Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a professional ice hockey team based in Tampa, Florida. Established in 1992, they are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). Tampa Bay has one Stanley Cup championship in their history, in 2003–04. They are often referred to as the Bolts, and the nickname is used on their current third jersey. They play their home games in the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
The Lightning were the product of an expansion drive within the NHL in the late 1980s. The team was named the Lightning, after Tampa's status as the "Lightning Capital of North America. They first took to the ice in October 1992 playing in Tampa's tiny 11,000-seat Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. One of the unusual elements of the team in those early days in the preseason was when Manon Rhéaume, from Canada, became the first woman to play in an NHL game, which also made her the first woman to play in any of the major professional North American sports leagues; she played for the Lightning against the St. Louis Blues, and stopped seven of nine shots.
As mentioned above, the peak achievement over the quarter century that the Lightning have been playing was the winning of the Stanley Cup in 2003-04. Tampa Bay advanced to the finals through victories over New York Islanders 4-1, the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 and the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 and then won a tense series against the Calgary Flames with the future of the Cup in doubt until the seventh and last game which the Lightning won 2-1.
Sadly their second Stanley Cup outing in 2014-15 ended in disappointment. After a memorable run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks won Game 6 2-0 and the best-of-7 series 4-2.
Among their all-time top players Martin St. Louis is the Lightning’s all-time points leader and no Bolt is going to touch his club-record 588 assists for a long time, if ever. He has also participated in four of the top seven point-scoring seasons in Bolts history as well.
Vincent Lecavalier was the face of the Lightning from the time he was drafted in 1998. By the end of his time with Tampa Bay, Lecavalier was the all-time leading goal-scorer for the Lightning and the second-highest point-getter.
Dave Andreychuk had the distinction of captaining the Lightning during their Stanley Cup winning year and many fans feel that the victory would never have happened about him.
Although the latest Stanley Cup final ended in disappointment, it is agreed that the Lightning are a young and talented team and great things are expected of them in the near future.
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