Tampa Bay Lightning News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
About Tampa Bay Lightning
3/4/15: The Tampa Bay Lightning are still playing well, but not quite as well as the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens. They earned a big win last Friday, shutting out perennial contenders Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 at home. Youngster Jonathan Drouin made the play of the night setting up the first goal. He pulled a no-look backhand pass from behind the net to the slot where Brian Boyle was set up undefended. The Lightning continue to be a monster on offense and were the first team to break 200 goals this season. The Bolts have home games on Thursday and Saturday, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars, respectively.
2/25/15: There is no team in the NHL that is so vulnerable to an injury to their starting goalie than perhaps the Tampa Bay Lightning. Everyone saw what happened last season when starter Ben Bishop missed the playoffs. The team was swept in four games in the first round by the Montreal Canadiens. First and foremost, the Bolts need Bishop healthy and playing well at playoff time. But if there is an injury, the Lightning solidified their goalie depth by signing Allen York to a two-way deal, which will allow the team to move him between the NHL and AHL as needed.
2/18/15: The Tampa Bay Lightning are a great team this season and will go as far as goaltender Ben Bishop will take them. However, they have not been able to figure out the St. Louis Blues, who have beaten them twice in 10 days. Ironically, Bishop is from St. Louis and started his NHL career with the Blues. But a bigger problem has been their road trips. The Lightning are a mediocre 12-11-5 away from Amalie Arena. They need to improve that right away as they are on a Western Conference road trip. The face Anaheim tonight, Arizona on Saturday and Colorado on Sunday.
2/11/15: The Tampa Bay Lightning play an exciting brand of hockey. This is the kind of team to take a friend who knows nothing about hockey to see. They have a young, dynamic offense that leads the league in goals scored by a large margin. Their defense and goaltending is underrated. And the team is very, very young. They will be good for a long time. That youth hurt them last week when the St. Louis Blues scored late in the third period to tie and then in overtime to win. They will learn how to close out those games in time. But the Lightning have another shot at the Blues this week, hosting St. Louis on Thursday.
2/5/15: For those who have not been paying attention, the Atlantic Division is displaying the type of top tier competition that the NHL loves. Tampa, Montreal and Detroit are all within one point of each other and take turns at the top of the standings. Additionally, all are on hot streaks with a combined 23 wins in their last 30 games. Tampa jumped back on top of the race last week when youngster Cedric Paquette notched the first hat trick of his career in a crucial 5-1 win over the Red Wings. Paquette is among several young and talented players on the Lightning which should keep Tampa near the top of the standings for several years.
1/28/15: It has been a good first half of the season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. They entered the All Star break with a 30-14-4 record, good for 64 points which leads the entire Eastern Conference and is third in the NHL. The Lightning are known for their offense and lead the NHL in goals scored with 156 and are third in the league in goal differential with +29. One of their young offensive stars is rookie Jonathan Drouin, who won the fastest skater competition at the NHL All Star Skills Contest, finishing with a blazing time of 13.103 seconds.
1/21/15: There has to be some concern in Tampa these days, even though the Lightning are at the top of the Atlantic standings. The Lightning are a great offensive force. They lead the league in goals scored and it is not really close. At the same time, they are average on defense. They are not going to win many 2-1 games, they will win a lot of 6-4 games. But their best defenseman, Victor Hedman is out with an injury and no one really knows when he will be able to return. It is possible that for the next few weeks, the Bolts are going to have to move forward by scoring seven or eight goals.
1/14/15: The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to be the cream of the Eastern Conference. The season is just past halfway complete for the Bolts and they lead the NHL in goals scored with 140 and are second in the league in the all-important goal differential at +29. The Lightning continued their hot play against the Buffalo Sabres last Friday. They peppered Sabres goalie Michal Neuvirth with 47 shots. Neuvirth was outstanding and stopped 45 of them - good enough to earn the first star of the game. Tampa is home this week to host Edmonton on Thursday, Colorado on Saturday and Vancouver on Tuesday.
1/7/15: With the majority of their roster healthy, and that includes goaltender Ben Bishop, the Tampa Bay Lightning are tearing up the NHL. They currently sit on top of the Atlantic Division (though that can change daily with the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings lurking) and have the best goal differential in the East with a whopping +27. They are an offensive force with one of the best goal scorers in the league, Steven Stamkos. But the Lightning do not have to rely exclusively on Stamkos. They have a lot of offensive depth and their best line is Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov. Even better for Tampa? All four of those forwards are 24 or younger.
12/3/14: The Tampa Bay Lightning only had two games last week, but Ryan Callahan played big in both. He posted three goals and two assists in those games, which moved him up to third in goals and fifth in total points this season. The Bolts won both games and share first place in the Atlantic Division with the Montreal Canadiens. The Lightning continue to be an offensive powerhouse and have registered a whopping 85 goals in just 24 games, which is four more than the next team - the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tampa hosts Buffalo on Thursday and Columbus on Saturday.
11/19/14: Tampa is so much better than people give them credit for. It is not a fluke that they are 11-4-2 after 17 games, and trail the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens by just one point. Tampa can score. They already have 61 goals to their credit, which is about 15 more than the league average. On top of that, they have only surrendered 46 goals, which is about average. They could be a dangerous team later on the season and especially in the playoffs. They are on an East Coast road trip for most of this week but are back in Tampa to host the Wild on Saturday.
11/12/14: Don't forget about Tampa, everyone. The Lightning are not only at the top of the Atlantic Division (tied with Montreal at 21 points, though having played one fewer game), but they are simply lighting it up offensively. After chasing Blue Jackets goalie Anton Forsberg from the game after the first period with four goals, and putting up seven goals, the Bolts are averaging nearly four goals a game. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins are scoring more. This is a team that everyone should be mindful of. Tampa returns home on Thursday to face San Jose and then the New York Islanders on Saturday.
11/5/14: The Tampa Bay Lightning are rounding into shape. They are playing winning hockey and have put themselves near the top of the Atlantic Standings. Sniper Steven Stamkos continues to wreak havoc on opposing goaltenders. He netted two more goals against Philadelphia last week in a 4-3 win. Rookie Jonathan Drouin was dropped to the fourth line so he can learn to play without the puck. He may not put up huge numbers this season, but the experience will be invaluable and he will develop into a solid player over time. Tampa hosts Calgary on Thursday before heading out on a tough road trip.
10/29/14: There was a line on Twitter about how updating the Lightning's injuries was becoming a full time job. More than a little hyperbole there, but the sentiment is true. Tampa has been plagued by injuries already this season and lost Brett Connolly and J.T. Brown last week in a game at Winnipeg. The Lightning would go on to win the game 4-2, and it is a good thing they have some strong offensive weapons like Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat. That was their fifth win of the season and put them within a point of Montreal. Tampa has nice homestand this week with Philadelphia on Thursday, Washington on Saturday and Calgary the following Thursday.
10/22/14: It is impossible to figure out how good the Tampa Bay Lightning would have been last season if star sniper Steven Stamkos has not missed four months to a broken tibia. Or how far they could have gotten in the playoffs if goaltender Ben Bishop had been healthy. Both are back now and the difference shows. Stamkos scored a hat trick against the Montreal Canadiens - the same team that swept them in the first round last season. Meanwhile, Bishop, through three games has two wins and an overtime loss to go with a 1.61 goals against average and a very solid .931 save percentage. If both stay healthy, then the Bolts will go far this season.
10/15/14: The NHL would like for a real rivalry between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers to develop. It is there, but throughout the history of both franchises, they really have had nothing binding a rivalry except geographic location. That may soon change after the big hit the Lightning's Radko Gudas put on Florida's Scottie Upshaw. It was an elbow to the head that kept Upshall down for a few minutes. The NHL initially did not schedule a disciplinary hearing. If nothing else, it should get the blood boiling between the two teams. Tampa won the game 3-2 in overtime.
10/8/14: The Lightning won the Stanley Cup a decade ago, which was a tremendous shock to the established NHL franchises. Since then, they have been up and down. They have put together some good teams, even made it to the Eastern Conference Finals a few years ago, but have not been able to seal the deal. Last year looked promising until goalie Ben Bishop went down with an injury at playoff time. The Bolts are back this season and have all the ingredients to win the division. And don't think this is an apathetic fan base (as the Rays are considered), Lightning fans are some of the most passionate around.
10/1/14: The Atlantic Division should be on notice. The Lightning took second in the division to the Boston Bruins last season (notching 101 points in the regular season). Unfortunately, an injury to starting goaltender Ben Bishop essentially kept him out of the playoffs, and led to a quick first round sweep. But Tampa is back this season and looking for some vengeance. Bishop is healthy, and when he is healthy, he is one of the better goalies in the league. Martin St. Louis is gone after a bitter divorce from the team, but Ryan Callahan should be able fill those skates. Tampa starts the season at home against in-state rival Florida Panthers on Thursday, October 9th.
2/28/13: The Lightning are in a tough fight for the Southeast division crown. Currently, they are tied with Carolina at 19 points, and just beat the Hurricanes with a late flourish from some of their youngsters. Tampa has had most of their games at home, and won for only the second time in six tries on the road with the 5-2 victory over Carolina. The upgrade in goaltending and defense is making a definitive impact on this team. The Bolts could always score, but now the can defend as well - and that makes them very dangerous as the playoffs approach.
2/21/13: At one game above .500, the Lightning are ahead of last year's pace and just a win behind the Carolina Panthers for the top spot in the Southeast. However, this has to be a frustrating time for fans. The team can score - as expected. They lead the league with 55 goals in 14 games; an average of almost four goals a game. But they have also given up 45 goals, so they find themselves in shootouts. The upgrades in net and at the blueline have made a difference, but not enough to separate themselves from the pack . Don't be surprised if GM Steve Yzerman makes a move for another defenseman before the trade deadline.
2/14/13: Nail Yakupov was the number one overall pick and is contributing in Edmonton. Fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko started out on fire and is a must-watch every time he touches the puck. Justin Schultz spurned the Ducks, got to Edmonton and is showing he can play. But the guy who may win the Rookie of the Year is in Tampa - Cory Conacher. Conacher had five goals in his first 10 games and is showing he is a complete player. The Lightning struck gold with this youngster, though the league should be proud of all of their talented rookies.
2/7/13: At 6-3, the Lightning are atop of the Southeast Division by three points over Winnepeg. Give GM Steve Yzerman and the front office credit, they identified their biggest need and filled it. Although anyone could see they needed defensive help. Last season they were among the best on offense and Steven Stamkos led the league with 60 goals. But the defense and goaltending let the opposition pass through like a turnstile. Yzerman convinced Matt Clarke and Sami Salo to come to Tampa and traded for goalie Anders Lindback. So far the results speak for themselves. Tampa should win their division this season and can make a run for the Cup.
1/31/13: Its only been a few games but it looks like the Lightning learned from last season. It is no secret that the team has as much offensive fire power as any in the league, led by Steven Stamkos who led the league with 60 goals last season. But the defense was awful last year. The addition of goaltender Anders Lindback, as well as defensemen Sami Salo and Matt Clarke seems to have bolstered the group, as evidenced by the 5-1 thrashing on the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. If this trend continues, expect the Lightning to be playing deep in to the post season.
1/17/13: The Bolts will open the shortened NHL season against the rival Washington Capitals on Saturday, January 19th. Tampa made the Eastern Conference Finals two years ago as goaltender Dwane Rolloson had a remarkable resurgence. But he could not duplicate his work last season, so even though the Lightning could score with any team, they simply could not stop anyone on defense. This season, former Nashville backup Anders Lindback takes over between the pipes. He has impressed so far in informal practices. If he is anywhere above average, then Tampa will be a force in the East.
11/29/12: Most of the focus in the Lightning organization these days is on the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch, whose players comprised the Norfolk Admirals last season and won the Calder Cup while sporting a record 28 game winning streak, are showing their strenght again, continuing to give hope to the Tampa fans who follow the prospects. Brett Connelly is a very interesting prospect. The big center is back from knee injuries and is making his mark in the AHL along with goaltenders Riku Helinius and Dustin Tokarski. Connelly has a chance to make the Lightning roster this season, that is, if there is a season.
11/22/12: Sad news for the Lightning family, as word is out that former defenseman Kaspars Ashtashenko has died. Ashtashenko only played in 23 games for the Bolts between 1999 and 2001. He played for the Latvian Olympic Team in 2002 as well. He was only 37 years old. Meanwhile, the lockout continues in the NHL, and many NHLers have transplanted themselves to European and Russian teams. Tampa fans are getting restless, and desperately want to fill the Forum this season. Tampa may not be a traditional hockey hotbed, but the fans are loyal and abundant, and can't wait to get back to the games.
11/15/12: With the NHL on hiatus (read: owner-imposed lockout), it's a good time to check in on some of the Lightning's prospects. Tampa's AHL affiliate is the Syracuse Crunch. Most, if not all of the players, were on the Norfolk Admirals last season, which was then Tampa's AHL affiliate. the Admirals cruised to the AHL championship, setting records by dominating the league. The Crunch this year are leading the AHL East division, ironically, by two points over the Admirals. Former first round pick Riku Helenius notched his first shutout since 2009 in a 3-0 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs, who are the AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.
11/8/12: Putting aside all of the hand wringing about Tampa's defense and goal tending concerns, Lightning fans can appreciate their hoards of riches when it comes to offense. Sure, there are the usual suspects such as Vinny Lecalvalier, Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcel. But the Lightning may have another blue chip prospect in the pipeline. Cory Conacher was the AHL MVP last season and should make a strong push to join the NHL club soon. Though not big (5'8, 175 lbs), he can score - and would make a great addition with St. Louis and Stamkos.
11/1/12: This could be coach Guy Boucher's make or break year in Tampa, should there be an NHL season. The Lightning invested heavily in improving their back half by acquiring defensemen Sami Salo and Matt Carle. More importantly, GM Steve Yzerman pulled the trigger and traded for Nashville backup goalie Anders Lindback to be the starter in Tampa. The Bolts are already loaded offensively, and now believe they have the defense and goaltending to compete. All that is left is to actually have a season so the team can prove they belong in the contenders bracket, rather than play golf early again.
10/18/12: The Lightning players, through their own dedication, managed to keep practicing together during the lockout. In recent weeks, the numbers have dwindled as several players have gone back to their summer homes or opted to play overseas. But those that stayed should be commended. This is now Steven Stamkos' team, even though Vinny LeCalvalier and Martin St. Louis are still on the roster. And Bolts fans should expect a significant improvement over last season now that Anders Lindback is between the pipes. Considering the dedication of the players, the strong young talent, and an improved netminding situation, Tampa should be on the road back to the playoffs.
10/4/12: Lighting players are still trying to skate together, despite the lockout. But numbers are dwindling, and recently, only 11 players showed up for player-organized workouts. To make matters worse, defenseman Eric Brewer took a puck to the face and had to leave for medical treatment. And since it is a lockout, the treatment would have to be by a regular hospital/doctor, rather than team-provided personnel. Players and fans are getting frustrated by the lack of progress in the CBA negotiations and a perceived unwillingness by the owners to negotiate, but hopefully it will get settled soon and the games can begin.
8/16/12: Outside of lottery draft picks, rarely ever does an 18 year old prospect have a chance to make the NHL. However, the Sabres have two young guns with a legitimate shot of making the team. Buffalo selected Mikhail Grigorenko (No. 12) and Zemgus Girgensons (No. 14) with their two first round picks. Both centers are under contract and will compete for a job with the big club. Grigorenko was the third rated skater going into the draft, but fell due to concerns that he wanted to return to Russia and play in the KHL. The Sabres believe he is worth the risk and expect him in the NHL soon.
8/2/12: While some teams (the Islanders come to mind) are fighting for a new arena to call home through public and private financing, the Lightning are getting some upgrades at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Republican National Convention will use the facility for their political convention in late August, and has run of the joint from mid-July to mid-September. Some improvements include better cell phone coverage and an enhanced audio system. The Times Forum underwent a major renovation a year ago, which amounted to a much better fan experience as well as a more aesthetically pleasing look.
7/26/12: The Lightning underachieved last season mostly due to shaky goaltending throuhout the year. GM Steve Yzerman filled the void by trading for Nashville backup Anders Lindback, who gets rave reviews among NHL players. The Bolts also re-signed Riku Helenius, presumably to be the backup. Which poses a problem for young Jaroslav Janus, whom the team qualified but not re-signed. Tampa has hinted that he would be the odd man out in Syracuse (AHL affiliate) and he is far too good for the ECHL. A loan to a European club is an option, but it is very possible the team coul lose the talented young netminder.
5/22/12: The Tampa Bay Lightning have fifteen players signed to play the next season in self-proclaimed 'Hockey Paradise'. Cornerstones Vinny LeCalvalier, Martin St. Louis, Teddy Purcell, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman are locked up - which is a good start. Those are players who can lead a team to a Championship. But aside from Eric Brewer, the Bolts really need to work on getting some defensemen on the roster. Of course the white elephant in the room is goaltending. Play between the pipes ultimately doomed Tampa in 2001-12, and an upgrade is deparately needed. Only Matieu Giron is under contract today.
5/15/12: Offense is not a problem in Tampa. The Bolts boast four prolific talents in Marty St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell. However, lackluster goaltending and defensive play doomed the team to a finish out of the playoffs, just one year removed from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. Head coach Guy Boucher believes over-confidence at the beginning of the season, combined with injuries were the major causes for the team's decent. At onetime, the Lightning were last in the East, but rallied to get within three points of the playoffs. Unfortunately, a 1-5-1 slide to finish the season ultimately ended any postseason hopes.
5/11/12: Tampa's goaltending problems highlighted its fall from Eastern Conference Finalist in the 2010-11 season to missing the playoffs outright in 2011-12. Veteran Dwane Roloson could not recapture his magic from the previous season, leading to a tough first half of the season. Tampa did have an opportunity to make a move mid-season and passed. St. Louis Blues' minor-league goaltender Ben Bishop was available at the trade deadline. Bishop was a top minor league goalie but not likely to play in majors behind the top league's goaltending tandem. Tampa stayed pat while Ottowa made the trade - and then the playoffs.
5/3/12: While the Tampa Bay Lightning missed the postseason this year, some players are invited to the World Hockey Championships. Nate Thompson and JT Brown will join Team USA and Teddy Purcell, who enjoyed a breakout season with 24 goals and 65 points, will play for Team Canada. Team Canada will also have Lightning coach Guy Boucher serving as an Assistant Coach, offering Purcell the chance to continue his growth as a player over the summer. Purcell was one of five Bolts players to score at least 20 goals, joining Steven Stamkos (60), Martin St. Louis (25), Vinny Lecalvalier (22), and Ryan Malone (20).
4/25/12: The Bolts showed they can score, finishing 8th in the NHL in scoring and owning the league's only 60-goal scorer in Steven Stamkos. Additionally, they have Vinny LeCavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Teddy Purcel, making this a very potent offense. But defense/goaltending and special teams were an issue this past season. The club allowed a league-worst 3.4 goals against per game, and ranked 25th and 26th in penalty kill and power play, respectively. Lightning fans are already clammoring to acquire either Roberto Luongo or Cory Schnieder from Vancouver to replace Dwayne Roloson in net, though Tampa would probably have to pay heavily for either one.
4/15/12: Where did the Lightning go wrong? The Bolts have a championship resume, stars who can score, good defense, a refurnished arena, and better looking uniforms than past years? Goaltending is the obvious and correct place to put the blame. Dwayne Rolosson was mediocre this season and the Lightning let the trade deadline slip by without addressing the issue. Unlike the crosstown Rays, the Bolts play in a well-located arena and have dedicated fans. Management owes it to them to find a true number one goalie for a team that should be able to contend for a few more years.
Tampa Bay Lightning Tickets -Team History
Tampa Bay Lightning tickets allow fans the opportunity to see one of the NHL's youngest franchises rise in the Eastern Conference. Established in 1992, the Lightning brought their first Stanley Cup to Tampa Bay in 2004. The Bolts play at St. Pete Times Forum and have called the venue home since it was opened in 1996. Watch as the Lightning go for their second cup in 2011!
Tampa Bay Lightning Tickets -Season InfoThe Tampa Bay Lightning have experienced a revival since drafting superstar Steven Stamkos No.1 overall in 2008. After scoring an astounding 51 goals last season, Stamkos won the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2010. With strong veteran leadership from Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, the Lightning are playoff bound once again in 2011.
Tampa Bay Lightning Tickets -Ticket InformationTampa Bay Lightning tickets ensure that fans see the Lightning playing top contenders throughout the entire NHL season. The Lightning have their work cut out for them in a tough Southeast Division. With matchups against great teams like the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes and non-divisional meetings with Patrick Kane's Chicago Blackhawks, the Lightning are sure to be tested all season long. Grab your Bolts tickets now and don't miss the action!
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Tampa Bay Lightning Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Tampa Bay Lightning First Game 2014
Tampa Bay Lightning Regular Season Last Game 2014
Tampa Bay Lightning Preseason Beginning 2014
Tampa Bay Lightning Upcoming Games Schedule
|Mar 7, 2015||Dallas Stars vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Mar 10, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens|
|Mar 12, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning vs Boston Bruins|
|Mar 14, 2015||Winnipeg Jets vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Mar 16, 2015||Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Mar 20, 2015||Detroit Red Wings vs Tampa Bay Lightning|
Tampa Bay Lightning Past Games Schedule and Tampa Bay Lightning Scores
|Mar 5, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Tampa Bay Lightning||2 - 4|
|Mar 3, 2015||Buffalo Sabres - Tampa Bay Lightning||0 - 3|
|Mar 1, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Florida Panthers||3 - 4|
|Feb 27, 2015||Chicago Blackhawks - Tampa Bay Lightning||0 - 4|
|Feb 22, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Colorado Avalanche||4 - 5|
|Feb 18, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Anaheim Ducks||4 - 1|
|Feb 15, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - San Jose Sharks||5 - 2|
|Feb 12, 2015||St. Louis Blues - Tampa Bay Lightning||6 - 3|
|Feb 10, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Nashville Predators||2 - 3|
|Feb 8, 2015||Anaheim Ducks - Tampa Bay Lightning||3 - 5|
|Feb 7, 2015||Los Angeles Kings - Tampa Bay Lightning||4 - 2|
|Feb 5, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Dallas Stars||5 - 3|
|Jan 29, 2015||Detroit Red Wings - Tampa Bay Lightning||1 - 5|
|Jan 27, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Carolina Hurricanes||2 - 4|
|Jan 20, 2015||Vancouver Canucks - Tampa Bay Lightning||1 - 4|
|Jan 17, 2015||Colorado Avalanche - Tampa Bay Lightning||2 - 3|