2017. The whole rationale is because graphic lists of songs don’t give people (not just station listeners) the chance to actually hear the songs, or find out about the artists.  Not all of the songs are available online as the artists didn’t necessarily use distribution companies that went that route.

In more recent months, I’ve put the 2008, ’16 and ’17 lists – what songs I could find – into Spotify playlists. The listings all have just over half the 100 listed songs.

That said, I’d like to announce the addition of the 2015 Music Tampa Bay Top 100 list (well, 53 of the Top 100) as available on Spotify.

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When life immitates art and the 45th President of the United States

I’ve already blogged an entertainment comparison of the Presidency of Donald J. Trump to the 1993 movie DaveDave Kovic, the character that Trump is compared to, is a caricature figure put in a very serious position.

With the ongoing US government shutdown and ongoing issues with Trump’s demeanor (on more than just his demands for a Mexican border wall), there’s another caricature character that Trump seems to be more than just a little similar to. This is not a compliment or a for-entertainment comparison.

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A lackluster competitiveness and the drive to improve (or lack thereof)

I was going to be critical of Edmonton, Alberta, and Canadian hockey fans who have gone to social media to protest Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli after the Oilers were flambéed by the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

I was. Past tense.

If you’re an Oilers fan and see this and get pissed off at the would-be criticism, relax. Really. You’re reacting to a shit situation that’s been ongoing under different guidance for too-long now. You’re reacting as you should.  Do Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans do that? No so much.

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Attendance in Tampa Bay sports sides with the might of the Lightning

Tonight is the 20th home game of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2018-19 season, the second-to-last home game event of the year 2018 as well. I’ve already heralded the accomplishments of the Bolts first-half in on-ice achievement. Now let me shed light on an aspect of the Bolts off-ice. Something Tampa Bay sports media gives the brush-off in overall coverage in town.

Amalie Arena’s stated max capacity is 19,204, and the Lightning has filled the building at or near capacity for their 19 games at home so far this season. That’s a home-capacity total attendance of 362,748 (you can view full attendance numbers for the NHL here, via ESPN). That’s a pretty damned solid turnout; the Bolts are 5th in the NHL in attendance.

Now, how ‘bout dem Bucs? The much heralded, over-promoted in Tampa Bay news, over-hyped Tampa Bay Buccaneers team have been meh in their season performance, a 5-10 record. Raymond James Stadium’s max capacity is 65,890 and the Bucs haven’t quite made it to capacity too often. After 7 home games, the Bucs average attendance is 54,567, 82% OF CAPACITY AND fourth weakest in the NFL this season (view the full attendance numbers here). It’s the season total attendance number that’s of most note: 381,971.

The Lightning should meet that attendance total tonight as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. They’ll exceed the total with the final 2018 home game against the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday. The Bucs will, of course, top that number with their final home game against the Atlanta Falcons… But the Lightning will top that total-attendance number early in 2019. C’mon, their averaging 19,000 a game, the finale at Ray Jay will bring 54,000 (give or take). The Bolts will make up that differential in three games at the Amalie.

There are many aspects that can be brought up to factor in with attendance (ticket prices, economy issues), but the one aspect that tops it all: this is common. 41 home dates will do that for an NHL team.  41 home dates will do that. The Lightning are still a dominant presence in the NHL while the Bucs are a dominant topic in Tampa Bay sports media coverage while mediocre in performance.

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