The Tampa Bay Lightning's season came to a swift end in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. After a 101-point season, the early exit is just one dark spot on a largely successful 2013-14 season.
After finishing four points ahead of last-place Florida in 2012-13, the Lightning bounced back to secure the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division this year. The only other team to make such an impressive jump was the Colorado Avalanche, which won the Central Division after finishing 29th last year.
Lightning fans should hope that this is only the beginning of a long string of playoff berths. The Bolts had 13 players make NHL playoff debuts this season, including nine rookie skaters. With a young coaching staff and a young team, the Bolts could be a perennial playoff power.
The opening-round loss is tough to accept, but the Tampa Bay community has a lot to be proud of over the course of the 2013-14 campaign. Here is the final report card for the Bolts this season.