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By Writer on 09:32:17 04/17/19
[In reply to "Tampa Bay Times" by carperemote, posted at 07:55:03 04/17/19]

: With its opening-round playoff collapse, the Lightning skidded its way into the most notorious annals of sports history. Few teams or individuals have reached the grand stage of their respective sport so impressively, only to stumble off it so embarrassingly. Nationally, this first-round exit — after a 62-win regular season — enters the argument of greatest choke jobs ever.

: Locally, there is no debate. The Lightning top the list. Tampa Bay’s descent from being the best team in the NHL to a four-game sweep makes its 2018-19 season the most epic sports meltdown our area has experienced.

: It’s all over now, and yet it’s bound to live on.

: It will be the disappointment that all others are measured against. It will be the cautionary sports tale every parent tells a wide-eyed child. It will forever be the epitome of heartbreak in Tampa Bay.

: The Lightning skated into history Tuesday night when it was swept out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets after a season that once seemed bound for glory.

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