The pressure of novelty and the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals

With game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at Capital One Arena, there are two words on my mind, linked together but entirely unlinked. They have nothing to do with each other and yet one causes another.

The first word is pressure.

Not in the way you think it’s applicable.  This is coming from a Tampa Bay Lightning fan, with Tampa Bay Lightning readers (…sometimes; it’s not like this site gets a shitload of traffic). The team’s on the verge and… No, I’m not thinking of game day pressure. That goes for the Washington Capitals as well (hello, Caps faithful) who truly do have game-night pressure simply to have a tomorrow and bring forth a game 7 at Amalie Arena. That’s not the kind of pressure that’s on my mind either.

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Weather or not, Lightning watch party at Curtis Hixon Park for Game 6 of Eastern Conference Finals

I can’t recall the last time the threat of rain and weather was in place chronically over the Tampa Bay region. I’m not talking the typical summer storms, which brings rainfall either in the early morning or evening hours, but through the day. It was why, I think(?), Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals was held at Centro Ybor instead of park facilities like the other games in the 2018 playoffs.

All of that being said, the Lightning just announced that a watch party event for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals will be held at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa, the exact details are quoted below:

Game 6 – Monday, May 21

Curtis Hixon Park – downtown Tampa
Lightning Playoff Watch Party
Event begins at 6:00 pm
Three screens for fans to watch the game on

As it currently stands, the potential-storm conditions remain for the greater Tampa Bay area. I have not seen the percent-chance of rain but I have seen icons marking the day as threatened. I don’t know how this will play into the evening. It’s jsut something to keep in mind if planning to attend the official party.

Like I’ve asked, if you know of an unofficial watch party going on, you may want to contact me (or use comments) to announce the location and share it with readers.

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A snap reaction to snap reactions aimed at the Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Finals

I don’t know if it’s a casual fan base element, bandwagon fans or actually faithful of the Tampa Bsy Lightning who put on the panic hats if and when the Lightning struggle or fail to win… I know there’s an element of the die-hard fans who are like this – one of them is a good friend of mine – but I do know they have come out of the woodwork during the Lightning’s Eastern Conference Final series with the Washington Capitals after the disappointing opening games of the series.

To those who are crying that the Lightning are missing a piece of the puzzle in the roster, I’d like to welcome you to hockey or to the Tampa Bay Lightning from your original team. What’s worth citing as missing is your experience as a Bolts fan and your knowledge of the Tampa Bay Lightning roster and what it’s capable of.

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Lightning announce watch party locations for Games 3 and 4 of the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals

As the title says, the Bolts have formally announced two watch party locations for games 3 and 4 of the 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Finals. They are posted below.

I still wish to know, for the sake of the fans, if there are venues — unofficial — holding watch party events tied to the Lightning’s playoff run. I’ve asked this question during the first two rounds of playoff action and also on public forums with no response. You would think a sports bar or two would try to make the most of an opportunity and expose themselves to the masses with watch party events (be it during Lightning road or home games).

If you do know of a venue for unofficial watch party events, please leave a comment or use the site contact form to let me know.

Game 3 – Tuesday, May 15

Centro Ybor – 7th Avenue
Lightning Playoff Watch Party
Event begins at 6:00 p.m.
Three screens for fans to watch the game on

Note: While all watch parties have been outdoor, this is different. It’s also a wise choice as weather conditions early in the week forthcoming are expected to have rain and storms. Forecasts may change but…maybe not.

Game 4 – Thursday, May 17

Curtis Hixon Park – downtown Tampa
Lightning Playoff Watch Party
Event begins at 6:00 pm
Three screens for fans to watch the game on

No telling if an impromptu watch party will be announced if a game 6 is necessary or takes place.

 

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A charged factoid about the remaining clubs of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

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by | May 8, 2018 · 1:45 PM

Underexposed, softer sounds from rock and pop artists

I’ve assembled a playlist on YouTubbe (and I may try to copy it at Spotify but no guarantees on that) of songs that I’ve heard from various artists through various sources that I consider “soft rock”. They’re not all rock songs, they’re not all adult contemporary, and they’re from a mix of years within the 21st century (not all recent releases but mot are from the past decade).

One thing is for sure though: They’re underexposed numbers that will likely never explode in popularity. Independent artists don’t get that kind of exposure from the mainstream media or at least it rarely happens. Yet, that’s a truth for all music out there — even if people catch your tunes on the radio or at a live show, there’s only a chance that it’ll click with them and gain an ounce of popularity.

The underexposed soft rock playlist has only 29 songs at the moment but my intention is to keep growing the list as time goes by. It just depends on when and where I cross the music and if I feel it fits or not. Mind you, it’s the arrangements that make me add the songs to the list. The lyrics may or may not fit.

If you’re a performing artist and have a song that you think might fit in, or if you’re a listener who knows of a song by a small-time act that doesn’t exactly have a huge audience checking out one of these lighter songs, you’re welcome to contact me through the site form with a link to the song’s YouTube page. I can’t guarantee submissions will get added, but it’s worth a shot.

I also suggest to artists to consider submitting their music to Lonely Oak Radio, it’s the most straight-forward indie music submission site. It’s not Pandora or Spotify in open-listener popularity but it is a unique mix of songs from various artists out there.

Update May 11, 2018: I’ve been made aware by Europeans that not all tracks on this playlist are accessible.. While this playlist is crafted by an American with access to everything, I have no control over what is not accessible for those overseas. It may put more weight on me trying to re-create this playlist on another platform (Spotify).

update mAY 13TH 2018: The Spotify Version of the playlist is now up. Not all of the songs are on the list and not all of the songs are able to be added (such as Grease Fire by the Pretty Voices or Arms Around It by Ricky Wilcox) because those tracks aren’t on Spotify.  Others aren’t included because I haven’t gotten to them yet, but they will be added and likely others.

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Poll: Are broadcasts of the NHL on NHC Sports patial?

This poll (via Twitter) will be running until Saturday, May 12th.

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The archives of the Tampa Bay Times have fallen down

In March I ran an article aimed at the Tampa Bay Times in an attempt to reach out to them in a pro business /funding kind of way. I cited the archives of their original web presence at sptimes.com which had existed since 1998 or thereabouts. Those archives lack any sort of generic advertising and only contained ambiguous links not within the articles (…which is another shortcoming that continues to this day; no linkage in articles).

"Page Not Found" is all the image saysNow, I don’t know how the Times operates its archives as this happened last year, I don’t know if the Times will be repairing the issue or took one of my suggested “save a dime” strategies and pulled down every archived article and feature, but as of this writing what all published pieces from sptimes.com (be they features, general news, columns or editorial content) are now unavailable and listed as “Not Found”.

There is an oddity here though: The base domain URL, www.sptimes.com  is working and not as a redirect to the newspaper’s current web presence. It is standing as it had once stood but not exactly working nor posted as the front page of the newspaper from days gone by. The footer of the page reads the copyright date as 2009.

Because one page is “working” as a shell of itself, I’m guessing that this is an IT foul-up that stopped functionality and not an upgrade attempt, closure of the site archives, or an import-to-tampabay.com attempt. Simply, it’s a foul up that the paper may just dismiss as not important to fix. After all, they’re not making money off the archives, they’re not even trying.

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[UPDATED] Regarding the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Lightning watch parties

We know who the Bolts are playing in the second round but as of this writing nothing has been announced regarding offficial team watch parties for games 3 & 4. I’ll try to get that information up when it becomes available.

I’m also still interested in posting info on non-official watch parties (businesses that are going to cater to Bolts fans and the series against the Boston Bruins). If I find out, I’ll let you know about that too. Comments with info are welcome, just make sure you share more than just the business name; share the location and perhaps their web site.

UPDATE April 28, 2018:

The Tampa Bay Lightning revealed plans for watch parties a few hours before the start of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Boston Bruins began at Amalie Arena:

Game 3 – Wednesday, May 2

Water Works Park (next to Ulele) in Tampa
Lightning Playoff Watch Party presented by Coors Light
1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa FL 33602
Watch party starts at 5:30 p.m. Puck drop at 7 p.m.

Game 4 – Friday, May 4

Curtis Hixon Park – downtown Tampa
Lightning Playoff Watch Party at Tampa Riverfest 2018
600 N Ashley Dr., Tampa FL 33602
Riverfest activities start at 4 p.m. Puck drop at 7 p.m.

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NBC lists TV ratings for the 2018 NHL Playoffs (so far)

I only crossed it this morning but NBC Sports revealed the top 10 markets for broadcasts of the 1st round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Those top 10 are listed in the tweet below and my thoughts and such are below it:

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