Category Archives: hockey

The Lightning’s habit of the 3rd period lapse and thoughts on Tampa Bay vs. New Jersey leading in to Game 5

I was concerned going into the late minutes of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils. It was a concern grown out of the habit by way of the Bolts late regular season and continued into the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs so far.

With a skimpy one-goal lead, I feared the dreaded 3rd period lapse.

The Lightning held on and won 3-1, it doesn’t change my concern going forward with the habit. It’s putrid how the Bolts have seemingly lain down and let things go to the favor of the opposition regularly during the second half of the NHL sseason in 2017-18. I mean, shit man, Tampa Bay gave the eventual worst team in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres, a chance to tie the matchup at the Amalie on February 27th and then win in overtime. A 1-0 game, turned into a 2-1 loss by way of complacency and a who-cares? late-game arrogance. To have that expressed in play with regularity does not bode well.

Oh, the April meeting was another careless effort but Tampa Bay won the high-scoring affair so everything I just complained about is meaningless, right? Right?? Someone’s going to think it, but it’s not like the Sabres game I cited was the only time overtime was forced by an opponent. It was happening again and again in February and March; leads conceded in the 3rd that led to overtime and the shootout. Those lapses were too common for a club that was topping the NHL for most of the season and vying for the President’s Trophy.

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Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay Lightning

An NHL element mixes in with the story of lawyer Michael Cohen

It seems fitting that a sports element has mixed into the story of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his alleged ties to the Russian mafia in the New York area. They’re public figures with ample money that can become targets.

Rolling Stone magazine has an extensive piece on Cohen, giving more insight on the man and more depth to nefarious characters he has ties to. The one interesting element that works its way into the piece is a former NHL player’s name and a check for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Filed under Dotard in Covfefe, hockey

Watch the Lightning and be the thunder at Easter Conference Quarterfinal watch parties

With the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs underway, I was wondering if there are any watch parties taking place with the Tampa Bay Lightning playing at home at Amalie Arena? Not everyone can attend games, after all, and trying to rile up fans to cheer together would be a plus.

I don’t know if Game 2 against he New Jersey Devils will have any watch-party encounters by venues in and around the greater Tampa Bay metro area… I do know that the Bolts will be hosting their own watch party events on Monday, Aprile 16 and Wednesday, April 18th for games 3 and 4 when the Lightning play the Devils at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The following scheduling and locations were released by the team on Friday afternoon in a press release:

GAME 3 – Monday, April 16
Playoff Beach Bash
Sugar Sand Festival at Pier 60 Clearwater Beach, FL
Party starts at 5:30 PM • Puck Drop at 7:30 PM
Live music, giveaways, Lightning Girls, ThunderBug & more
Parking: No reserved parking for media

 

Note: This one will be a little odd if not totally appropriate with thanks to temperatures. As it stands right now, the forecast is for a cold front to pass through Tampa Bay on Sunday with high tempeatures for Monday set to be only 65 degrees. Add normal, windy conditions on the waterfront on Clearwater Beach and it might get a bit chilly. Totally appropriate for a hockey game though…

GAME 4 – Wednesday, April 18
Playoff Block Party
Armature Works Lawn • 910 N. Ola Ave, Tampa, FL
Party starts at 5:30 PM • Puck Drop at 7:30 PM
Live music, giveaways, Lightning Girls, ThunderBug & more

While there are these two official watch party events, that doesn’t mean private venues won’t be hosting watch parties of their own for game 3 and 4 (or game 2 gor that matter).

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Filed under Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Regarding the Humboldt Broncos and the Canadian town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan

14 dead, 14 injured in a horrific collision in Saskatchewan. And a small town — a population around 6,00 – is put in shock. It may be much more personal for Humboldt, who know these teens and young adults quite personally, but the hockey community is just as shocked and heartbroken.

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by | April 7, 2018 · 8:36 AM

A note on Tampa Bay sports and the playoffs

Though it literally does not play out like this:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers make the playoffs on average less than once every four seasons of play. I’ve already pointed out the Bucs annual win percentage is abysmal and this just illustrates the club has only made the playoffs 10 times in 41 years of existence.

In contrast, the Tampa Bay Lightning makes the NHL playoffs once every two-and-a-half seasons or so… Well, that is if they make the playoffs this season and to say that’s highly likely is an understatement. As of this writing the Bolts have 94 points on the season and lead the league. If things stand pat and the Lightning make the playoffs, it’ll be the 10th time it’s been done in 25 years of existence and 24 seasons of play (remember the 2004-05 Nil season was entirely wiped out due to lockout).

I was simply going to share this among friends, hammering home the once-every-four-years vs. once-every-two-and-a-half stat but I felt like I’m being cruel to leave out the Tampa Bay Rays. This will be Tampa Bay’s Major League Baseball team’s 20th season of play (only 5 seasons younger than the Lightning) and it’s notable that the Rays post-season faring is more comparable to the Buccaneers than the Lightning: In 19 completed season of play, the Rays have only made the playoffs four times (2008, the team’s 10th anniversary season, was the first time the club ever went to the playoffs).

As awful as that looks, there’s a defense for the Rays compared to the Buccaneers or lightning for that matter: MLB’s playoff system is a much tighter beast than the NFL and NHL. The league only started using wild cards (single slots in each league) in 1994. It was expanded to two in 2012.

At any rate, unless the Lightning suffers a grand disaster of play to close the 2017-18 season (and there are only 16 games remaining for them), they’ll tie the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in all-time playoff berths. The Rays won’t be coming close anytime soon, if ever, with thanks in part going toward the differences in schedule and playoff formatting between the three pro sports leagues.

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Filed under baseball, football, hockey, Tampa Bay Lightning

The idea of politics and the NHL cross paths

Russia. Collusion. Obstruction of justice. “Act of War”. You can’t dismiss this stuff and it’s still coming to fruition through Special Counsel Robert Mueller as well as House Intelligence committee hearings and such. Perhaps you look past this or perhaps you turn away from politics in general; there are other things in this world worth attention that aren’t the complication of politics and the riff-raff of the them-vs.-us partisan fray.

Sports are a relief. In one case, though, a sport is in unstated “what-if?” territory. Continue reading

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Filed under Dotard in Covfefe, hockey

NHL player frustration mounts from officiating inconsistency

It’s silly season in the NHL, where fights are going to be more common along with outlandishness on ice and off. Yet there’s been a consistent issue on-ice of outlandishness that has baffled players: Officiating and rule enforcement. Continue reading

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A Tampa Bay Lightning ramble by the original Lightning blogger

I made a name and reputation for myself with 12-and-a-half years of blogging about the Tampa Bay Lightning. I was a pioneer in hockey blogging in general (starting what will be fourteen years ago in a matter of days). Want proof? I’d send you to the archives of Raw Charge but SB Nation complicates the process (read: I’d send you to my profile alone but they don’t list all the articles, Fan Posts and Fan Shots that I’ve posted).

Have I stopped following hockey or the Lightning? Hell no! Continue reading

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Filed under Boltsmag, hockey, Raw Charge, Tampa Bay Lightning

Of Tampa Bay sports and media focus

I’ve been put off since last week while scanning headlines and online coverage of news in the Tampa Bay area and seeing a greater-than-usual focus put on the Gasparilla Pirate Festival than usual, while the marquee mid-season event of the NHL All-Star Weekend was an afterthought (or a complication to Gasparilla festivities). It felt almost like the NHL and Tampa Bay Lightning are afterthoughts.

In fact, disappointment and issues with the Bucs holding the headlines in the fall of 2017 and through the early weeks of 2018 have taken away notice to casual readers of local headlines online than the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t just been playing games, but have been (and this will floor you) winning. Continue reading

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Filed under football, hockey, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

The idea of hockey players from Tampa Bay

Some of the history of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey was touched on with my endorsement and love shown in the Vincent Lecavalier piece last week. The seed that Phil Esposito planted has taken firm root in Tampa Bay as the true forefather of hockey in non-traditional markets. Yeah, the Atlanta Flames preceded the Bolts, but the franchise did not take root and relocated to Calgary, Alberta.

Tampa Bay really was at the forefront of a southern surge through expansion and relocation – the Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, and Atlanta Thrashers (who ended up relocating to Winnipeg) and the neophyte Vegas Golden Knight.

This didn’t all come by way of Tampa Bay’s success – pro sports is a business; true expansion is to go to an untapped market – but the Lightning were at the start of it all. Starting play in a new markets, new exposure to the game to the youth of the region.

Now here’s question that coincides this: What is Tampa Bay’s best produced hockey player? Continue reading

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Filed under hockey, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning