You look new. First time here? First time watching the Tampa Bay Lightning, maybe? Well, we're here to help. So take a seat, and let us explain to you how this all works around here.
The Raw Charge crew got together and came up with the answers to some of the Lightning's most pressing questions and misconceptions. If you're curious about something that's not answered here, then feel free to leave the question in the comments below. Or add a few other helpful bits of info that we happened to have overlooked.
So, here you go, hockey fans. And don't worry. You can always thank us later.
- Yes, a hockey sweater (or jersey, if you prefer) and shorts/flip flops are perfectly acceptable attire. Always.
- Yes, the name "Lightning" is one of those elemental team monikers that became popular in the nineties (when all species of jungle cats had become extinct and all the really racist slang terms for Native Americans had already been taken). Don't let it throw you. If you need to make a singular reference to a member of the team, the accepted usage is "Bolt" or "Bolts"; in the same way a member of the Miami Heat is "An Overpaid Crybaby".
- ...But if you ever call them the " 'Ning", your life is forfeit.
- No, we do not know how head coach Guy Boucher got the scar on his cheek, and he won't say. If he won't tell his children, then he certainly won't tell us. All he'll say about it is that it wasn't hockey-related. And yeah, we know that that's not very helpful.
- On game threads, we refer to Steve Yzerman as our "JM" and not a "GM". That's because he's a Master Jedi. How else can you explain how he got Simon Gagne from the Philadelphia Flyers for practically nothing?
- And for all those wondering, his name is Steven Stamkos. Please, do not refer to him as "Steve" (not to be confused with Steve Downie) or "Stevie" (not to be confused with our own Jedi Master/General Manager Stevie Yzerman). Stamkos himself said last season he prefers to be called STEVEN.
- Also, Mattias Ohlund and Mattias Ritola are never to be referred to as "Matty".
- Yes, "Staying Alive" is the song of the Lightning right now. What of it? Oh, come on, this thing was popular in the past...and everything old is new again in the world of pop culture!
- If you don't live in the Tampa area, that's okay - most Lightning fans don't seem to, either.
- Yes, Dave Mishkin - the Lightning's radio play-by-play guy - always sounds like that. And yes, we know that he's excitable and can have a piercing scream. Either you love him or you hate him, and most Lightning fans love him.
- Vincent Lecavalier is still here, thanks. No, he's not being traded to Montreal. Yeah, they will keep saying it's going to happen but that's Montreal for you.
- No, that's not one of the players from the little tikes intermission game, that's Martin St. Louis.
- No, it's not really "Stamkos's team". It's really Vinny's and Marty's team. Stamkos just seems to score a lot, that's all.
- Heard of the song, "Hockey Paradise"? It's the Lightning's official song, just for them. And you don't want to. Hear it, that is.
- Yes, the Lightning do have a former player in the Hockey Hall of Fame. His name is Denis Savard, and he played 105 games in Tampa Bay.
- Oh, and the rumors are true - Tampa Bay really did win a Stanley Cup in 2004. Just ask Vinny, Marty, and Pavel Kubina. They were all there for that.
- The Lightning's 1-3-1 is not a hamburger served on the concourse, nor is it code for "score a lot of goals". It's Guy Boucher's hockey system.
- And, no, Boucher's innovative 1-3-1 is actually NOT a trapping system. Nice try, though.
- No, you can't have Marty St. Louis on your team. No matter how many times you ask, it's not going to happen. Your team had your chance - to hear him tell it, he tried out with every single NHL team - and passed him by. Besides, he's ours, and you can't have him. So there.
For more helpful hints, you can also check out our very own Don't Trade Vinny's site, and his post "A Tampa Bay Lightning Fan's Guide to Being a Tampa Bay Lightning Fan".