Happy New Year to readers and Lightning fans everywhere (along with the rest of the Tampa Bay and Hockey blogosphere)!
So it's 2007. It's January 2007. As the St. Petersburg Times Eduardo A. Encina points out, if history repeats itself -- this is where the Lightning will (and must) perform:
I'll let the team's past 3 seasons records in January do the talking:
2002-03 17-13-5-3 / 4-7-3-1 conference semifinal
2003-04 15-13-6-1 / 11-3-0-2 Stanley Cup champion
2005-06 19-17-3 / 8-4-1 conference quarterfinal
(order reversed and emphasis added by me)
Words like "Desperate" and "urgency" were tossed around in the above posted article -- and there is an urgency indeed. In January of the past 3 seasons, the Lightning have played with that urgency. Here's a little reminder of what else they played with: The notion that playing it safe was not going to cut it if they wanted to win.
That's a wider notion than just on-ice play. Safe is death -- makign sure your locker room situation remains passive and unchanged can lead to a negative, atrophic effect on the team's resolve to win.
Safe is Death, but for the sake of saying so -- same can be death, too.
Also, use the Safe Is Death graphic.