* Whatever happens next for the Lightning, it has already gone beyond its fellow conference finalists from last year. The Chicago Black Hawks, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers were eliminated early on. Go, Bolts.
* Maybe Steven Stamkos has played his last game in a Bolts’ uniform–but Nikita Kucherov, 22, hasn’t. He’s a goal-scoring, franchise player in the making who will only get better.
* Not that USF has to be reminded, but nothing would help its case for inclusion in Big 12 expansion scenarios more than a consistently winning, big-crowd drawing football program. Softball, tennis, and women’s basketball are points of Bulls’ pride and achievement, but it’s football success and TV market size that matter most.