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Sound bites

Observations from the Lightning broadcast.

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 13, 2003

Maybe the expectations for the game and the Lightning's day in the ABC spotlight was too great. Completely underwhelming all the way around. Play-by-play and former Cable Ace winner Mike Emrick and analyst Brian Engblom were okay but stuck to the obvious. Jaromir Jagr is great? The Caps have more talent? The goalies are good? Playoff experience will be a key? Yeah, and ...?

If a fifth game means another segment on ThunderBug sitting on top of the St. Pete Times Forum until the game was sold out, then gooooooo Capitals.

ABC did a poor job with replays. Viewers never saw some of the early Lightning penalties that proved to be its undoing, and one time, ABC returned from a commercial only to report that there had been a skirmish during the break and a power play was taking place. The Caps scored seconds later. Near the end of the game, Engblom praised Olaf Kolzig for some timely saves, but no montage of his great stops, or even one of them? But yes, we got to see replays of the Capital goals ad nauseam.

Engblom had some bright moments, pointing out how Martin St. Louis took two Capitals out of the play on Vinny Prospal's goal and expressing amazement at just how bad the Lightning were in the neutral zone.

Could there have been more time between the trivia question and the answer? Did anyone remember there had even been a question?

The shots of Lightning coach John Tortorella sighing were priceless. He looked bewildered in every one of them.

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