Tampa Bay Lightning News: December 2017
Welcome to Direct Current. As you know, here at Friendly Kia, we’re really big on three things: Kias, dogs and local sports. With incredibly enviable weather, the Tampa – St. Petersburg area offers some of the best athletics training and year-round sporting opportunities. You’ve got the Rays and the Lightning, and that’s it for national sports teams in our area!
With the Rays season not opening for another 6 months, and no NFL team in Tampa Bay, we want to dedicate part of our blog to providing occasional updates on team news, recent results and notable quotes/tweets/social media by players, coaching staff, local journalists or just really insightful fans.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Tampa Bay Lightning are a great hockey team! It’s not surprising for us here in the New Port Richey area, since all our national sports teams are very good, but it may be easy to assume that our warm weather wouldn’t lend itself to hockey expertise. The Lightning also enjoy of the most well-supported fanbases – in line with that of the Flyers or Bruins.
Tampa Bay Lightning Standing and Recent Results
At the time of this blog’s publication, the Tampa Bay Lightning currently lead the Atlantic Division. Not only that, but their 38 points total, +28 goal difference and 17 wins are the best in the entire Eastern Conference.
That’s right now, however, on December 4th, and a lot can still change. Since all this information is readily available through one of many great sports apps, and will likely be different by the time you read this blog, we’d like to instead focus on some big picture things happening. Let’s look at a few Lightning stories that have captured our interest for the month.
Lightning on Track to Prove Experts Correctly
You may remember back in October, we gave an in-depth preview for the 2017/2018 Tampa Bay Lightning season by highlighting what some of the experts thought. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read the full post here.
Suffice it to say, the outlook was very positive!
Currently leading the NHL for goal difference, points won after 26 games and number of wins, the Tampa Bay Lightning have shown zero signs of faltering in their quest for the 2018 Stanley Cup.
Barring a surprising turn of events between the time this blog was posted and your reading it, it looks like our biased predictions that the Lightning will win the Stanley Cup, Stamkos will win the MVP, Jon Cooper will take coach of the year and Thunderbug will win the 2020 presidential election are all on track!
Kunitz Humbly Downplays Lightning’s Electrifying Start
When you do something well, you want to tell the entire world about it. It’s why we write so many Kia-centered blogs. It can be easy, however, when you hit a snag in a great run, however, to blow things out of proportion.
According to a tweet from Tampa Bay Times reporter, Joe Smith, veteran transplant from Pittsburgh, Chris Kunitz, had this to say about the season so far:
#tblightning Chris Kunitz: “The season is a roller coaster. You don’t ever get too high, don’t believe what everyone is telling you the first week, and don’t buy into what everyone is telling you a week before Christmas. We know we haven’t played up to our snuff for 60 minutes.”
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) November 30, 2017
(Should the tweet fail to load, this is the text: “The season is a roller coaster. You don’t ever get too high, don’t believe what everyone is telling you the first week, and don’t buy into what everyone is telling you a week before Christmas. We know we haven’t played up to our snuff for 60 minutes.”)
It’s exciting for us fans to hear when players, like Kunitz, imply room for improvement in a team that has seemingly dominated the NHL. Our opinion at Friendly Kia is that we should wait to analyze these recent drops in form, especially the away losses at Washington and Boston, as anything more than a minor snag, but the players may be seeing them for bigger issues.
Are there more exciting things to come from the Lightning as they reconcile a drop in form, or is the new winter just trying to cement himself as a humble team player? Time will tell.
Is Andrei Vasilevskiy the Next NHL Legacy Goalie?
If you’ve been paying any attention to the season this far, you’re aware that the Lightning are a pretty-well balanced team. On the one offensive hand, Kucherov has been a force on the right wing, playing give-and-go with Ovechkin for weekly scoring leadership, while Stamkos has left other top-assist contenders in the dust.
On the defensive end, Andrei Vasilevskiy is looking more solid in goal than anybody in recent memory. Not only that, but he’s currently the youngest goalie making the leaderboard for NHL defensive stats.
While, again, time will tell as to his long-term commitment to the Lightning and what awards his athletic vigilance brings, we’re really excited to have somebody full of youth and promise in goal for the team everybody in the NHL wants to score against right now.
Any topics you’d like to see covered in the next Direct Current? Let us know in the comments, for any other questions about the Lightning, Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area, in general, Kias or to donate any Lightning Tickets, contact us today!
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