Bryan and Brian preview the road trip over at the team site. [Lightning]
Our pal Will C Lewis forecasts the week to come at Fansided. "Something important of note is that in the month of November, the team will only play six home games compared to nine on the road, which is why this current home stand has been so important to capitalize on." [Bolts by the Bay]
ESPN has been good to us these past few days. First, they recognized Mr. Jeff Vinik's franchise as being this year's best out of 122 sports franchises. And second, they say that despite the stinker of a loss, the team is going to do just fine this year. [ESPN]
The BizJournals points out that by being so good, the Bolts cast light upon the relatively low position in the ESPN franchise standings of the Bucs and the Rays. [BizJournals]
Joe Smith wrote a lovely piece highlighting the details behind Dulcie Mishkin's breast cancer and recovery. "Dulcie said she didn't know anything about hockey when she met Dave, joking she went to her first game only because a friend offered to buy her a beer. But now she's a fixture at Lightning games, their children often reading books on their Kindles during intermissions." [Tampa Bay Times]
This excellent comment by Dr. John is much appreciated:
Hello Bolts fans
Just a word to say how much this is a well-deserved first place IMO. These few last seasons saw the Bolts organization being subjected to a much higher than usual scrunity on the part of the rest of league due to its success, both in regular season & playoffs. What I personally saw was basically a team that did all the right things (both from a hockey and non-hockey viewpoint) for its fans, which explains why so many people that I knew, including myself, rooted for the Bolts to win the Cup when our team was done with (obviously, being a Hawks fan, I couldn’t do it in 2015, at least for the SCF, but that’s another story). Truly, what Mr. Vinik has done so far is a clinic on how to manage a pro sports team.
Of all the good things the Bolts did these past couple years, one stands among all in my mind. It was this episode of last year’s playoffs, when the Bolts came back from Madison Square Garden with the Prince of Wales Trophy. Hundreds of fans gathered at the airport to welcome the team, and you can see (at 1:00 in the vid) Coop & other members of the team chatting & having fun with the fans.
Now, that might seem casual for you guys, but in larger markets, and especially in Montreal where I live, that kind of closeness between the team and its fans would be completely unthinkable. My dad often told me that back in the 1970s, when most Habs players lived in the affluent Montreal suburbs like Westmount, you could still meet guys like Bob Gainey or Larry Robinson in downtown stores during weekends & summers. But now, forget it. Getting physically near them is just impossible. I sincerely hope you guys will keep enjoying these little things that other fans across the league cannot enjoy. [More comments here]
This weekly list is a great summary of transactions around the league. [AIH]
Sportsnet wrote a longform feature about fellow Floridian Jaromir Jagr and why he's a hockey superhero. The only way to do justice to a career like Jagr’s is to talk to a whole bunch of people who have lived through it and seen it firsthand—so we did." [Sportsnet]
Jack Han's 1MinuteTactic videos are enlightening. The theme of this one is, "One simple rule governs how often your favorite player is likely to score."
Flyer Dale Weise was rightly suspended for three games after a hit to the head on Korbinian Holzer. [Puck Daddy]
To end on a happy note, one of the most dynamic players in the AHL, Josh Ho-Sang, scored a lovely goal yesterday with Bridgeport, and Lighthouse Hockey broke it down. [LHH]