Category Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning

Attendance in Tampa Bay sports sides with the might of the Lightning

Tonight is the 20th home game of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2018-19 season, the second-to-last home game event of the year 2018 as well. I’ve already heralded the accomplishments of the Bolts first-half in on-ice achievement. Now let me shed light on an aspect of the Bolts off-ice. Something Tampa Bay sports media gives the brush-off in overall coverage in town.

Amalie Arena’s stated max capacity is 19,204, and the Lightning has filled the building at or near capacity for their 19 games at home so far this season. That’s a home-capacity total attendance of 362,748 (you can view full attendance numbers for the NHL here, via ESPN). That’s a pretty damned solid turnout; the Bolts are 5th in the NHL in attendance.

Now, how ‘bout dem Bucs? The much heralded, over-promoted in Tampa Bay news, over-hyped Tampa Bay Buccaneers team have been meh in their season performance, a 5-10 record. Raymond James Stadium’s max capacity is 65,890 and the Bucs haven’t quite made it to capacity too often. After 7 home games, the Bucs average attendance is 54,567, 82% OF CAPACITY AND fourth weakest in the NFL this season (view the full attendance numbers here). It’s the season total attendance number that’s of most note: 381,971.

The Lightning should meet that attendance total tonight as they host the Philadelphia Flyers. They’ll exceed the total with the final 2018 home game against the Montréal Canadiens on Saturday. The Bucs will, of course, top that number with their final home game against the Atlanta Falcons… But the Lightning will top that total-attendance number early in 2019. C’mon, their averaging 19,000 a game, the finale at Ray Jay will bring 54,000 (give or take). The Bolts will make up that differential in three games at the Amalie.

There are many aspects that can be brought up to factor in with attendance (ticket prices, economy issues), but the one aspect that tops it all: this is common. 41 home dates will do that for an NHL team.  41 home dates will do that. The Lightning are still a dominant presence in the NHL while the Bucs are a dominant topic in Tampa Bay sports media coverage while mediocre in performance.

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The Lightning storm of the 2018-19 NHL first-half

There are many in-depth details to go through with the Tampa Bay Lightning season so far in the 2018-2019 NHL season; they haven’t even reached the midway point of the regular season but the club in setting records and living at the top… Y’know, they’re a dominant storm.

How dominant? It’s one number that has led to this posting, one number that people would sooner forget or brush off. It’s a number that deep sports fans should be taken aback by, though: A .756 win percentage.

After their 6-3 victory in Edmonton on Saturday, Tampa Bay’s season record is 28-7-2. 28 wins in 37 games played. Now do the math with that win percentage and you see the Lightning are on a pace for 62 wins in 82 games played. That’s one hell of a first half.

Now, the cold-water factor: You can’t and shouldn’t expect things to keep riding this high. Injuries were already overcome early this season but hey could easily thwart things in the months to come. The NHL’s silly-season is forthcoming, where physical play nadc altercations become more regular. That could easily factor in and spoil the party at Amalie Arena.

It also obliterates the franchise record for wins in a season; it’s 12 games better than the 50-win season of 2014-15.

And, of course, this doesn’t mean shit when the playoffs arrive. The proverbial second-season is just that, a second chance to shine for all remaining and contending clubs.

The Bolts last three games of 2018 and the first half of the NHL season are split between Eastern and Western Conference clubs. The Lightning host the Flyers and Les Habitants De Montréal before heading west to California . They’ll face the Anaheim Ducks on New Year’s Eve; something to take in if you’re not in the mood to watch the ball drop or partying with friends.

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Louis Domingue has served the Lightning well in a time of backstop need

When Louis Domingue was claimed by the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, I was taken aback because I recalled seeing the goaltender draw attention to himself by way of performances for the Arizona Coyotes. At the time, I thought he was due to become the eventual replacement for ‘Yotes goaltender (and former Bolt) Mike Smith while also stepping into a slot of elitism that former Coyote (and Lightning alumnus) Nikolai Khabibulin once held.

What the hell put Domingue on waivers to begin with is a story I didn’t know. It’s a story I’m not getting into here. I’m getting into the now .…

With the injury to Andrei Vasilevskiy, Dommer has become the Bolts starting netminder. I can’t say everything has been perfect for him in net… in fact, I’ve seen a lot of fan criticism toward him. Comparisons to Marc Denis(who served in net during Lightning 2006-07 and 2007-2008; 54 games total, a tenure-average GAA of 3.62 and a .871 save percentage). That criticism was born in October, well before Vasy’sinjury, with Domingue’s return start and flop against the Coyotes.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning thrives while the Tampa Bay media look elsewhere in sports

Late this summer, before the NFL season was underway, the Tampa Bay Times did the Tampa Bay-media thing and played up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ahead. “Most talented offense ever?” discussion before a regular season game had been played seemed like… well, an attempt to raise expectations.

I’m not here to judge the Buccaneer season as it nears a conclusion, I’m here to ask about the Tampa Bay Lightning.

See, with that hype about the Bucs, there hasn’t been the same headline-priority work for the Bolts in the Tampa Bay media, at least not from what I’ve seen. All while the Bolts are doing what counters Tampa Bay college and pro sports teams most of the time: Winning and winning. And winning.

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The bitterness of politics meets the cold of ice hockey

2018 election year campaign contest… Nikita Kucherov vs. Jack Eichel. Seeing I’m a Kucherov supporter, I’m sharing his ad here.

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by | November 1, 2018 · 3:40 PM

Just where did Rusty Fedotenko go? I’m glad you asked!!

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by | October 18, 2018 · 10:08 AM

A visit from the 2018-19 NHL season

Twas the night before hockey In old Tampa Bay
With Lightning comes thunder…And sometimes, even rain!
 
The fans were all curious; what on Earth is the plan?
Could success still be found, without the jolly Yzerman?
On the verge was the end of 2018 —
A loss to the Caps brought fans agony
 
But forward they go without that much change
The roster’s success has brought little to complain
 
82 games will write a story, robust
Ending, perhaps, with names etched on The Cup…

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A word to summarize the Tampa Bay Lightning before the 2018-19 NHL season

It’s a foreign word in the history of sports in Tampa Bay, really. Oh, there are numerous athletes that the Bay area has produced who met and had relations with the word. There are plenty of high school athletic organizations who have known the word but single teams don’t represent the region. Heck, this applies to college sports too. Many residents may claim loyalty and devotion to Florida State, the University of Florida or the University of Miami while the University of South Florida is here in the region and…. Well, the word is foreign in the most prominent sports followed by area sports enthusiasts.

While the word has been largely foreign in the Tampa Bay metro area, it has taken up residency here in the past and it’s seriously hanging out along the banks of the Garrison Channel at current. It blazes so bright that some of the fans are blinded by it and they cannot take satisfaction from it.

The word, ladies and gentlemen, is contention. Continue reading

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Florida’s Fox Sports Net stations are up for grabs

I could kvetch here about conglomerates and how mega companies merging – even entertainment companies – is not ideal in many ways, but I just shared my opinion of that and should move on to the point of this post…

Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox. No, not all holdings but tons of them in film and production. The one aspect that Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Florida Panthers fans need to be aware of and keep an eye out on is that the deal forces Disney to get rid of some of those holdings…Like Fox Sports Net’s 22 affiliate stations around the country.

This is where two plus two should have clicked and you gotten the idea that the Fox Sports Net stations in the Sunshine State are up for sale. How this will effect broadcasts now or after their acquisition is a puzzle.

It’s not just the who of acquisition that is a puzzle but what will happen that changes or shifts the networks? There’s no telling if everything remains regional alone or if broadcasts from other markets will be aired on the stations to fill air time… Then again, it might all remain status-quo with the stations re-dubbed as NBC Sports or Spectrum affiliates, or another party (Sportnet as an international sports network, perhaps, though law may prevent that).

Comcast and Spectrum are the two key players cited in this article about the situations. Comcast (the communication company that owns the National Broadcast Company and it’s co-branded affiliates such as NBC Sports and MSNBC among many others) or Charter Communications and the Spectrum network. Spctrum has become a player in Tampa Bay of recent as they’ve acquired cable holdings. They do own and operate sports stations elsewhere in the country as-is and do hsave an interest in expanding their holdings.

Broadcasting shouldn’t be affected really; if the sale of the affiliates does not happen by the end of September, the failure will be on the Fox acquisition by Disney. If and when affiliation changes happen though, it’s tough to gauge if and how things will eventually shift on both networks.

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Instead of thoughts and speculation, Erik Karlsson trade rumors bring thundering silence to the Tampa Bay Lightning blogosphere

Rumors, innuendo, speculation… It’s loomed since before the 2018 NHL trade deadline and now it’s on the forefront during the NHL offseason. Days after the start of the free agency season, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson’s name started making headlines again. Karlsson is available on a revamping Senators franchise that is also a marred object by way of owner Eugene Melnyk. (Sinuate: Senators fans – We’re expansion brethren and I sympathize with you over ownership issues; the Tampa Bay Lightning have been there, believe me).

That little statement there dropped the bomb on which franchise this post is about: Les Bolts de Tampa Bay are tied rampantly in speculation at the end of the first week of July. In fact, yesterday (July 6) you could have come to the conclusion the deal was final and done and just had to be announced with details fully disclosed. That’s how much chatter was on Twitter and other means. A third party franchise (or many?) was supposed to be involved in order to manage contracts and move bodies to get things squared away all right and good.

You wouldn’t know this if you checked some of the Lightning blogosphere. Continue reading

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