Category: Tampa Bay Lightning

Vasilevskiy Lifts Lightning at Amalie Arena

The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to one of the best starts in the NHL this season. Their dominance at home includes six straight wins. A big reason for the Lightning’s success has been the outstanding play of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Vasilevskiy has been a model of consistency, winning nine straight starts for the Lightning. This ties the young Russian for a franchise record with John Grahame, a Tampa Bay legend who accomplished the feat in 2005.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to sports fans that Tampa Bay is making a strong start. The team is deep at every position and has been knocking on the door of a second Stanley Cup for a couple of years now. With the play of Vasilevskiy and Steven Stamkos, the Bolts cannot be disputed as a contender. It is Vasilevskiy, however, who is getting a lot of cheers from the fans at Amalie Arena.

There were some concerns among fans when the Bolts traded goalie Ben Bishop to the Dallas Stars. Bishop is the tallest goaltender to ever play in the NHL and his presence in front of the Tampa Bay net was often key to the team’s success. Vasilevskiy was tasked with filling some big shoes when he assumed the starting role for the 2017-18 season.

The young man has thus far shown incredible poise. During his nine-game winning streak, Vasilevskiy has posted a save percentage of .946. It is still early in the season but the goalie is making a difference. His performance on the Lightning’s home ice is especially impressive. The Bolts recently fell to the Anaheim Ducks at home, snapping a six-game win streak in Amalie Arena. During that stretch, Vasilevskiy had games with 28 or more saves. These performances included outings against the Detroit Red Wings and other tough teams.

Will the Russian be able to continue his excellent play? Fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning hope so. At the moment it appears that staying healthy for the entire NHL season may be the biggest threat Vasilevskiy will face as the Bolts chase another chance at the Cup.

Tampa’s Teams Joining Hands To Fight For A Noble Cause

At the front side of the Hillsborough County Courthouse there sits a monument that constantly reminded people of the Charlottesville tragedy. Recently in Tampa, Florida, three teams came together and decided to join efforts in assisting to get rid of the monument that they all did not think agreed with their culture. The three teams that were involved were MLB’s Rays, NFL’s Buccaneers and NHL’s Lightning. These teams came to together as they made their statement of joining hands in walking together past the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville. They so a need to be united in the midst of diversities so that they could heal. They volunteered to contribute their own money as they raised funds towards moving the monument.

None of the teams revealed how much they had contributed towards this cause. The Hillsborough County Commissioners Board had suggested that the monument could be moved to a different city and stored on private property. There was, however, need to raise 150 thousand dollars from private sources or individuals so that they could cover the costs that were to be incurred in moving the monument. A sort of campaign began to raise these funds. Tony Dungy, the former Buccaneers coach, together with his wife contributed five thousand dollars and went public with it on Twitter. His contribution triggered a further contribution from other local teams and individuals. Bob Buckhorn, Tampa’s Mayor, donated a thousand dollars towards this cause because he believed it was morally right to move the monument.

As much as some people in the region are against this monument’s move, it has gained enormous support from the politicians and business leaders locally. Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s President gave a donation of 70 thousand dollars towards the campaign. The joint effort from individuals, teams and the Chamber of Commerce, it is almost correct to affirm that the move was going to happen. The amount of money raised in the campaign would go a long way. Tampa is one of the cities that managed to get rid of the Confederate monument. The constant reminder of the Charlottesville tragedy will no longer be there. It was a great win for the teams and Florida as a whole.

NHL: After Leaving New York, Dan Girardi Seeks to Prove He Can Still Contribute in Tampa

Last season, NHL Defenseman Dan Girardi was at a crossroads in his career. After an 11-year career with the New York Rangers, Girardi was being “bought out” by the team. Girardi knew he still had a lot left in the tank, so he signed a 2-year, $6 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Of course, for the Rangers it was strictly a business decision. Injuries and the speed of the game have taken their toll on Girardi, per Yahoo Sports Tampa Bay.

Even though Girardi believes he did not leave New York on the best terms, he is a man on a mission. He is seeking to prove that even though his ice time has decreased significantly from 2012 on he can still be competitive for his new term. Even though he only received 26 minutes per game in 2011 and then had that number drop to 25:24, 23:07, 22:41, 20:19 and then 19:06, the Lightning believe that with the right young players around him Girardi can still be an asset to his new team.

Simply put, Girardi is hungry. He has recuperated well from his injuries and continues to train each and every day for his new role with the Lightning. He is on record for saying that he feels “100% great.” Ask Girardi, and he will tell you that there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to staying with one team for a long period. Unfortunately, the trap one can fall in is getting into “cruise control” and getting used to things the way they are.

Now that Girardi has something to prove, we can expect that his productivity numbers will go up, not down. Tampa Bay Lightning fans can definitely look forward to some productive play from Girardi. It is truly the Ranger’s loss.

Ondrej Palat: A Great New Contract

Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Lightning has recently signed a new five year contract. The Lightning is very keen on keeping Palat in Tampa. Palat’s increasing skill and talent provide the team with great hope and faith that the Lightning will perform much better than previous seasons.

Fan explains contract and what it means for the Lighting’s upcoming season.

It is pretty obvious that Palat likes this deal. His new five year contract includes $26.5 million, more than what the average deal usually provides. Palat believes that accepting this contract will help him perform better than he usually does during games. The contract assures him that he will be somewhere for an extended amount of time. It also prevents him from worrying of being traded with.

The Lightning’s general manager, Steve Yzerman, decided that his team’s roster needed to be looked over during the team’s off-season. Yzerman determined that some things needed to readjusted. Lighting’s forward, Jonathan Drouin, was traded for Mikhail Sergachev. Also, the veteran players, Chris Kunitz and Dan Girardi, were added to the team.

Both Girardi and Kunitz have a great amount of experience in the hockey rink. The two players together, have played 283 post-season games combined. Yzerman is confident that these twos players will make the Lightning much more sturdy in this upcoming season. These new adjustments to the team, are most likely going to be very beneficial. Yzerman expects that the team should expect a sharp increase in its performance and coordination in future games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Dan Girardi

The Lightning just signed defenseman and NHL veteran Dan Girardi to play for them. The contract is $6 million for two years.

Prior to that, he played 63 games for the New York Rangers, an average of 20 minutes per game. He scored four goals and gets credit for 11 assists. This level of performance did not match the goals of his contract with the Rangers, so they bought him out.

The Lightning still need depth in their blue line. They still have only five NHL defensemen. Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman will continue to play the biggest roles for the Lightning. Ryan Callahan and Anton Stralman are former Rangers teammates of his.

Girardi’s seven-year-old son Landon was happy at the change because he wanted Steven Stamkos’s autograph. Fortunately, Stamkos texted Girardi a big welcome to the team, and told Girardi to let him know if Stamkos could do anything for him. He probably was not expecting a request for his autograph.

Giradi is 6 feet, 1 inches tall and weighs 212 pounds. At the age of 33, he has played in 788 regular season games and 122 playoff games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning also signed Chris Kunitz as forward. Kunitz has earned four Stanley Cup rings. He won two playing with Pittsburgh in the past two years.

The Lightning general manager Steve Izerman said that signing Kunitz and Girardi would make their defense stronger than it was last season. It would bring an element of abrasiveness. That would make them harder to play against.

Girardi said he is a team-first type of guy. He doesn’t look for fights, but he sticks up for his teammates. He plays hard and finishes checks. He says he does not like playing against Kunitz. This implies he will enjoy playing on the same team on Kunitz. Kunitz is a tough player who goes straight up against the opponents and scores goals.

Time To Rebuild for Lightning:

Two years ago they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season, they were one win away from a second straight trip to the Cup Finals. All indications were the Tampa Bay Lightning were on the cusp of becoming one of the NHL’s elite teams.

 

That’s not the case in 2016-2017. The Bolts are 29-25-8 with 66 points and lingering in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. With playoffs seemingly out of reach, Tampa Bay spent the days leading up to the March 1st trade deadline unloading some of its top players and preparing for rebuild mode.

 

First to go was Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay’s mainstay in goal since 2013-2014. He was sent to the Los Angeles Kings, along with a seventh round draft pick, for goalie Peter Budaj (27-20 this season), defenseman Erik Cernak, and two draft picks. Your text to link… A day later, on February 27th, veteran center Brian Boyle was shipped off to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Byron Froese, who had 24 goals and 15 assists in 48 games this season for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and a draft pick.

 

Deadline day brought the third and final big trade for the Lightning as they eye their future. Valtteri Filppula, who has turned into more of an assist man than a goal scorer over the past three seasons, was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers, along with two draft picks, for defenseman Mark Streit, who was immediately sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2018 fourth round draft pick.

 

In losing three prominent players from its roster, the Lightning gained a quality goaltender and four draft picks, five when counting their January 27th deal with Montreal that included defenseman Jonathan Racine, and two prospects in Froese and Cernak. Should the infusion of youth work out, they’ll be added to a roster that already has solid goal scorers like Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson. Once Steven Stamkos is healed up and back on the ice, look for Tampa Bay to be back in the Stanley Cup mix.

 

Tampa Bay Trade Russian Defenseman To Clear Space For Salary Cap

The National Hockey League team, the Tampa Bay Lightning have just announced that they are doing a major trade. Tampa Bay has traded Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadians. Nikita Nesterov is a 23 year old Russian defenseman who is considered to be an up and coming player with a lot of potential. Nesterov has played 35 games so far for the Tampa Bay Lightening. In that period he has scored three goals and made nine assists. This season was one of his best in his career. Previously, he has scored eight goals and made 20 assists in a total of 119 career games.

 

Russian defenseman Nikita Nesterov was on a $725,000 per year contract with the Lightening. In exchange for trading Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadians, the Lightening have received lower division defenseman, Jonathon Racine as well as a sixth round draft pick that was originally reserved for the Montreal Canadians. Jonathon Racine, who is now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightening has only played a single NHL game in his career. He joined the NHL in 2011 as the 87th draft pick of the year. He currently plays for lower division team, the St. John’s IceCaps.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightening will now be free of the salary allotment that was paid to Nikita Nesterov. Club officials say that the reason they decided to trade Nikita Nesterov to the Canadians for a new draft pick and a backup defenseman was that the team needed to free up salary allotment space. Current players, Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson are expected to receive an increase to their salaries. Johnson and Palat are both on $3.33 million dollar salaries that have reached their cap. Drouin who is on a $894,167 salary is also at his capped salary.

 

The trade of Nikita Nesterov will allow the Tampa Bay Lightening to use their salary allotment to retain players such as Drouin, Palat and Johnson as well as goalkeeper, Ben Bishop. Tampa Bay is currently 6th place in the Atlantic Division and it seems a playoff run is unlikely. The team currently has 22 wins and 22 losses. Their last game was a loss to fellow Florida side, the Florida Panthers 2-1. Their next game is on the 31st of January when they host the Boston Bruins.

 

Alan Thicke’s role in the birth of the Tampa Bay Lightning

It was a shock to everyone when Alan Thicke died at age 69 right after enjoying a hockey game with his son, Carter, age 19.

 

Alan is remembered for playing the dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains“. He also hosted “Thicke of the Night,” a late-night talk show and was a very talented song writer writing the themes for “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life.”

 

In Tampa, Florida, Alan is also remembered by fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team because he was the on-ice pre-game host and the master of ceremonies for the inaugural game of the Lightning at Expo Hall against the Blackhawks on October 7, 1992. He also helped to promote the 1999 All-Star Game in Tampa.

 

With his life-long love of hockey and being an enthusiastic hockey fan, in addition to being a close friend of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Alan had become friends with Lightning founder Phil Esposito when Esposito was a Rangers player. Thicke wrote the cult-classic song “Hockey Sock Rock” that Esposito sang and which was turned into a charity video. From that friendship came Alan‘s invitation to that first Lightning game.

 

It was hoped that the Tampa Bay Lightning found what was needed to pull themselves out of their recent rut with their recent 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames, when the Flames were considered to be the best Western team as December progressed and up in the standings to be in a playoff spot. However, the Lightning fell 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks in the season finale on December 17.

 

Back in September 2015, the Tampa Bay Lightning along with the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced that they were investing over $6 million over the coming five years in an extensive program, Build the Thunder. The mission is to grow the game of hockey and its fans and teach life skills lessons by players and alumni as role models and teachers to approximately 100,000 local young people who will learn critical educational and life skills.

 

Veteran’s Day Appreciation with the Tampa Bay Lightning

*Link to image of Lightning Hockey Player in MARPAT CAMMIES

 

The Veteran’s Day Ceremony – Tampa Bay Lightning

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning prepared for their moment to participate in Military Appreciation Day with a luncheon and military dress for the ice. On Thursday, November 10, the Lightning took on the N.Y. Islanders while hosting 2,500 service members and their families. As planned, the Lightning hit the ice skating arena wearing a unique and special military-style jersey. This MARPAT design is well-known only to the secret operations service members of the Armed Forces.

 

During the ice hockey show, several veterans were honored on the ice, including Tampa’s own CENTCOM and SOCOM. Also, a Marine enlistment ceremony took place, followed by an award ceremony for an injured. The injured veteran received a new mortgage-free home from “Chase.”

 

MARPAT Camoflauge

The MARPAT cammies were field tested by the US Marines not so long ago. The uniform’s print consists of small ratios and variations of colors. Moreover, this digital pattern replaced the Vietnam tiger stripe style of camouflage. According to science, the MARPAT is a digital design that is created to create visual “noise”, thus, preventing the natural eye from placing any valid visual templates and forming a confirmed visual of any known objects. In other words, the uniform appears as a blur from short to long distances

 

NY versus Tampa Bay

According to the latest leaderboard, TB Lightning’s leaderboard has Steven Stamkos (#91 – TBL – Center) listed twice with eight goals and 17-pionts; Nikita Kucherov (#86 – TBL – the right guard) with 11- assists, and Ben Bishop (#30 – TBL – Goalie) with five wins.

 

In the end, the Islanders lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 1 to 4. New York’s only score was during the second period by A Ladd at the 8:04 mark. With a 5-7-2 record, the New York Islanders are not looking for anything more special following this honorable event in Tampa. In contrast, for the Tampa Bay Lightning, this win represents their eighth win of the season, bringing their record to 8-5-1. The Key players were S. Stamkos, N. Kucherov, T. Johnson, and B. Boyle.

 

 

Ex-Islander Halmo Joins Lightning Organization:

The Tampa Bay Lightning may have added depth to its future corps of forward with the signing Mike Halmo. The 25-year-old from Kitchener, Ontario spent last season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, where he garnered 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 points. He also collected 117 penalty minutes. Upon his signing, Halmo tweeted, “Excited to be joining the @TBLightning organization. Letssss goooooooooo.”

Halmo spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, a major junior league in Canada, playing for the Owen Sound Attack. During that time, he recorded 76 goals and 89 assists. His best season came in 2011-2012 when he had 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points. Despite those numbers, Halmo was not drafted.

His hard work paid off in 2012 when he was signed by the New York Islanders as a free agent. After putting up 18 goals and 20 assists for Bridgeport in 2013-2014, he was called up to the Islanders for the remainder of their season. Halmo’s offense did not carrying over to the NHL as he had just one goal in 20 games. Your text to link…

Though not the biggest guy on the ice at 5’11, 195 pounds, the scouting report by The Hockey News calls Halmo a “feisty competitor” and a rugged, energetic winger. He could help bolster the Lightning’s fourth line in the near future.