Tag: 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 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.
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.
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.
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?”
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
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
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
A lackluster competitiveness and the drive to improve (or lack thereof)
I was going to be critical of Edmonton, Alberta, and Canadian hockey fans who have gone to social media to protest Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli after the Oilers were flambéed by the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
I was. Past tense.
If you’re an Oilers fan and see this and get pissed off at the would-be criticism, relax. Really. You’re reacting to a shit situation that’s been ongoing under different guidance for too-long now. You’re reacting as you should. Do Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans do that? No so much.Read More
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A charged factoid about the remaining clubs of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
Teams still in the NHL playoffs, Conference Championships:
Vegas, Winnipeg = 0
Nashville = 1
Washington = 1
Tampa Bay = 2
Nashville, Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg = 0
Tampa Bay = 1
Your Tampa Bay Lightning, the standard bearers of NHL tradition.
— clark brooks (@clarkbrooks) May 8, 2018
[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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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! Read More
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. Read More
The grand and highest; the feats achieved for Tampa Bay by Vincent Lecavalier
“Grand Marshal“, why does that seem such a fitting title for Vincent Lecavalier who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning 1st overall in the 1998 NHL Draft, ventured through the hell of a lost franchise, the warfare of conflict with John Tortorella (and calm bestowed upon the pair by Jay Feaster), and has his name immortalized on the Chalice of Lord Stanley with his colleagues and companions from the 2003-04 Tampa Bay Lightning roster?
Vinny rules. He was…no, no, wait, wait; he is. He is Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. While Roman Hamrlik was draft pick Numero Uno for the hockey franchise bestowed upon Phil Esposito and the Tampa/St. Petersburg Metroplex, while Chris Gratton and Jason Weimer were early standard-bearers along with Hammer. They didn’t last in Tampa. They didn’t develop fully and top out with the Bolts (or, arguably at all). Everyone that came to the Lightning between 1992 and 1997 just came and went. They served, they left a mark.
The ones who went deepest in the psyche of the fledgling market did not come by way of the draft or having developed with or through Tampa Bay. That is not trying to write off long-time alumni and early stars of this club like Brian Bradley or Darren Puppa, Rob Zamuner or Alex Selivanov. They gave us a taste of what was to come. They let us feel it and revel in it – Tampa Bay Lightning hockey and being a competitive force in the NHL and drawing us to the game. The 1996 NHL playoffs was a glimpse of what was to come.
Lecavalier helped show us what is an what can be. Read More
What is time’s tale of Tampacuse with Lightning and Crunch fans?
The intention here was to write a blog post leading in to this poll regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning / Syracuse Crunch affiliation. The lead-in got sidetracked on major league/minor league (IHL and NHL) affiliations for the Bolts and gets too far away from the simple poll question I have for the faithful from both clubs:
It’s been five years now since Tampa Bay and Syracuse teamed up. Some may see nothing from the pairing as only one team matters — the one you’re exposed to. Others know there’s importance to the development pipeline but won’t necessarily agree that the affiliates matter as-so-much as how the organization overall handles operations at the player-personnel level.
Whatever the case, what say you? Are you happy or discontent with the Tampa Bay / Syracuse affiliation? Vote!
By the way, the title of this post seems a little awkward but “time’s tale” basically summarizes the length of the affiliation and the events (ya know, games, player movement, what not) with the clubs.
Best of the Bay and the Bolts for 2017
I may have touched on talking about music (sweet music…music everywhere) but the topic of note is the one that my name is usually linked to: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative Loafing’s 2017 reader poll doesn’t lack nor neglect notable aspects of the Bolts – directly or indirectly – which sets the table for Lightning fans to show support for cogs they know regarding the club.
Mind you, there may be more nominated aspects and assets with ties to the franchise (Amalie Arena, or perhaps a locale within the arena). What’s being cited here is from the section called People, Places, Politics which features categories pertaining to public figures, locations and sports. Read More
Isolation and the Tampa Bay Rays quest for a new stadium [UPDATED]
Insecure, narcissist and self indulgent. These words are commonly thrown toward current United States President Donald J. Trump (as they should be). Yet what’s inspiring these words at the moment is reflecting on a city; one town in a grander regional area that wants to be on top. It’s a town that wants prominence in the region through a national spotlight, even if that spotlight is dimmed by way of the city itself.
St. Petersburg, Florida’s population is almost 250,000, 16,000 more than Reno, Nevada (“America’s Biggest Little City”). It’s part of the grander Tampa Bay metroplex. Its quest to one-up Tampa (the larger city in the Bay area) was part of why the town constructed the venue known now as Tropicana Field. Never mind the fact there was no slated pro sports team to play within the building when construction was approved in the mid-1980s; St. Petersburg had to force the location if and when (if ever) Major League Baseball expanded or relocated to Tampa Bay.
Being a Tampa Bay resident for so long, having seen and experienced life with the Dome and St. Pete in general, I cringe and shake my head now. Topping another city to lock in control of a potential jewel only shows a lack of self awareness. St. Pete has one, basic fault that keeps it understated in a the wider region; a very simple fault that’s on display at Tampa Bay Rays games and which is why a new stadium is a hot point with the club and why relocation outside of the region is a possibility….
On Tampa Bay sports disappointment and media coverage
A disappointing season in sports – both professional and amateur — is just that, a disappointment, a downer. Things don’t go as planned and the results are lesser than you (as a fan) wish. It’s something that you can’t hold against a high school or college team while the pro sports competitive disappointments can be outright atrocities of a competitive kind, run asunder by a multitude of choices by management as well of incidents of both a competitive variety and by bad luck.
The 2016-17 Tampa Bay Lightning season is a disappointment of a competitive nature where bad luck (injuries) and a horrible schedule played part in the Bolts not roaring into a competitive, playoff-bound position that has become a constant the last three seasons. There was a noted attitude problem in the Lightning locker room, and once that was brought into check the team turned up its competitive vibe and is where it is now: Just outside the playoff bubble with a scant chance of making it and a growing chance of missing the playoffs.
It’s a disappointment, yeah. Yet the strength of the team hasn’t collapsed, things haven’t been put asunder with bad coaching or low quality management moves. For the casual fan that’s locked in on disappointment in the trades of Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula: They weren’t going to stick around long term by way o the salary cap and costs to do so. Bishop and Boyle will be unrestricted free agents come July 1st, Filppula was due to become one in the summer of 2018. With the club already working with a very tight salary cap, retaining them over retaining forthcoming restricted free agents Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin and / or Center Tyler Johnson just couldn’t be done.
Disappointing to lose fan favorite players, especially Bishop who was such a steady hand in the crease. But when looking at the broad picture, at the “Yzerplan” that accentuates player development, it’s understandable as something that had to be done.
To cut that short: shit happens. Ho hum. Next season is going to be something worth checking out, just as this season was, and the season before…
In comparison to professional sports in the history of the greater Tampa Bay Metropolitan area which has existed 40+ years, this season of Lightning hockey ranks a hell of a lot higher on the disappointment list than oh-so-many others coming from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays and Lightning. All that history, all the back-story of each club doesn’t gain web-clicks or sell newspapers at the immediate moment though.
See, Tampa Bay Times (and former Tampa Tribune) sports columnist Martin Fennelly made a bold decree that this Tampa Bay Lightning’s season is the biggest disappointment in the history of Tampa Bay sports. He does quick-quick takes of other top-tier disappointing seasons for local clubs, but highlights the current state of the Lightning as “desperation hockey” and the reason why this season is the top disappointment – ever.
That’s where I’ve been revitalized as a sports blogger, because something so limited in view, perspective and opinion got the green light from the only newspaper in the region. Something so inane, random and weak didn’t just get published – it’s going to get someone his paycheck because he put words down and it fit a column length requirement. Read More