Tampa Bay Lightning Look To Ground Flyers In Home Opener


The Tampa Bay Lightning charge into the Amalie Arena tonight night in the hopes of kicking off the 2015-16 season right with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The moment Tampa Bay Lightning fans have been waiting what has seemed like millennia for is finally upon us. Tonight, captain Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning will charge into the Amalie Arena to take on captain Claude Giroux and the Philadelphia Flyers in the first official game of the 2015-16 season!

The Tampa Bay Lightning saw their fair share of adversity during the preseason, especially when it came to being bitten by the injury bug. Fortunately, as the preseason pressed on the Lightning were able to put everything into focus and finish on a high note.

The Lightning will be looking to keep the momentum rolling as they head into tonight’s encounter with the hard-hitting Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay Lightning fans, those of you who were looking forward to watching some of your favorite former Lightning players like Vincent Lecavalier and Radko Gudas take the ice, there is a good chance you are going to be disappointed.

The news making its way around the National Hockey League this week is that while their names may appear on the Opening Day Roster, there is a good chance that one or both of them will find themselves as a healthy scratch as the Flyers invade Amalie Arena.

On the bright side, the Tampa Bay Lightning may have some familiar faces returning to the Lightning lineup just in time for game day. According to Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper indicated all of the Lightning’s injured players, with the possible exception of Cedric Paquette, should be ready to go for tonight’s Home Opener.

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As most of you know by now, the Philadelphia Flyers have always been known as a hard-hitting team that has no issues in dropping the gloves with their opponents. Thankfully, with the addition of players like Braydon Coburn and Erik Condra combined with the “fists of fury” of one Brian Boyle, the Tampa Bay Lightning seem to have this situation well in hand.

Unfortunately, there is one aspect of the game the Lightning still seem to be struggling with as the Home Opener approaches…the dreaded Power Play. In fact, calling the Tampa Bay Lightning Power Play a struggle may be the understatement of the year. During the preseason, the Tampa Bay Lightning went 3/31 on the Power Play.

If the Tampa Bay Lightning want to make another visit to the Stanley Cup Finals, which we all know they do, this is one aspect of their game they will need to clean up. In a point in the game when you are supposed to have the decided advantage, you cannot allow yourselves to be restrained to only 1 or 2 shots nor can you allow the other team to easily make their way into your zone and score a short-handed goal.

As we said in a previous article, we will give the Power Play at least a little bit of credit. During the preseason, the Lightning’s Power Play unit was missing a number of key players due to injury, but a team that truly wants to make a run at the cup is going to need to find a way to overcome. The good news is, this is something the Lightning seem to be overtly good at…overcoming adversity.

In the three times these two teams met in the 2014-15 season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to come out victorious; including a 4-3 victory in the earlier portion of the season and a 3-1 win just prior to the holiday season. In the New Year, the Flyers regained their composure and downed the Bolts 7-3.

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By far, the biggest highlight of the evening is going to be off the ice and high in the rafters. Fans in attendance will be able to witness a part of Tampa Bay Lightning history as the Lightning’s Eastern Conference Championship banner is going to hang high above the ice and represent one of the most successful seasons the Lightning has experienced in quite some time.

If the Tampa Bay Lightning has anything to say about it, they will once again find themselves battling for a date with destiny and a return trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. After tasting success last season and some of the Lightning’s younger players getting their first taste of the high intensity of the later rounds of the post season, we have a feeling this season is going to have a much different result in the 2015-16 season.

We are less than 24 hours away from the first official puck drop of the 2015-16 season! Are you one of the 19,000+ who will be in attendance at the Amalie Arena later tonight? More importantly, are you ready to paint your faces, put on your favorite jerseys, and bring the Thunder for your Tampa Bay Lightning? We know we are! We will leave you with these final three parting words…LET’S GO LIGHTNING!

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