Category: Tampa Bay Lightning

Ryan Callahan’s Resiliency Leads Tampa Bay Lightning on Impressive Playoff Run

The alternate captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Callahan, served as one of the team’s leaders in hits, but also found himself on the score sheet in the later rounds of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playoff run. It now appears that he had been playing with a shoulder injury for a majority of the playoffs, after suffering an injury against the New Jersey Devils in round one of the playoffs.

 

Callahan was a present force in each and every playoff game, even though he gets less ice-time than a majority of his teammates. He plays on the roster’s fourth line, but still manages to be a leading presence on his team. The leadership that Callahan shows on the bench is part of the reason that the Lightning’s younger players fit into the system so seamlessly.

 

Callahan is considered a seasoned veteran, and his ability to physically frustrate the other team in important hockey games is extremely important to supporting the resilient and tenacious characteristics that are required to succeed in the National Hockey League. Callahan is a popular teammate in the Tampa Bay dressing room, and it’s expected that he will stick with the team into the future, although from a business perspective, the team may consider trading him or buying his contract out to open up some cap space for the roster. His contract is currently worth a little more than five million dollars, a large price to pay for a fourth liner, despite his leadership capabilities.

 

It is extremely possible that Callahan will remain with the Lightning for the remainder of his contract and then eventually retire uneventfully, but similar to previous experiences on the Lightning roster, former captains Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis were both dealt away from the team in the past. Only time will tell whether Callahan ultimately finishes his career in Tampa, or whether he’ll be forced to travel to a new team in the near future.

Tampa Bay Lightning Fires Assistant Coaching Staff after Elimination

The Tampa Bay Lighning have parted ways with their assistant coaching staff, including defensive assistant Rick Bowness, who has been with the team for the last several seasons. This comes just days after the team faced elimination in game seven against the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference NHL Playoffs. The general manger of the Lightning, Steve Yzerman, suggested that the firing was not due to the coaches efforts in assisting the team, but rather to the fact that they have pressed deep into the playoffs only to lose right at or before the Stanley Cup finals.

 

The shakeup to the coaching staff will likely not be felt until training camp in September, however with the bigger picture in mind, the Lightning will have to hope that a new team of assistant coaches could potentially change the way the Lightning perform in deep playoff battles. The Lightning wants to specifically focus on defensive tactics that were apparently missing during the later games of this previous seasons playoffs. Tampa seems to have faded from this defensive mindset that it overwhelmingly had in its 2015 playoff run to the finals, only to eventually lose in six games to Chicago.

 

The Lightning are expected to keep the core roster together for the next season, however some things could unravel during the off-season and free agency, and it is not impossible for things to change unexpectedly. It is becoming apparent that the hockey club in Tampa is getting sick of getting so far into the playoffs only to be eliminated in the final games before the Stanley Cup finals. A significant change in mindset will likely have to take place for this to change, and with every passing season, the average age of this hockey team ticks higher, sparking fears that superstars like Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos could eventually retire without a Stanley Cup.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning – NHL Off-Season Business Plans and Roster Moves

The NHL off-season is usually filled with various business decisions that each organization’s general manager must navigate through. Some of the simple things get caught up in some of the off-season drama, as the NHL Draft approaches and contract renewals become a major focus.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning managed to earn their way to the Eastern Conference finals, and even more impressive, they competed for an entire seven game series, only to find themselves down four goals late in the third period. Even though their entire season was impressive on an overall scale and perspective, it doesn’t change the fact that very important business decisions lie ahead for the organization’s general manager, Steve Yzerman, who is currently among candidates in being rewarded the best general manager of the year.

 

Some of the things that Yzerman will have to look at includes the renewal of various contracts, the draft of new players coming in from lower leagues and levels, as well as the management of the current team. There are some long-term plans that need to be arranged so that the organization can continue to compete at its current level and make significant playoff runs like this last season. The cap space has seemingly been an issue for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they struggle to keep their star players on their rosters with very expensive contracts.

 

Yzerman has managed to balance his costly star players with up-and-comers who have seemingly found themselves molded on the team roster. This balance has allowed the team to stay below the cap-requirement and still stay at a competitive level. The upcoming seasons should keep most of the current players on the Lightning roster, but some minor tweaks may be necessary to give an additional boost to the Lightning to try and force them into the final round so that they can compete for a stanley cup like they did in the 2015 season.

Tampa Bay Lightning Eliminated from NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs

The final game of a best of seven serieswould take place in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals at the Tampa Bay Lightning home ice rink, the Amalie Arena. The Lightning and Washington Capitals had fought relentlessly against each other during the first six games, as they each clawed to try and win four game before the opponent. As game seven approached in Tampa Bay on the 23rd of May, each team knew that this would be the final game of the series that would determine everything.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning roster took to the ice early on in game seven, but Washington would score early and force the Lightning to chase the game from behind on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the home ice momentum could not bring the Lightning what they needed, as the Washington Capitals score three additional times to solidify their victory in the Eastern Conference finals.

 

As the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard in game seven, there was never a real chance for the Lightning to win this hockey game. The tenacity and urgency was never apparent during the entire series, but there were a lot of great things to appreciate during the regular season. After the game ended, the coaching staff mentioned how several players were fighting injuries, and that some would even require surgery during the off-season.

 

The Washington Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals to compete for the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. They will face the Las Vegas Golden Knights in a seven game finale series to decide who wins the cup.

 

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, they will look back at their season with few regrets, and ultimately a solid third place finish in the league. They were the dominant force during the regular season, and managed to piece together a very respective playoff run, however coming ever so short of reaching the finals. As for the organization, they are still among the favorites to win in the coming years, despite the ever-growing issue to sign expensive players to loaded contracts while managing a limited cap-space.

Lightning Come Storming Back to Even Series 2-2

What a difference a few days make.

The Tampa Bay Lightning is back in the hunt for a coveted spot in the National Hockey League finals after it held off the Washington Capitals on Thursday and tied the series at two games each. Just a few days ago, most Lightning fans had given up their team for dead after the Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. What is even more impressive is that Tampa Bay was able to rattle off these two consecutive wins on the road at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Thursday’s 4-2 win by the Lightning sends the series back to Tampa for a Saturday clash at Amalie Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 pm. What is left is essentially a best-of-three series with the winner getting the honor of heading to the Stanley Cup Finals to face the winner of the Winnipeg Jets and Las Vegas Golden Knights series. The Golden Knights currently lead that series 2-1 with the next game set to take place on Friday in Las Vegas.

The Lightning was led by goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who turned in one of the most dominant performances of the series. The Caps outshot Tampa Bay 38-20 but the Lightning was still able to pull out the victory in large part because of the Russian goalie’s presence in the net.

Long-time fans of the Lightning should not be surprised about this last gasp by their hometown team. The team has an infamous history of getting down early in a series, only to come storming back on fire and ready to compete. And the Lightning did it again on Thursday, despite the extra bump in energy given to the Capitals when their star center, Nicklas Backstrom, returned to the ice after suffering a hand injury on May 5, causing him to miss four playoff games. Backstrom had four shots on goal, yet it was not enough to send his team to victory.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Their Journey to the NHL’s Final Four

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been a poised NHL all regular season and into the playoffs as they dominated opponents throughout the opening two rounds. The defeated the New Jersey Devils in just five games in the opening round of the playoffs. The Lightning have also eliminated the Boston Bruins in as many games in the second round after a controversial series. This is not Tampa Bay’s first time to the Eastern Conference finals, as they have found themselves within this position in three of the last five hockey seasons. The consistency in which they have had these impressive playoff runs is almost unbelievable.

They have been considered a favorite for most of the season, and after missing the 2017 hockey playoffs by one point, you could sense the fact that they had some unfinished business. The Lightning have been an offensive superpower all season long, but what goes unnoticed along their journey to the Eastern Conference finals is the fact that they have had great defensive performances from their defensemen and goaltender. Having a strong offensive force while still maintaining with an above average defensive core is quite remarkable. The depth within their roster allows for these types of performances in the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will have to win seven more games before they can lift the Stanley Cup. They have cruised through the opening two rounds and will now have to find a way to come from behind against the Washington Capitals in round three. None-the-less, the Tampa Bay Lightning have found their way to the NHL’s final four on a regular basis in recent years, and this year’s playoff run looks all the more impressive with the performances that are being presented out on the ice. Tampa Bay will face off against the Washington Capitals in game four on Thursday, May 17th in Capital One Arena in Washington.

Tampa Bay Lightning Fights Back in Game 3 with Impressive Victory

The Tampa Bay Lightning found themselves down coming into game three of the Eastern Conference Finals, with the understanding that they would realistically have to win this game to have a chance at winning the series. Their head coach, Jon Cooper, was optimistic coming into the day, and expected an impressive performance from his hockey team. He expected it, and they delivered, with an impressive victory over the Washington Capitals hockey team. The Lightning have cut their deficit in half and now only trail by one game, after losing the opening two games at their rink in Tampa Bay, the Amalie Arena.

The superstar line was slightly modified with the hopes to spark the Lightning, and they delivered with a stellar performance, and had an impact on almost every goal the team scored in game three. The general compete level was much higher, and there was a sense of urgency that had not been seen in this series up to this point. While this victory in Washington will lift the spirits of the players and fans of the Lightning, there is still work that needs to be done. The Lightning will have to have another impressive showing in game four to equalize the series. The momentum gained from game three’s performance will certainly have an impact on the remaining games in the series.

Game four takes place in Washington on Thursday, May 17th at 8:00 P.M. Eastern time. This game will surely bring some excitement to the table as the Lightning continue to try and find a way to catch up and equalize the series. They will have that opportunity in game four. One potential setback for the Lightning is the fact that their captain Steven Stamkos left with a foot injury after taking a shot to the leg early in the third period of game three, he did return but seemed to limp on the team’s bench.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Down 2-0 in NHL Eastern Conference Finals

The NHL Stanley Cup Finals are down to just four hockey clubs, two from the NHL’s Western Conference and two from the NHL’s Eastern Conference. The Tampa Bay Lightning have earned a berth into this playoff round in just ten games, with an impressive 10 wins and just 2 losses.

However when they kicked off their first two home games in Amalie Arena, they found themselves getting outplayed in both opening games and lost both to the Washington Capitals. They are now down 2-0 in a best of seven series, the first team to achieve four victories in this round will face off against the winning team in the western conference finals.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky had a less than impressive save percentage in the opening two games, and is poised to improve his statistics and performance in game three of this series. The Tampa Bay Lightning have been outscored 10-4 in terms of goals in the opening two games. Defense will become a priority in the remaining games if the Lightning are to have any chance at digging themselves out of this hole.

Captain of the Lightning Steven Stamkos expressed his optimism and expects one of their best games of the season in game three, when it takes place in Washington at the Capital One Arena. Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Lightning echoed his thoughts, and told his team to look at this deficit as a challenge rather than a threat. He also bragged about his team’s experience over the last several years when they have been in similar positions as they are now.

Fans are going to have to wait and see if their Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team can recover from their first two losses. Game three of this exciting series will take place in Capital One Arena on Tuesday, May 15th at 8:00 P.M. Eastern Time.

Lightning’s Kucherov Avoids Suspension – Will Skate in Game Five Saturday in Tampa

The Tampa Bay Lightning pushed within one game of advancing in the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday. They took down the New Jersey Devils 3 to 1 to take a matching advantage in their seven-game Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The Lightning’s leading point producer, slammed Devil defenseman Sami Vatanen into the boards, knocking him out of the game.

After finishing off New Jersey in game five, Tampa Bay awaited a ruling from the NHL league office on the status of the NHL’s third leading point producer. Nikita Kucherov actually left the ice to level a violent hit on Vatanen, so there was some sense he could be punished with a one game suspension.

While the hit didn’t generate a penalty, the team still worried it could earn their star a lost game, or even more. It took less than 24 hours for league officials to render a decision. Kucherov will not receive any punishment for the hit that has Vatanen questionable to skate in game five.

However, as the Devils fly south to take on the Lightning in game five at Amalie Arena, their season is also day-to-day. As immediately pressing as game five is for New Jersey, Tampa Bay seriously wants to end this series now. A thought of game six back inside the raucous Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey is something Lightning boss Jon Cooper wants to avoid.

The NHL playoffs can be an arduous grind. Avoiding unnecessary cross-country trips and extra games helps the team maintain a sense of freshness as they navigate their way deeper into the playoff abyss. Case and point was made during the 2003-04 Stanley Cup Championship season.

Tampa Bay sailed through the opening rounds, needing only nine games to reach the Eastern Conference against the Philadelphia Flyers. This freshness proved invaluable as it was clear the Lightning were the more energetic team. That hard-fought seven game series was followed up by the donnybrook, 2 to 1 seventh game against Calgary to win The Cup.

So, while Devil fans wait the news on the status of Sami Vatanen for game five, the Lightning are now focused on more pressing matters. Their leading scorer will play. Ending this series in Florida on Saturday afternoon is will give Tampa Bay a short breather before they welcome their second round opponent to a sellout crowd at Amalie Arena.

Lightning Look To Close Series In Game 5

In any Stanley Cup Playoff Series that closing game where you officially eliminate a team can often feel like the toughest to get. Of course, the other team will be playing with 110% energy in order to keep their season alive and the team that is ahead in the series has to be cautious not to let their focus start drifting to the potential opponents in the next round. With a 3-1 series lead over the New Jersey Devils the Tampa Bay Lightning are in that predicament right now — and without a doubt they know this Devils team can be dangerous and they want to end that series tonight.

For the Devils, they may very well be without their Finnish defensemen Sami Vatanen who is questionable with an upper body injury. The Devils have already given up 5 goals 2 different times in this series, and another blow to their defense may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

As a whole, the Lightning have bounced back in a big way this season finishing 1st in the Atlantic Division just a year after missing out on the playoffs entirely. One huge reason for the Lightning’s success this season is the emergence of Victor Hedman as one of the favorites for the Norris Trophy — awarded to the best defensemen in the league. In fact, Hedman has just been named a finalist and is in the lead of a straw poll taken on Pro Hockey Rumors. Hedman, at only 27 years old, still has plenty of great seasons ahead of him but it is hard to imagine a better campaign than the one he has put together so far this season. In game 5 he will, as always, be one of the players to keep your eye on as he tries and punch the Lightning through to the 2nd round of the playoffs.

The atmosphere of playoff hockey, as cliche as it sounds, is unlike anything else in sports. Right now the Lightning are as good as any other team in the NHL and you can bet they are looking to clinch tonight on their home ice, burying a pesky Devils team that will be fighting fearlessly to keep their Stanley Cup dreams alive.