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Sound bites

Observations from the Lightning broadcast:

By SHARON GINN
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 11, 2003


Though much better than the Lightning's play, the broadcast was underwhelming given the significance of the event. Analyst Bobby "Chief" Taylor said early that the sellout crowd was buzzing with excitement, but Sunshine didn't show much fan buzz.

Reporter Mike Nabors did a solid job, having a little fun during the team's first playoff appearance in seven years. Cute: Making his first rinkside report while fans whacked him with Thundersticks. Not: Trying to interview ThunderBug, the Lightning mascot, who only mimed in response to Nabors' questions, making for some awkward dead air.

Taylor and Peckham did an interesting comparison in the second period on the coaching styles of the Lightning's John Tortorella and Washington's Bruce Cassidy, pointing out Tortorella's careful planning and Cassidy's preference for gut reactions. "This is a reaction game," Taylor said. "Sometimes if you think too much your reaction is too slow."

The last word belonged to Phil Esposito, who joined Peckham and Taylor after the game. Espo's candor was a welcome change. "This was not a good hockey game for the Lightning," Esposito said. "I don't think they played well at all. ... I bet you in the one power play they had (in the third period), they had more chances to score than in the entire game." Taylor pointed out that the Lightning needed to get their speed going, and Espo agreed. "Because that also draws penalties. Guys (have) got to hook you or something to slow you down."

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