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Quick Strikes: 2017-2018 is dead, long live 2018-2019

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Summer starts today in Tampa Bay

Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Seven Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Game 7

The Lightning lost game seven to the Capitals. They played well for the first two periods but weren’t able to beat Brayden Holtby. Washington scored twice on the counter attack in the second period and closed the game in the third. [Raw Charge]

This loss will sting everyone associated with the organization and losing in this fashion at home is embarrassing. But before we allow frustration to overcome us, let’s just take a deep breath. Last season, this team didn’t even make the playoffs, and yet, it bounced back for one of its most dominant seasons in franchise history and made the conference final. This team had its sights on playing for the Stanley Cup and fell one game short. I’ll sound like a broken record, but again, the better team doesn’t always win (look at the Western Conference).

If you’re looking for a recap from the other side, check out this one from Russian Machine Never Breaks. [RMNB]

Or this one from Japer’s Rink. [Japer’s Rink]

Alex Ovechkin is ready for his first Stanley Cup Final. After years of losing in a series of increasingly frustrating ways, he finally gets the chance at a championship. [Washington Capitals]

Ovi is unconcerned with tradition. He didn’t hesitate to touch the trophy. [Washington Capitals]

The Stanley Cup Final between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights (yes, this is a real sentence) will start on Monday, May 28th at 8PM. Check out the linked article for the full schedule. [SBNation]

Other Stuff

With the season completed, we now know the Lightning will be 28th in the draft order. They won’t have their first round pick because they traded it to the Rangers in the Ryan McDonagh deal so their first pick will be 59th overall. This year’s draft will be Friday, June 22nd and Saturday, June 23rd in Dallas. We’ll be doing our best in the next few weeks to get you prepped for all the possiblities for the Lightning. [Cap Friendly]

The free agency period opens July 1st. While the Lightning don’t have many big free agents this year, we’ll be making sure you’re aware of everything the team needs to accomplish the summer. The biggest decision is what to do with J.T. Miller who is a restricted free agent and due a sizable raise.

Thanks for reading along all season. Our off-season coverage will ramp up over the next few days. That means season wrap-ups, player grades, draft, free agency, prospect profiles, and plenty of other stuff to get us through the next four months so we can start all over again in October.