Category: Tampa Bay Lightning
An Old NHL Aggravation Reminder on Tampa Bay’s Anniversary
Just a quick note to Tama Bay Lightning fans as well as to our expansion siblings to the north, the Ottawa Senators: While the 2022-23 season of the NHL is the 30th anniversary of our clubs, it’s technically only our 29th anniversary season. You can blame the NHL and NHL Players Association for that.
The 2004-05 National Hockey League season never happened.
It’s the 30th Ammiversery of 1992-93’s ex]ansion class… Just remember it is one less season of play than it should be. Ultimately You can thank commissioner Gary Bettman and former MJ:PA chief Bob Goodenow for that.
A song for Tampa and Games 3 and 4 of the 2022 Stanley Ci[ Final
It’s debatable how fitting a sound for the city of Tampa Gypsy Star;s “A Night in Tampa” is. It may be a bigger argument when the sport of ice hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning are involved.
In title and with a grand event involved – in this case, the NHL’s 2022 Stanley Cup Finals – it seems oh-so fitting.
Gypsy Star is not well known. They’ve shown an eclectic range if sound since their 2007, self-toled, debut album. “A Night in Tampa” is a song with a Spanish flare which seems fitting to Tampa and the city’s Spanish elements.
It is not a hockey sound, but that does not mean NHL fans who are into music shouldn’t listen. Hell, would I be posting if O yhought the song was to be dismissed?
The Foley of Late-Season, Cross-Conference Play in the NHL
Such a major contest at the venerable Ice Palace known as Amalie Arena on Saturday night. Late-season play only brings more rival bitterness and tense contests between the sworn enemy likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Winnipeg Jets.
It’s an annual rite for the National Hockey League to hold contests like that one. Two Conferences are in their last throes of the regular season play, with clubs jockeying for playoff position or respectability (or prime draft slots), and fans get fed healthy doses of games baked fresh in Could-Give-A-Shit-ville.
That’s not a shot at Winnipeg, That’s a shot at the NHL schedule. When results matter the most, cross-conference play, and regular-season contests between Easterm and Western Conference teams should be over.
It’s not rocket science, it’s marketing. Right now is when the Eastern Conference would draw more media and fan attention with Eastern play, likewise for the Western Conference clubs. Gameplay and results now factor in broadly as opportunity is so limited. Add to it how results carry more direct weight — division rivals! – and attendance desire/viewweship (and sis dollar signs) tick up.
This isn’t saying cross-conference play should be ceased in the NHL in full. Nope. What’s needed is for East-vs-West play to be over by or around March 1. Five months of time to play the opposite should work fine.
I realize a schedule is a complex beast as all sorts of events and other sports factor in to venue availability, and those involved in the task of compiling the regular season schedule want to shake things up from time to time (not the same thing year after year)… But cross-conference play is not the gateway to the playoffs. It isn’t an interest-grabbing mechanism most of the time, and there is no solid chance fans are witnessing a forthcoming playoff series; A Stanley Cup Finals to-be. Surely the Lightning game held that weight?? Or was it more likely the New Jersey Devils playing Seattle on Saturday that is a prebiew of things to be? Hmmm… :-p
In simplicity, games matter too much at the end of the regular season to have the contests be against opponents who have no position/status in the conference. Opponents matter in general, but it’s a poor marketing of the league to play games against teams who aren’t more direct opponents in the standings.
A noteworthy atmosphere for the Stanley Cup Finals
If 2021 Stanley Cup broadcast coverage does not make reference to weather conditions of the moment in the Tampa Bay metroplex, they’re hiding it to avoid claims of bias.
The Lightning Capital of the World is living up to its reputation.
An Open Letter Request to the Tampa Bay Lightning
Please note: note: My apologies for poor spelling and grammar. While I have a reputation for typos, copy-editing with ighly limited vision is a challenge.
To the relevant Department and Personnel og the Tampa Bay Lightning Franchise:
Sirs and Madams, to the relevant Department and Personnel og the Tampa Bay Lightning Franchise:
Sirs and Madams, I have a large request., I state this as a man no longer relevant in coverage of the franchise and it is arguable if I ever did.I was not a press-box resident, nor an employee of a major media entity, though my writings did help found SB Nation’s Raw Chargw which I also ran from March 2009 until October 2016.
This isn’t about me, yet I am an example of the plight I request the franchise’s charitable involvement in.
Sirs and Madams, I suffer from a genetic disease that effects a sliver of a fraction of the population of the United States and the globe. My request is simple (but much more complex than this writing can show): For the Lightning franchise to help research Neurofibromatosis Type 2.
Neurofibromatosis Type 2, or NF2 for short, is not cancer. Its effects are disabling in mobility impairment and robbing patients of hearing by way of Acoustical Neuromas.. In simplicity, nerves grow tumors in highly sensitive areas of the body (brain, spine), leading to impairment or death.
My request is made with youth and future generations in mind. Finding weapons in this battle — or one hell of a netminder to stop this opposition’s charge (how are you, Andrei Vasilevskiy?) – is a necessity. Help from the high is as well, sus this open letter to you.
My one situation is irrelevant, but the same if a smidgen of insight – I’m lucky to be alive at this point in my life. Blind, naturally deaf, loss of sensation/coordination in my hand and mobility-impaired… But still here and gladly. Others eith NF2 were not so fortunate to last until middle age (and I nearky was in that group).
I’m certain that a research arm can be established with USF Health, but I also would not be shocked to hear of a more genetralized research body already out there and charitably funded by the Lightning. While that is to be applauded, a generalized researching project spends more time on medical issues that hit a wide number of people. This is why NF2 is a backburner medical issue: As I already said, NF2 effects only a sliver of a fractionn of the population. Stopping calamities hitting many tajke priority over dilligent work to aid the few.
I’m asking the Lightning organization to make an exception.If a high class pro sports franchise won’t give to fight such a niche malignance, who will?
John “Johnny Fonts” Fontana
P.s. For the sake of sayi g, I kegan blogging about the Lightning in February 2004 while I recovered from a pair of spinal-tumor operations. There was only a scant wreb presence of Lightning fans online with most fan web pages being inactibe since the late 1990s.
Blindness and failing hand prevent me from contributing my voice to the sports world. I miss hockey Iblogging. I miss the Lightning.
A final note: My apologies for poor spelling and grammar. While I have a reputation for typos, copy-editing with limited vision is a challenge.
P.s. For the sake of sayi g, I kegan blogging about the Lightning in February 2004 while I recovered from a pair of spinal-tumor operations. There was only a scant wreb presence of Lightning fans online with most fan web pages being inactive since the late 1990s.
Blindness and failing hand prevent me from contributing my voice to the sports world. I miss hockey Iblogging. I miss the Lightning.
Amalie Arena To Serve As An Early-Voting Locale
As we approach the 2020 U.S. elections, and with issues prominent in America leading to social unrest and greater political division, voting matters. The coronavirus and USPS sabotage complicate things.
A prominent location along the banks of the Garrison Channel at the heart of Tampa, Florida will be open to provide opportunity for Hillsborough County residents to cast a ballot preceding Election Day this November.
The following is the full text of the press release from the Tampa Bay Lightning:
Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Announces Partnership with Tampa Bay
Lightning: Amalie Arena to Be Open for Early Voting in 2020
Hillsborough County, FL – Today, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer
announced that Amalie Arena will be open for Early Voting in the 2020 General Election.
With this new site, Hillsborough County voters will now be able to vote in any of 25 Early
Voting sites from October 19 through November 1, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“I’m seeing our community come together in a very powerful way to support this
election,” said Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. “The Tampa Bay Lightning is one of
many community partners who are getting involved through voter registration drives,
voter education, poll worker recruitment and more. This is a unique opportunity because
Amalie Arena does not have other scheduled events during the Early Voting period.”
“We are grateful to be able to work with the Supervisor and his office to create another
Early Voting location in Hillsborough County,” said Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of
the Tampa Bay Lightning. “The Lightning share in the community goal of increasing
participation in our elections and we are pleased to offer up Amalie Arena this fall to
those that wish to cast their ballots early.”
The Early Voting period allows voters who want to vote in person to choose the time and
location that is most convenient to them, rather than waiting until Election Day to vote,
when, by law, they must vote in the polling place assigned to their precinct.
This new site provides another option for Vote By Mail voters, as well. During Early Voting,
the elections office sets up curbside tents outside each site for voters who want to drop
off their mail ballot. In-person voting is expected to take longer than usual because of
necessary health and safety precautions, which include limiting the number of people
inside each location, setting things up to allow for social distancing, and continuous
cleaning of equipment and surfaces. Voters who prefer to vote from home can visit
VoteHillsborough.org or call (813) 744-5900 to request a Vote By Mail ballot. The office will begin mailing ballots to requesters on September 24.
NHL History: Vinny Lecavalier’s “Rough Translation” to Life With The White Bear
I’m happy to see the Tampa Bay Times has resurrected its old articles from its days at sptimes.com… That enables access to the past of online content in the history of %ampa Bay like news features in sports, such as the March 2005 feature by former Times writer Tom Jones.
2005 was par5 5wo or the roiled 2004-05 NHL season. While some players stayed idle an waited for labor resolution between the NHL and NHL Players Association, others went abroad to continue their play in the sport, such as Vincent Lecavelier of Tampa Bay Lightning fame.
I’m also happy to see my Boltsmag write-up about the piece is still alive in the Raw Charge archives. Below is my quoted piece with updated links where needed. I do encourage NHL fans to check out the piece of NHL history by Tom Jones. The following write-up was my personal introduction to the piece.
Life with the White Bear,
by John Fontana
I’ve sometimes wondered if me and Vincent Lecavalier woudl ever meet somewhere or somehow cross paths in life. He’s only a few months younger than I am and when he was drafted and the big hoopla was made about him, I had this premonition that Vinny and I could be friends, could get along, could hang out.
And yet with each day, every season, every interview that I’ve read (not many, because Tampa Bay is not Montréal or Toronto) that link… that kinship that I felt disappeared. Vincent is a big name star, he’s got it all and he’s got confidence… He dates models and he’s an icon in Canada.
And today in the St. Petersburg Times, that link was renewed… That sort of hopeful understanding.
Tom Jones traveled to Kazan and spent time with Vinny. This is all chronicled in a piece called Rough Translation and some of the things that Vincent has gone through in Ak Bars Kazan have made me feel… Well, like someone would understand some of the crap I go through daily being hard of hearing. That lack-of-understanding and such.
But to get off my personal points, this article by Jones chronicles some of the adversity that Vincent has faced in Kazan and how he’s kept a positive attitude. How trying it can be to understand his coach’s rants (Zinetula Bilyaletdinov speaks English but addresses his team in Russian), how not understanding what someone says makes you want to shrink away because you don’t know the translation, and the difficulty just to order a bowl of Oatmeal in Kazan.
And if you are interested in seeing the photos associated with the article (and there are a few), please check out this link.
The Flukish Sgreak or Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Since the 2019 Holiday Season
The Tampa Bay Lightning are having one hell of a “fluke”, eh? That ph4ase is from 2011-12 and the Lightning’s AHL team (Coached by Jon cooper_. Thee remark, tweeted by goaltender Dustin Tokarski, was coined to push the fact the Admirals hockey club had to ignore accolades and keep performing top-level hockey.
Iy worked in the end, the Ads won the AHL championship.
You should be left in awe by what the Bolts are doing — and by the way, that was the 100th win in 140 NHL regular-season games (since the start of the 2018-19 season).. That soort of defies the cat-calling of disappointed fans who wanted Jon Cooper fired because of playoff failings in 2018 (…and 2019). Yes, winning in the regular-season isn’t the same as hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup, but neither is having a pro sports team that competes at the top-level of their sports league repeatedly.
Fans don’t want to settle with success, but it’s also important to keep a level head during success or failings. Show depth. The Bolts are doing that, and thus still succeeding.
Jon Cooper’s done better as a Lightning head coach than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers all-time
Hockey, specifically the National Hockey League, is not football nor the National Football League. I’m always drawn to compare the two with thanks to the Tampa Bay media going ga-ga over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and holding back all-too-much on Tampa Bay Lightning coverage until the end of the NFL season. To hell with success and competitiveness, Buccaneers uber alles.
Something popped into my head last night after the Lightning’s 1-0 win in Philadelphia to extend their winning s
treak fluke to 10 games: How does the tenure of head coach =Jon cooper compare to the Bucs all-time?
One coach? Compared to 40+ years of gameplay? What the hell leads me to think of something like that? Quite simply, the fact Cooper’s Lightning have made the playoffs five times in his 6 full seasons as head coach (and could be on their way to a sixth berth as the 2019-20 season rolls on) which is half as many berths as the Bucs have all-time.
Coop’s in his seventh full season as head coach (he joined as head coach during the 2013 season and had 17 games), helming Tampa Bay for 553 games as of this writing… That just so happens to be 124 games less than the Bucs have played all-time (677 in 43 seasons); about 82% of the games played. His success in that time dwarfs that of the Bucs: Of the 553 games played, 332 were won. That’s a .600 win percentage (though the common stat used in the NHL is tied to point-percen5ate, which is .619). In 43 seasons in the NFL, the Bucs have won 281 of 677 games played; a .409 win percentage.
While fans cry foul over Coop’s playoff-performances (No title! Bad you!) it’s worth noting he’s coached the Bolrs to the same number of Conference finals (3) and playoff finals (1) in his tenure as the Bucs have done in franchise history. Only three of the Bucs 12 head coaches ever made the playoffs (John McKay, Tony Dungy, and Jon Gruden). Of course, that Lightning has gone into the playoffs with four HCs (Terry Crisp, John Tortorella, Guy Boucher, and Cooper) with eight total coaches.
They are two completely separate sports and there’s no argument against that. It’s still a message of competitiveness and local pride that has to be hammered home: The Tampa Bay Lightning are a force in their league. The Bucs aren’t.
What is the next accomplishment for Cooper and the Lightning? We’ll find out in this second half of the NHL season and in the proverbial Second Season that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Vaulted production levels from Alex Killorn are elite for his career
“Killer Elite” is the term that popped out of my mouth when center Alex Killorn scored on Thursday night during the Bolts 4-0 blanking of the Arizona Coyotes. It was seeing the 18-goal mark that seemed above what Killorn has done in his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Oh, how it is so…
18 goals from Killorn in 41 games he participated in so far this season is equal-to or above all his full-NHL-season goal-scoring totals except one: in 81 games in 2016-17, Killer scored 19 times. That was a season marred by injuries to just about everyone and playoff-short team performance — the only one in head coach Jon Cooper’s career in Tampa Bay.
HockeyDB shows that Killorn’s final season with Harvard is the high-point of his hockey career in general in goal-scoring. That’s not a surprise, hockey fans know that players in juniors or college tend to go gonzo before going pro… The catch, in this case, is that Killorn’s goal-total in 34 games-played was 22 – four more goals than he has so far in 2019-20.
Killer’s also 10 points shy of his career-high of 47 points earned in 82 games (15 goals 32 assists). He can’t go that high in games-played this season (he’s already missed games), but unless he misses more playing time, his offensive production should continue as killer elite this season.
In brief, a response to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s current success
Eight wins in-a-row is a fluke, nine would be a streak.
Unless you are a long-time Lightning fan or have paid attention to Golts fans on social media, you won’t know where that type of thinking/phrasing comes from. It was said on Twitter by goalie Dustin Tokarski as the Norfolk Admirals – helmed by Jon Cooper with h Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, and Cory Conacher – tore up the AHL in 2012 on their way to a Calder Cup championship.
It’s an odd coincidence in Tampa Bay sports that the Lightning’s surge of-the-moment coincided the end of the Tampa Bay Buccneers NFL season of meh. It’s also a nice distraction from news of the moment.
Will it last? I don’t know. The talent and agility is there, that’s been proven time and again in recent years. We’ll see how it goes and where i6 goes as the season goes on…A grand tial is Thursday as the Arizona Coyotes stop by Amalie Arena.
Andrei Vasilevskiy can hecome the Tampa Bay Lightning’s winningest goalie with a victory vs Winnipeg
If the Tampa Bay Lightning win tonight in their contest with the Winnipeg Jets, and if Andrei Vasilevskiy is the goaltender on-record for the win, then the Bolts will have a new all-time winningest netminder.
Vasilevskiy, who has played 219 games and started 209 of them, is tied with Gen Bishop for most-wins with 131. Bishop accomplished the feat in 227 games-played/222 game starts.
There is much more statistical aspects to crow about with Vasy and Lightning history, but the focus today and tonight should be on one thing: A victory for Vasilevskiy.
You can find all the history (statistically, that is) of Lightning goaltending at Hokey Reference.
The season after regular-season domination and the Tampa Bay Lightning (with poll)
The 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning achieved. Oh, boy, did they achieve… The spectacular run was complemented by the spectacular, Hindenburg-like crash in the 2019 playoffs). The in-season run amounted to 62 victories, a feat that’s only been accomplished one other time in the history of the National Hockey League. Only two teams in league history won 75% of their season contests like that.
Yeah, but what happened next?Read More
Did you know…? Tampa Bay Lightning stars once were extras in a comic book movie?
This past summer I asked friends on Facebook to name a movie that was filmed in their area. Those who responded cited flicks fitting to the region they live in, there was a good variation because…hey! I have friends all over.
One of the respondents was one of my long-time contact who I’ve known specifically by way of our talking Tampa Bay Lightning hockey on forums way back in the past. Her response startled me because of how I’d forgotten the fact:
She cited The Punisher and reminded me how Lightning players had been n set for filming.Read More
Fox Sports Sun to live-stream Lightning 2019 preseason games
Earlier today I crossed a forum post asking about viewing Bolts preseason games on television. Nice coincidence that Fox Sports Sun PR released the announcement that live-streaming or preseason action will be available.
FOX Sports Sun, the television home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, will live stream all three Lightning preseason home games scheduled to take place at AMALIE Arena. Live streaming coverage will begin promptly at puck drop for all three games on FOX Sports GO and www.foxsportsgo.com.Via Fox Sports Florida/Sun PR Email
Watching on television will take some tech know-how, but in the end — why, yes! Yes you can watch preseason Tampa Bay Lightning games on television!
The streamed game schedule starts tomorrow at 7 PM EDT against the Carolina Hurricanes. Friday’s matchup against the Nashville Predators will be streamed as well as the September 29th affair against the Florida Panthers.
In conclusion: It’s been six months since you saw Lightning hockey. The drought is over, the storm awaits. You ready to bring the thunder?
Only one player stands out from Steve Yzerman’s 1st round draft history with the Lightning
It’s such a minor enigma and yet so profound. Draft picks don’t pan out all the time nor serve tenure with the team that selected them. That’s how it goes in hockey. Some last. Some serve. Some succeed.
The expectation is for the first-round draft picks to do the most and go the furthest in the NHL, and when a team is ardent on player development, you’d think those picks would be keepers.
That’s the enigma of Steve Yzerman’s tenure as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning… First-rounders have tended to be meh in one way or another.Read More
There isn’t much of a Tampa Bay Lightning blogosphere
Web logging (weblogging), commonly known as blogging, is an open platform of chronicling thoughts, observations or even reporting on issues and incidents as they transpire…with personal opinion and casual presentation mixed in. Blogging became common in the early 21st century (though weblog was coined in 1997) and has since graduated to a co-opted term by the major media; their own online presence is still news journalism but…hey! That “blog” term is so common and popular and all that…!
Blogging is still popular among amateurs, it’s still a casual endeavor (but can turn into one of expectation and dedication) that can attract eyeballs and allows fans/hobbyists/aspiring writers a chance to voice themselves at length at a location that puts their words at the forefront. It’s common in sports – fans have to express themselves somehow – and has its niche with every sports team. Well, most teams…
When an article a retired blogger wrote in 2018 is the 12th result on a web search for “Tampa Bay Lightning blogs”, there’s a problem.
Raw Charge, a Lightning blog I founded in 2009 and is built off my writings from my days as an indie blogger, has lacked a site manager for 14 months. The site is the top listing for Tampa Bay Lightning blog (or blogs) but it lacks site management and thus content (note: There’s someone serving on interim basis and content is on the site, just not what you’d expect from a blog representing one of the top NHL clubs of the past decade). Bolts by the Bay is the second blog that pops up in search results. Part of the FanSidd sports network which is very comparable to SB Nation (the host network for Raw Charge).
News media follows in search results, so do fan forum options. And ticketing. Ticketing is blogging, dontcha know??
I went through 50 entries of Tampa Bay Lightning blogs (and blogs) on Google and didn’t find an independent blog. Mind you, Bolt Prospects (which is certainly a Lightning blog) didn’t show up in search results. (I found out through direct look-up that The Lightning Lounge has ceased and archives o Lightning Shout are unavailable).
My point is folks, that while there is a franchise that is at the top of the NHL in Tampa Bay, it lacks a fan base that aspires to express itself in weblogging… You can certainly find fans in message foums like Reddit’s Lightning community, or on social media in a group on Facebook or loner-expression on Twitter, but that’s not blogging.
I did the same Tampa Bay Lightning blog search on Lycos. Lycos is one of the elder search engines out there (I once worked in search engine optimization) and can give you a unique result in web searches. Raw Charge, Bolts by the Bay and Lightning Insider (former Tampa Tribune beat writer Erik Erlendsson; it also came up prominently on Google results) were the top results. The fourth result was a Blogspot site that hasn’t been updated since 2008. That’s…uh… It’s results like that which actually inspired me to start blogging in 2004 — because long-dead fan sites were the lead search results after prominent media.
Bing’s search results for Tamps Bay Lightning blog mirrored results from Lycos. The results for the plural blogs included DRaysBay in top-10 search results. Tampa Bay Rays baseball is decidedly not Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.
This whole subject-matter is on my mind simply because I want to promote Lightning hockey blogs on my link-aggregation/hockey blog attempt at Hockey Daily. I was (and am) trying to follow more individual blots to promote feature write-ups (with intentions to have a place for blog writers to write their own features too). It’s tough to promote Lightning blogs when there aren’t any out there. Or at least not ones with proper search engine context (the joys of HTML and Meta tagging).
It’s a dead zone. While I know there’s social-media networking (interaction on Twitter), it would seem fans have gone to impulse-reaction primarily (via Twitter or Reddit) in order to gain immediate responses from other fans. You can’t fault that as it basically summarizes sports fans in general (action, reaction, socializing) but it also shows a void; a lacking aspiration to be more and be seen further and wider than those who immediately respond. An aspiration to say more and show more and not just have a community respond and react.
Some quick remarks about the Lightning’s summer
I haven’t said much this summer about the Tampa Bay Lightning, now have I? The summer hadn’t really driven me to remark besides being confused by Julien BriseBois push to sign Joe Pavelski at the opening of the 2019 NHL Free Agent season. It was defense where the Lightning were in need – not because of a lack of talent but because of aging and free agent loses. Dan Girardi? Gone (okay, he’s unsigned but likely won’t be back). Anton Stralman? History (and, ahem, a threat to NHL owners). Brayden Coburn was re-signed, Luke Schenn was inked (and met with a negative fan reaction). While other minor D were re-upped and other roster moves made in July, it felt like the Bolts hadn’t done anything.
But when the New York Rangers bought-out Kevin Shattenkirk (a little late in free agency, which made it seem odd) I had the thought, “Oh, gee, wouldn’t that be a fitting signing after a meh summer?”
Reflecting on the history and the Ice Palace that is Amalie Arena
I’ve got a phrase in my head. It’s a pretentious intro to a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game. Something to be used repeatedly to give weight to the event and where it’s being played (as well as merit to the person saying it).
Weight comes to words with repetition. Sometimes it’s dubious, sometimes it’s forgettable, sometimes it goes down into the history books and is engraved in society (or, in this case, sports culture).
Along the banks of the Garrison Channel at the heart of Tampa, Florida. We welcome you to the hall of the venerable ice palace known as Amalie Arena for a night of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.
To see that turn of phrase might lead Joe Q. Average to wonder what the hell venerable means (here’s your answer). Others of the Tampa Bay area (specifically younger generations and transplants of recent years) may be curious (or scoff) at Amalie Arena being called an “ice palace”. That just happens to be the building’s original name. That fact isn’t news for long-time Lightning fans. This fall will be the building’s 23rd anniversary of its opening.
And yet we’re left to wonder about the story behind the name Ice Palace.Read More
An image from Tampa BayLightning history and the 1996 NHL Playoffs
Preceding this image with a history lesson of Tampa Bay sports would seem fitting, as the Buccaneers were a joke or oh-so-long and the fledgling Tampa Bay Lightning did not see their first competitions until 1995-96. It’s that latter point that this whole post and this image are based on.Read More
The brink of NHL free agency 2019
I have no words as we sit about 20 hours away from the opening of the free agent season in the NHL. There’s been plenty of player movement in the league and speculation, but the dust won’t truly be settled until training camps ensue in September. That’s part of why this writer is quiet… I’m watching the annual maelstrom.Read More
A feat in failure, the Bolts beat the Blues
A factoid from a season now gone bye-bye. It’s an amazing feat for St. Louis Blues fans and those looking from the outside. It also happens to be a frustrating reminder for Tampa Bay Lightning fans — achievement, yet a flat ending.
Via Reddit’s /r/hockey community:
Now that the Stanley Cup has been won, I would like to point out that the Tampa Bay Lightning had more wins in the regular season (62) than the St. Louis Blues had in the regular season and playoffs combined (45+16=61). Not sure if this has ever happened before.
Three months away; Lightning announce 2019 preseason schedule
On the day of the grand finale of the 2018-19 NHL season, the Tampa Bay Lightning laid down kindling for the 2019-20 season to come.
Oh, it’s not a huge bit of news – not a personnel hiring, not a staff change, not a transaction — but it does set sights on the Bolts season ahead.
They released the 2019 preseason schedule.Read More
Will the start of Steve Yzerman’s tenure in Detroit bring transactions with Tampa Bay?
I could be dead wrong on this but I’ve also got a certainty tied to it, so here goes: I have an inkling, this feeling, that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn is Detroit-bound.
If it ain’t Killorn, it’s going to be somebody wrought through the Tampacuse system. All with thanks to the fact what Stevie Y wants, Stevie Y gets.Read More
The simple truth; 2019 Tampa Bay Lightning playoffs post-mortem summary
They don’t call the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs the Second Season for nothing. Accomplishments during the NHL’s regular season be damned; everything starts at zero, every team starts on an even keel. Every team has a chance.
Game One and the first period of play, the Lightning did what was expected of them. The high flying ability of the 2018-19 President Trophy winning club was on display.
After the first intermission of Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, things changed. The next eight periods of play were rife with… what? I don’t know. It just didn’t come off like the gameplay that so many bore witness to from the club during the regular season. Chippiness, penalties, scrums, and fights. One might put the spotlight on the Columbus Blue Jackets for that as if they were the antagonists… No, no… It was an NHL game and the team that was antagonizing most heavily was the Lightning. Penalizations ensued. Opportunities rained down on the Jackets by way of it.
Eight periods of play – the bulk of Game One, Game Two and THree in full… the damage was done and Columbus capitalized on it with sound play, leading to their own imposing play and victories. Excuses could be made — primarily that chief defenseman Victor Hedman was playing while injured and was sidelined with Anton Stralman for Game Four — but that’s just it, an excuse. That’s not to say Hedman being hurt didn’t cause issues, it’s that what was going on in Lightning team play wasn’t defensive lapses. It was overall team play and perhaps game-plan lapses
The titans of contention during the 2018-19 regular season turned into the also-ran roster of the 2019 Second Season. That’s it. That’s the way to look at it.Read More
The Great Outdoors and the first Eastern Conference Quarterfinals watch party for Lightning fans
It’s the time of the season for fans to congregate together and watch Tampa Bay Lightning hockey during the 2019 NHL Playoffs. Seeing everyone can’t make it to the Amalie for games (or venues of opposing teams — in this instance, Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio), watch parties by the Lightning are a nice way to do it.
It was announced Monday that hockey fans in Tampa Bay can hit up an official watch party at Curtis Hixon Park for Wednesday’s Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. It won’t just be hockey watching in Curtis Hixon on Wednesday as the rock group Cage the Elephant is also supposed to perform.
Details from the Bolts press release are as follows:Read More
The gamble and the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Once in a while, I get contacted with hockey-related stuff that reminds me I actually established myself in coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning while blogging on Boltsmag/Raw Charge. In this
Here’s the question and what follows is my response:
I hope you are doing well. Who would you take if you were forced to place a bet about the upcoming NHL playoffs; Tampa Bay or the rest of the field? I thank you again for your time.— C.R.
Another benchmark change is looming for the Lightning in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs
As it stands, with the 2018-19 regular season still in play, Tampa Bay Lightning history has a total of five players who have played with the club in five Stanley Cup Playoffs: Pavel Kubina, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos,
History is about to change, obviously…
The forthcoming 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be Stamkos and Hedman’s sixth time, setting the new franchise paramount in their tenth and ninth NHL seasons respectively. It just seems fitting that this new “record” is being set in a season with so much record-breaking by the Bolts.
Kubby, Vinny, and Marty won’t e alone in the five-season playoff appearance category; they just didn’t play with the guys who will be joining them in the ranks. Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, and Nikita Kucherov have been in all of the playoff seasons helmed by current head coach Jon Cooper (2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018). It’s also worth mentioning that Johnson, Palat and Killorn were also part of Cooper’s 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals team that won the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup. Also worth noting is Kucherov’s struggles of 2013-14 (communications) limited his ice time during the Bolts Eastern Conference Quarterfinal failure; he only played in two of the five games of The series.
Of all the aforementioned Lightning players, it’s just Kubina, Lecavalier,
Lightning’s success generates all too much silence in the Tampa Bay sports media
There’s a outspoken and upset Florida Panthers fan who voiced their discontent with the Panthers organization in a post on Reddit’s hockey community. A mix of words invoked nostalgia and made me upset in my own fashion.
[…] At the start, things looked great. The team had great players in Scott Mellanby and John Vanbiesbrouck, took a Cinderella trip to the Finals which got all of Miami absolutely BUZZING in 1996, started a notable fan tradition of throwing rats, acquired a superstar in Pavel Bure, acquired future superstars Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo, had very great and notable players pass through here… […]
Ah, 1996! Yes, the Florida Panthers looked upright and had a future optimism shown in only their third season of play in the National Hockey Lague. But ’96 didn’t show a dim picture on the other coast of Florida. No, no, the 1995-96 Tampa Bay Lightning did something foreign in the Tampa Bay metroplex in the sporting sense of the term: They were a pro team that made the playoffs. It was the first time in 13 years that a top-level professional franchise in the Bay area had done that [author note: this isn’t an attempt to truly look pat the Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team; soccer is not traditionally pitched as a top-four major sports league in the United States.] It was also the Lightning’s first-ever playoff appearance.
There was a sense of optimism and hope invoked in the local press coverage from WTVT, WFLA, WTSP, and WFTS. The St. Peterburg Times and Tampa Tribune did it too: The Tampa Bay Lightning was the sports team in Tampa Bay, and they were the entity to rally around. Brian Bradley, Mikael Andersson, Petr Klima, Paul Ysebaert; with the future (or so it seemed at the time) franchise ties to Roman Hamrlik, Chris Gratton, Jason Weimer, and Rob Zamuer. All these (and so many more names that I’ve forgotten off the top of my head) and the last line of defense, the stalwart in goal #93 Darren Puppa.
The playoffs! Such a rare feat in this burg was being embraced by a local team and that generated a degree of local pride for sports fans. It was something accomplished by Tampa Bay and invoked such a good vibe, even if the Bolts were a one-and-done team in the 1996 NHL Playoffs (the Philadelphia Flyers bounced the Bolts in the first round). Contention was such a foreign term and it was finally translated! Yessir! Yessir!
It seems foreign now, doesn’t it? No, I don’t mean contention. I’ve already written about that for the Bolts before this season. The Lightning themselves have proven it, night in and night out, through 76 games and the feats achieved.
I’m talking about coverage and the lack thereof from the traditional media people in town. There is no buzz. It’s not a priority. It’s filler.Read More
Record-breaking vies against playoff contention in the Lightning’s remaining schedule
Author’s Note: I go the wins-in-an-NHL-season record wrong in this piece. The record is 62 wins by the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wins. Research quick results were not clear on the record. The Lightning could tie that mark. To break it would be on grand sports record fe.
16 games remain in the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning regular season and hoo-boy, have those first 66 delivered. 50 wins in 66 games tie the NHL record for the feat.
While a contingent of fans might lock this performance into what the club will do in the playoffs, I warn you not to. That’s the Second Season. Everything starts over for every club involved in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and there have been incidents in the history of the NHL and professional sports in general where a paramount club is taken down with shocking ease by a lower ranking challenger.
Getting ahead of ourselves is not the point of this write-up, the point is actually the Bolts potentially threatening, reaching, and breaking said league record.
60 wins isn’t impossible, but it’s tough… or should be.
To take 50 wins from 66 games played gives the Bolts a mite over a .750 winning percentage. If you apply that simply to the number of games ahead, that’s 12 potential wins. A 62 win season shatters the NHL record and is… just math done by me. You have to play the games and that’s what causes a win or a loss. Not ratio logic and blah-blah-blah by analysts, columnists or bloggers.Read More
The storm continues with Tampa Bay Lightning hockey
Ten days ago I wrote my shocked and impressed piece about where the Tampa Bay Lightning stand in mid-February: 92 points in 59 games played.
Ten days later, five more games in the books and the Bolts took every flippin’ one of them. 102 points in 64 games played. There’s more worth noting in that in franchise achievement:
- 49 wins are one shy of the team record of 50, achieved in 2014-15
- 252 goals-for on the season is four more than the Stanley Cup Champion 2003-04 Lightning team and 10 shy of the 2014-15 team.
- The point-percentage of the club is now a startling .797
- The simplified win-percentage is .766
- The club has gone 12-0-2 in February with one game left to be played
A tweet of note regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning and the 2019 NHL trade deadline
Via Joe Smith of The Athletic, a quick remark about things at this coming deadline (and deadlines in general):
Lightning strikes blaze the NHL standings and Tampa Bay sports
Ninety-two points in February.
Ninety-two points in February?! My God!
Where the Tampa Bay Lightning sits right now is on the cusp of securing a 2019 Stanley Cup Playoff berth, and it’s only February 17th. They’re 15 points ahead of the #2 club(s) in the National Hockey League right now. For sports fans who don’t know the NHL point system (and any fan actually does know) 15 points amounts to 7 wins and 1 overtime/shootout loss.
In 59 games played this season, the Bolts have won 44 of them. That’s thousands of a point under a .750 win percentage. The Lightning is better than that in the NHL’s point percentage department — they’re .780, that’s 78% of the possible 118 points from those 59 games played. That’s better than three-quarters of the potential points.Read More
Via Reddit: To put the Tampa Bay Lightning’s success in perspective at this point (Feb 16, 2015)
It is damn good and ahead of the pack. Click the title to read the post.
My thoughts on the Bolts and the new alternate threds
We’re in the middle of the second-to-last month of the NHL season and lo and behold, the long-awaited Tampa Bay Lightning third jersey was unveiled last week before the Bolts were to square off with the St. Louis Blues.
I don’t know about other Lightning, but I was really really piqued and curious what was to come with the new jersey, it excited me. I mean, come on! This is a big opportunity to have something that mixes unique vision with nostalgia and fits the pretentious nature of the Lightning’s current clean look! It could be an additional morale lift to a season that is already a stratospheric thunderstorm! I had been wondering if this would
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.
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 b
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
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
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.Read More
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.
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.
Just where did Rusty Fedotenko go? I’m glad you asked!!
— John Fontana (@Johnny_Fonts) October 15, 2018
A visit from the 2018-19 NHL season
When events lead to self-realization and rolling along while lost at sea
I don’t know what was worse: How the news of Tuesday and the stepping-down of Steve Yzerman laid out one hell of a road bump for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018-19 and the general road ahead… or the realization through that event that I’m not a hockey blogger any more.
No, no, it’s not the words I wrote over the weekend that casts my credibility into doubt (if you differ in opinion, oh well, too bad, so sad) as-so-much my reaction to things, my stepping-up and opening my readiness to comment to other bloggers (supply quotes) and such about the news…and not hearing shit back. It was me drawing a conclusion about Julien BriseBois getting an assistant GM hire on Wednesday and then finding out (from fans) that wasn’t in the plans and it had been stated in articles and in tweets from members of the media.
The guy who had been the original blogger of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey, lasting for 12 years while founding SB Nation site Raw Charge in the process, was ready to roll and yet so very, very out of the loop.
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. Read More
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.
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. Read More
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.