No worries -- yet
First of all, I don't want to hear anything about conspiracy theories. I don't want to hear that the NHL is biased against the Lightning, that there is a plot to keep Tamp Bay out of the playoffs or that the league office is purposefully ruling against the team. None of that is true. If you want to have a discussion about bad officiating and the holes in a system that has controversial plays reviewed in Toronto, that's fine. But to say there is some kind of prejudice is wrong.
Any team, and any fan for that matter, can come up with a list of plays and circumstances in which referees and Toronto ruled against them when it seemed as if the ruling should have gone the other way. Look at the Islanders last week complaining the Lightning got all the calls in a game in which ZERO penalties were called on Tampa Bay.
Yes, the season so far has been frustrating because you know this team should be showing better than it has. But consider that a quarter into the season, despite not playing its best, the team is just six points out of first in the Southeast and has two games in hand. No need to go off the deep end just yet.
And, by the way, sorry this blog was dormant for a while. between traveling and still being under the weather, couldn't get it going. Also, thanks for all the responses. There are a lot of good fans and smart people who write in. Keep it up.