Tampa Bay Lightning C Steven Stamkos: ‘As soon as the puck drops, it’s game on’

(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)"n
(Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)"n /

The Tampa Bay Lightning needs to hit the ice hard from the very first puck drop to the final buzzer if they hope to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

The moment that has everyone here in the Bolts Nation on the edge of their seats is almost upon us. In a matter of hours, the Tampa Bay Lightning will take the ice to battle the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. The winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final where they will face the Vegas Golden Knights.

There are many people who had written off the Lightning after they unceremoniously lost the first two games of the series and made their way into DC at a 2-0 deficit. Those people obviously don’t know the Tampa Bay Lightning very well. The Bolts have become a team which feeds on adversity.

However, as the Lightning heads into tonight’s do or die battle against the Washington Capitals, they can leave absolutely nothing to chance. The Bolts will have to play their best hockey of the season from the moment the puck drops until the final buzzer sounds. If not, this could be a very long night for the Lightning.

Throughout the course of the season, one of the biggest keys to victory for the Bolts has been striking first and striking hard. Of course, this would also have to be a pace the Lightning could maintain for a full 60 minutes of hockey. The Capitals are not the kind of team you can give an inch to and not expect them to take a mile.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos spoke to the media ahead of tonight’s important Game 7 matchup to discuss where the team is right now and what everyone can expect. Thankfully, the captain acknowledges the need to get started on the right foot.

"“As soon as the puck drops, it’s game on,” Stamkos said. “You lean on your past experience and we have a ton of it in this room, a lot of it in Game 7’s and Conference Finals, too. We’re gonna lean on that and everyone’s gonna follow the guys who’ve been there before. It’ll be exciting.”"

Stammer goes on to discuss what having Game 7 in front of their hometown fans means and how it will motivate the team to take things to the next level.

"“For some of us, it’s the first Game 7 at home in the Conference Final,” Stammer said. “You work all year to get this opportunity to be in front of your home fans and to build off the atmosphere and we can’t wait.”"

As anyone here in the Bolts Nation is aware, the Lightning is a tremendous rebound team. There’s no denying being shutout in Game 6 at the Capital One Arena in DC cut deep and the Lightning will be looking to repay the favor as the Capitals make their way into the Amalie Arena tonight.

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There is history to be made tonight. Which side of history the Lightning will be on remains to be seen. If the Bolts Nation has anything to say about it, there will be plenty of cheering to do when the final buzzer sounds tonight. Either way, there will be handshakes. It would certainly be nice if there was a trophy to go along with it.