Construction at The St. Pete Times Forum taken by Dolly Reynolds

The Day We've Been Waiting For

It’s only a few hours until the home opener of The Tampa Bay Lightning. Anticipation has been building all summer to see the changes…








All summer the buzz for hockey fans in Tampa Bay has been about the renovations going on at The St. Pete Times Forum. We’d go to Tampa Bay Storm games, concerts, anything that they were holding just to try and get a peek of what was happening inside. Then they closed it off completely for the construction. We have a great view of he progress on the party deck when we drive on The Lee Roy Selmon Expressway aka The Crosstown. We’d drive a bit out of the way to cut through downtown Tampa do drive by The Forum to see the construction happening on The Plaza. The stairs were completely removed and new ones built in front. That was one of the features that we could see changing from the outside. People have been sneaking pictures from inside the forum here and there of the pipe organ being installed, the telsa coils… there are so many things that are going to be changed inside that it is just driving us crazy!!!!! They have a countdown on The Tampa Bay Lightning home page to the home opener. Finally, at midnight last night, it struck 0 days. It’s now under 4 hours. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, I keep peeking at the clock running down. Erik Erlendsson from The Tampa Tribune, our source for all things Lightning news, tweeted out the picture of the “pipe organ in all it’s glory”. All I can say is wow! Tonight we finally get to see the changes!! The tesla coils may not be working tonight. That’s alright by me. We’ll get to see them eventually. It’s better to make sure that they are safe than having someone getting hurt because we were anxious to rush things. Every single seat will be padded. Even the nose bleeds will have cup holders! Thank you Mr. Vinik!!

The Bolts have had an extremely difficult start. One big win, two big losses, and two losses in overtime shoot-outs. They are five games into the season. There are still seventy-seven to go! Saturday’s game against The Florida Panthers was extremely intense. Steve Downie has been containing his temper well, but everyone has a breaking point. The fight between Downie and Florida’s Gudbranson escalated the tension between the two heated state rivals. (The Lightning and The Panthers.) Up until the third period not much had happened scoring wise. Florida had one goal and Tampa had none. In the third period Marc-Andre Bergeron really shined! He scored two goals! Unfortunately The Panthers also scored a goal, so it was a tie. In an over time shoot out, The Panthers took the game. Tonight The Lightning have something to prove. They know that something has to change. Erik Erlendsson also tweeted “Judging from rushes lines may be: Thompson-Vinny-Purcell; Downie-Stamkos-St Louis; Ritola-Hall-Shannon; Malone-Moore-Connolly” It looks like Coach Boucher will have Teddy Purcell and Ryan Shannon off of the bench tonight. I’ve been trying to find out if Roloson or Garon will be in net tonight, but as far as I can tell, that information has not yet been released. My prediction is that Roloson will start. Garon has done an amazing job! Dwayne Roloson is the starting goal tender, and this is the big night. This is the home opener. It’s a night for redemption after coming off of four straight losses. It’s a night to show Tampa Bay fans that they have not lost that fire. It’s a night to prove a point to the NHL that they are not backing down, and are ready to fight.  They know that they have to be ready, the kitty cats are out of the litter box and they will have their claws sharpened. Will Lightning finally strike tonight? Let’s hope to fry up some feline!  Let the thunder roll! Tampa Bay fans, it’s finally here. The time has come to BE THE THUNDER.

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