As long time Tampa Bay Lightning fans, we all had very high expectations for the season that ended one month ago. Considering what we witnessed during the 2010-2011 season, who can blame us? We were 1 goal shy of beating the Boston Bruins for the honor of playing the Vancouver Canucks for Lord Stanley a/k/a The Stanley Cup in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
I will not dwell on what could’ve been last season, as we all have our personal opinions, but what we do know is we have a promising future with the management that is in place.
We saw the St. Pete Times Forum renamed the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and rightfully so. It now represents all of the Tampa Bay community. We also saw a lot of transformations occur right before our eyes. We saw a state of the art organ, new seats with cup holders, and numerous other upgrades/renovations.
Management is not done as we have new video boards to look forward to next season.
The on-ice product was very exciting at times, while some other times… we wanted to scream and ask what is going on? However, the common theme during the season was persevere, and fight for your honor. We know what we’re capable of… THE TEAM IS THE LIGHTNING, & FANS ARE BEING THE THUNDER!
We are still in the rebuilding stage, and are in a long-term plan that will not be trashed for the sake of short-term glory.
Some names to watch in the years to come are: Dustin Tokarski, Cory Conacher, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Michael Angelidis, Richard Panik, Radko Gudas, and recent signing J.T. Brown. There are numerous others, but those names come to mind of this writer. The veteran to watch is Steven Stamkos, as he will definitely be the face of the Lightning for many years to come.
The Lightning finished 3rd in the Southeast Conference, and 10th in the Eastern Conference. While we didn’t make the playoffs, we did finish with a respectable 38 wins, 36 losses, and 8 overtime losses. I plan addressing the current NHL point system in a future article.
In closing, we have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and our future is as bright as a Tampa Bay Lightning filled sky.