Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning

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

[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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The sum of 51 and the Toronto Maple Leafs quest to advance to the second round

Someone has to say it and I’m sure TSN, Sportsnet and the like will be mentioning this if the Toronto Maple Leafs advances to the Eastern Conference semifinals:

The Leafs have not won a Stanley Cup in 51 years.

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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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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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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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