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Ryan Gorman: Tampa Bay Lightning became the Hillary Clinton of hockey

Life is unpredictable and sometimes intangibles can make all the difference in the world. 

Heading into the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning were considered an all-time great team and the clear-cut favorite to win it all.

Not one ESPN hockey expert picked the Lightning to lose in the first round, let alone get swept.

The majority chose the Bolts to take out the Columbus Blue Jackets in just five games before they’d go on to win the Stanley Cup. They were about as sure of a thing as you’ll find in sports, facing a huge underdog that was viewed as a mere footnote on a journey toward reaching their destiny.

Sound familiar?

Back in 2016, we saw the same narrative play out in the general election.

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Hillary Clinton‘s time had come. She was labeled as perhaps the most qualified candidate to ever run for president, facing an opponent who didn’t measure up in just about any category experts deemed to be important.

Like the Blue Jackets, hardly anyone picked Donald Trump to win.

It was essentially a foregone conclusion, with the only question being how much Clinton would end up winning by.

But there’s a reason you play the game and a reason you still hold the election.

Life is unpredictable and sometimes intangibles can make all the difference in the world.

What we saw with the Lightning this season was comparable to Clinton winning the popular vote.

It’s a nice accomplishment, but it’s not the goal. The only thing that matters in sports or when running for office is actually winning it all.

Like millions of Americans view Clinton to this day, the city of Tampa will look back on the 2019 Lightning team not as historic, but as a monumental disappointment.

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Ryan Gorman is the host of PM Tampa Bay on NewsRadio WFLA.

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