Here's the spin the Lightning had after Tuesday night's stunning 7-3 defeat in Game 4 of the first round: They were victims of their own success.
"When you have the amount of points we had, it's a blessing and a curse, in a way. You don't play any meaningful hockey for a long time. Then all of a sudden, you have to ramp it up. It's not an excuse. It's reality," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said after Game 4. "That's how it goes: You have a historic regular season, and we had a historic playoff."
Indeed, the Lightning made history in the 2019 playoffs -- just not the kind any coach would want. For the first time in league history, a team with the most points in the regular season failed to win a game in an opening-round, seven-game series.