Category: Tampa Bay

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 Buccaneers Look To Take Advantage Of Rule Changes In Kicking Game

Due to several rule changes adopted by National Football League owners, kickoffs occurring in the game will look drastically different. The changes are intended to reduce the number of dangerous collisions that take place during kickoff returns and there is a list of them:

 

 

  • The kicking team must line up with five players on each side of the football

 

  • The ball must be kicked before players on the kicking team can run to cover the kick

 

  • The return team must line eight players in a set-up zone prior to the kick

 

  • Return team players cannot block opponents while in the 15-yard setup zone. On most kicks, this zone will be located from the kicking team’s 35-yard line to midfield

 

  • Wedges are no longer allowed to be formed by members of the return team

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers special team’s coach Nate Kaczor is giving careful scrutiny to the rule changes in hopes of determining how they will affect his unit. Many in the league, including the man many consider to be the top coach, Bill Belichick believes the special teams game to be an integral ingredient in deciding the outcome of an NFL football game.

 

The main issue for Buccaneers players, as well as players of all the league’s teams, is to be afforded more safety in kickoff plays while not sacrificing any of the game’s excitement. Smart coaches like Kaczor also recognize that the rule changes in the kicking game can be used to improve his team’s chances of scoring more points.

 

The fact that players covering kicks of the kicking team will no longer be afforded a running start is huge. A fast running NFL player can cover approximately ten yards in a single second and by having them remain stationary until the ball is kicked will give kick-returners more room to operate.

 

Running lanes are also likely to be a little broader because by requiring that five coverage personnel line up on each side of the football teams can no longer overload the side of the field where the ball will be kicked.

 

Kaczor and other special teams coordinators will no doubt look to load up on speedy return men to take advantage of these rule changes as a team that has returned a kickoff for a touchdown in an NFL game have been victorious 62% of the time over the last ten years.

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.

Bucs Are Thrilled to Have Rookie Ronald Jones II

Bucs Are Excited for Rookie Running Back Jones Start

 

In the NFL, drafting new rookies for the team is always exciting to see because of the potential for greatness, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no exception to this.

 

For the Bucs, running back Ronald Jones II is one of their new players that they couldn’t be more excited about right now. Drafted out of USC in the second round this year, the Bucs picked up Jones as a way to address their problems with their running game, especially concerning the drama of current running back Doug Martin.

 

Bucs director of college scouting Mike Biehl spoke to the press on why Jones is a perfect fit for the Bucs offense. He stated that Jones was one of his favorite running backs during the draft and also one of the top ones available behind first round pick Saquon Barkley. He also stated that Jones II could provide the team with the long term successes that they needed, such as speed and being physically tough.

 

Biehl specifically emphasized Jones’ speed, stating that it would add a dimension to their team and give them a quality that they hadn’t seen in some time. He also mentioned that he may not have been given a ton of opportunities to catch passes in college but he believes that Jones could be a pure three-down running back. Diehl went on to note that Jones II is only 20 years old and still has a lot to learn from being in the NFL but does have the right attitude, something he thought many of the guys drafted this year also had.

 

As far as rookies go, Jones II was ranked as one of the top three running backs in the draft and is very likely to start alongside Peyton Barber this upcoming season. With all of this in mind, plus the lack of a strong running game over the last few years, it’s no wonder that the Bucs are very excited to see Jones II take the field.

Why USF Florida Gators Have to Happen

When you talk about football in Florida, the conversation can turn as serious as talking about it in Texas. It is for this reason that the head coach of the Florida Gators really has been pushing for a series with the University of Southern Florida. There are a number of reasons why this is a good move for the Bulls of USF. The biggest of these is the recognition that they will be playing a team in-state that is ranked in the top 25 on a regular basis. This is one of those boosts that you get on your resumé that can really get the attention of the media.. this also would have a monetary advantage that many people are not looking at having that kind of exposure especially if they win will put the school in the national spotlight and really give them something to brag about.

 

There is the benefit that comes for Raymond James Stadium and the surrounding area in 2023. With all of the fans, media and other people in town for the game, local businesses will greatly benefit from the increased business. While local businesses do well enough during football season, having the Florida Gators in town will just be an added bonus for the USF Bulls. This could be a massive shot to both schools Gainsville will see a huge increase in the number of fans that flock to their city in the years following the first meeting between these two teams.

 

The fans will be the last group that will benefit from these two teams meeting. It will be a battle for both teams and the fans of these respective teams will be in town to support their team. this helps to encourage a sense of team pride and will hopefully lead to a little fun Intra-state rivalry that many of the other teams in Florida enjoy such as Florida and Florida State or Florida State and Miami. This will add another chapter to this storied state and their rivalry in football.

 

All of these reasons are excellent reasons why the fans of both schools should be excited about these two teams going at it. This could lead to more schools in more states taking on the same concept in the upcoming years

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.

ESPN Not Showing Much Respect For Bucs Upcoming Season

The kickoff to the 2018 National Football League season is now less than a 100 days away and that means it is time for prognosticators to make preseason projections.

 

On Tuesday, ESPN’s annual Power Index Rankings were released and the publication does not think highly of the Bucs chances to succeed in the 2018 season. In fact, ESPN predicts that Bucs will finish dead last in their division.

 

The FPI’s prediction is bad news for team General Manager Jason Licht and head coach Dirk Koetter who both may need a playoff run by the team to retain employment for another season. The Bucs are rated as the 22nd best team in the league by the publication and has been given a 10% chance of making it to the playoffs. The Bucs odds of reaching the playoffs in the opinion of FPI is higher only than the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals.

 

The offseason overhaul of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive unit has been much publicized by the team but has not impressed the prognosticators that produced ESPN’s FPI. The publication has rated the defense 28th in the league. The offense, which is led by star quarterback Jameis Winston is predicted to be in the middle of the pack.

 

NFL schedule makers obviously did the team no favors as they have the toughest schedule in the NFL. Nine of the team’s games this year would be against teams rated in the top ten by the FPI.

 

The good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the report is that the team has a near 30% chance of landing a top-five pick in next year’s National Football League draft.

 

Players and coaches with the team do not take these predictions seriously and understand it is merely fun for fans. In fact, the Buccaneers organization is optimistic about the team’s prospects for the upcoming season and are expecting to see a great improvement over last year’s defensive performance.

 

Justin Evans, a second year player as a safety with the team expressed that there is a big difference in team chemistry with the defense than was present with the team a year ago. Evans says that the defensive coaching philosophy entails the unit improving in all aspects of their play.

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.

Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken Wants QB Winston To Stop Trying So Hard

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken has an important message for starting quarterback Jameis Winston as the team begins preparation for the 2018 NFL season: Stop trying so hard.

Monken explains that there is so much pressure on starting quarterbacks to perform in the league and many young quarterbacks press too hard to live up to expectations. Monken goes on to say that he and other team coaches could see this happening to Winston throughout last season both on the field and in the locker room and says that it is important that his fourth-year quarterback realize that he does not have to try so hard to be the leader that he already is.

Winston left a week 7 game against the Arizona Cardinals last season due to a sprain to his throwing shoulder that would sideline him for three games. Sources close to the team report that Winston actually suffered the injury in a week 3 contest against the Washington Redskins and had been playing with the injury since that time.

Winston, while dealing with the injury and the suffering of his team through the first of two five-game losing streaks continued to try to be an inspiration to his team. An unfortunate incident caught on camera during this time was of Winston giving a pregame pep talk to teammates who seemed unconcerned with his words.

Various media sources used the incident as a reason to criticize Winston for what they say was an obvious sign that he was out of touch with the pulse of his team. DeSean Jackson, a wide receiver, and teammate of Winston came to his quarterback’s aid, saying that the star quarterback is always blamed when things don’t go right with a football team.

Things not going right is unfamiliar territory to Winston after a college career in which he lost no games, nor had he missed any games due to injury in his football career before last season.

Monken is looking to make his young quarterback understand that he is only human and that adversity will happen throughout his playing career. The important thing is to keep playing the game, Monken says, and in the case of Winston his natural leadership abilities will shine through.

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.