Tampa Bay Lightning History
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been playing in the NHL since 1992 and currently are in
the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They won the Stanley Cup Championship in 2004 and have won two Division Championships,
in 2003 and 2004. The Tampa Bay Lightning are often referred to as the Bolts and showed right from the start that they meant
business. The first move of the franchise was to install Hall of Famers Phil Esposito and his brother Tony as general manage
and head scout respectively. Terry Crisp who had won two Stanley Cups as a player and another as coach of the Calgary Flames
was given head coaching responsibilities. The Lightning finally made the playoffs in the 1995 season and appeared to be on
an upswing until 1997 when many of their core players departed in trades and free agency and the Bolts fell to the bottom
of the Eastern Conference. In the 2002-2003 season the Lightning began their charge to the top behind the goalkeeping of Nikolai
Khabibulin and ended up winning the Stanley Cup the following year. Since then things have been looking good for the Bolts
but they are still looking to win that elusive second Stanley Cup Championship.
About the Team
well be the year that the Tampa Bay Lightning make another deep run in the playoffs and perhaps win the highly coveted Stanley
Cup. In the back they will rely on assistant captain defenseman Matt Carle as well as the goal tending of Ben Bishop to keep
the puck out of the net. Right Wing Martin St. Louis has been on a tear this season, leading the team in goals and assists
and if the Lightning can get some additional help up front from Steven Stamkos and Nate Thompson their offense could be unstoppable.
The team currently sits at fourth in the Atlantic Division just a few points behind Toronto, Montreal, and Boston and with
a strong finish could really move up the division standings and get one of the top seeds in the Eastern Conference. Be sure
to be there down the stretch and during the playoff run with tickets courtesy of StubHub.
fans in general are some of the most passionate sports fans around, but nothing quite matches the fanaticism surrounding the
NHL playoffs and fans of the Montreal Canadiens are some of the most dedicated and vociferous fans in the entire NHL. On game
day at Bell Centre the fans file in and take their seats and that is when the cheering and chanting begins. As the clock winds
down closer and closer to the dropping of the puck the crowd works itself into a frenzy. Finally both teams are ready for
face off and the excitement really begins. Thunderous, bone rattling hits, incredible displays of speed and agility, powerful
slapshots, and tremendous saves set the arena on fire for the following three periods of world class college hockey. By the
time the final buzzer sounds your voice is hoarse and your palms are stinging from clapping and giving high fives and you
will already be planning a return trip. Everything is ratcheted up a notch during the NHL playoffs and the further teams advance
the more intense the competition becomes. If you thought regular season NHL games were exciting, just wait until you experience
an NHL playoff game live and in person.
NHL Eastern Conference Atlantic Division
The Atlantic Division
is comprised of eight teams: the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres, the Detroit Red Wings, the Florida Panthers, the Montreal
Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Many of the teams in the division are
among the top franchises in the history of the NHL including the Montreal Canadiens who have won 24 Stanley Cup Championships.
The Boston Bruins are the most recent current member of the division to have won a Stanley Cup, having done so in 2010. The
Atlantic Division is in some ways new to the NHL after the 2013 realignment when the former Atlantic Division was renamed
the Northeast Division and the current Atlantic Division was created out of teams the Northeast Division, the Southeast Division,
and the Central Division. From the 2013-2014 season on look for the newly reconstructed Atlantic Division to be one of the
premiere divisions not only in the Eastern Conference but in the entire NHL.
Martin St. Louis is
not only leading the Lightning in points this season, but he is also one of the greatest Lightning players of all time, leading
the franchise in career points, with a total that only continues to rise each time he takes the ice. The Lightning only have
one retired number, that of Wayne Gretzky whose number 99 has been retired by every team in the NHL. The first draft pick
by the Lightning was Roman Hamrlik who was the number one overall pick in 1992.