The Tampa Bay Lightning's regular season broadcast schedule was lain out before us on Tuesday morning, with all 82 games of the Lightning season to be carried on TV.
The club's flagship station, Sun Sports, revealed its 77 game schedule that starts on opening night at TD Garden in Boston against the Bruins on October 3rd. Lightning games will continue to feature the likes of Rick Peckham and Bobby "The Chief" Taylor as the play-by-play and color commentary duo. Sun Sports will also be carrying seven episodes of "Inside the Lightning", the behind-the-scenes feature on the team.
Two games of the team's 82 game schedule are to be picked up by local broadcast station WTOG-44, the first being the November 16th contest against the Phoenix Coyotes and the second being on April 5th against the Dallas Stars.
So that leaves three games uncovered by TV... Well, not quite. Those three broadcasts will be aired nationally on NBC Sports Net. While there are reasons to see that as a slight (more national TV usually means more national respect, after all), this is NBC Sports Net we're talking about. That's less suffering the likes of Pierre McGuire and Mike Millbury among other issues created by the NHL's cable broadcast partner.
But there's even good news on the Bolts / NBC Sports Net front, in that the Lightning will not be playing NBCSN's darling teams (the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Boston Bruins, or the Washington Capitals) but instead will be slated against the likes of the Buffalo Sabres (October 8th), New Jersey Devils (October 29th), and St. Louis Blues (March 4th).
Less NBC Sports Net is a blessing. Less NBC Sports Net against their preferred teams is a gift.
The regular season schedule on Sun Sports is below (in graphic form).