Diana C. Nearhos, Lightning Reporter

Diana C. Nearhos

Lightning Reporter

I’ve only ever been employed as a professional people-watcher: a lifeguard and a journalist. I am an incessant questioner who just wants to find and share a story. I enjoy getting to know the people involved with a game and sharing them with the reader. My life in sports started at Boston College’s Alumni Stadium at age 2, or it started at birth when my dad put a stuffed basketball in my crib for easy identification. Covering the Lightning is the obvious combination of those two loves, sports and telling stories.

Ryan Callahan’s Lightning tenure likely ended this season

Lightning fans may not get another chance to see Ryan Callahan celebrate goals in a Tampa Bay uniform like this March 21 game-winner against Carolina. [AP Photo/Gerry Broome]
The veteran forward’s leadership could interest other teams this offseason.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made dazzling saves but also allowed goals

Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) as he is introduced with his team before the start of Lightning opening night against the Florida Panthers. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
The Lightning goaltender put up career numbers but didn’t show up on that level when Tampa Bay needed him in the playoffs.

Erik Cernák emerged seemingly from nowhere on the Lightning’s blue line

Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak, left, tangles with Columbus Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene behind the net during their opening-round playoff series. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
The rookie defenseman took what was supposed to be a brief opportunity and turned it into an impressive rookie season.

Ryan McDonagh was everything the Lightning could want ... until he wasn’t

The performance of defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) helped fuel the Tampa Bay Lightning's record-tying regular season. His struggles underscored Tampa Bay's problems in a first-round sweep at the hands of Columbus. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
The Tampa Bay defenseman anchored the defense in the regular season but looking nothing like himself in the playoffs.

Anthony Cirelli’s consistent play belies his young age

Anthony Cirelli (71), left, and Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin (9) battle for the puck during a playoff game in April in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
The Lightning rookie came into his own as the team’s top defensive forward this year.