The Tampa Bay Lightning had the day off on Wednesday and while most of the team was recovering from the loss to the Florida Panthers (boooooo) on Tuesday night, Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh were hanging out in Nashville. In the middle of Nissan Stadium, the NHL had their introductory press conference for the Stadium Series game that will take place between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators on February 26th, 2022.
For the Lightning it will be their first time playing a professional game outside under the lights of a football stadium. Well, for most of the players anyway. McDonagh, during his time with the Rangers, played in a few of these things.
#GoBolts defender Ryan McDonagh talks about the excitement of playing hockey outside and under the lights. (This will be his 5th outdoor game in the NHL…the record is 7 and belongs to James van Riemsdyk). @OnTheForecheck @RawCharge @RenegadesOfPuck pic.twitter.com/2Ct6XGREhH— Shaun C Smith (@SCSOTF) October 20, 2021
For Hedman, it will be his first outdoor game in the NHL and he pointed out that Nissan Stadium’s seating capacity is larger than the population of his home town of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
#GoBolts Victor Hedman grew up in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. As of 2017, it had a population of 32,953. @NissanStadium holds 69,143. This fact is not lost on the defenseman. @RawCharge @OnTheForecheck @RenegadesOfPuck #Preds pic.twitter.com/I0lp8zps3X— Shaun C Smith (@SCSOTF) October 20, 2021
When in enemy territory, it helps to praise the local football team. Hedman and McDonagh gave Tennessee Titans running back, Derrick Henry, the ultimate compliment - a wish to have him on their fantasy football teams.
#GoBolts @TBLightning defenders Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh discuss Derrick Henry’s dominating performance and whether or not they could match his speed on ice. @OnTheForecheck @RawCharge @RenegadesOfPuck #Preds @Titans @KingHenry_2 pic.twitter.com/pl0GBQCJ70— Shaun C Smith (@SCSOTF) October 20, 2021
They also had a mock-up of where the ring will be in relation to the stadium. One thing about these games, if you are sitting in the upper deck, you get to see the whole game, but the players are pretty small.
Of course, the important question everyone is asking, “When can I buy tickets?” The answer is - today at 10:00 A.M. EST. The tickets will be available through Ticket Master. Go forth and buy some tickets. It would be nice to see a strong contingent of the Blue and White in Smashville for the game.
The second question on everyone’s mind, “What about the jersey?” has yet to be answered. The Lightning have been completely mum about the design, release date, and cost of the sweater they’ll be wearing for the special game. Back in 2020, the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche released their official jerseys about a month before their game. If that holds true, we should see something in mid-January.
Lightning / NHL News
Speaking of jerseys, the Lightning did announce their schedule for their third jerseys. As has been the tradition since they’ve debuted the all-black sweater, the team will be wearing them on Saturday night home games, starting this week against the Avalanche. There was no announcement about the Reverse Retro jerseys from last year and all indications are that they were a one-year thing just for last season.
The Bolts have played four games so far this season and they’ve all been kind of different. The first one against Pittsburgh was a debacle, the second against Detroit a spectacle, the third against Washington was a nice win, and then last night’s loss to Florida that seemed to lack a little something (oh yeah, a power play goal despite six chances).
Eduardo Encina takes a look at the Lightning power play without their key ingredient and points out that it was still in the top third of the league last year without him. Once they find their chemistry, the Bolts still have the talent to be pretty darn successful with the extra skater.
The NHL Department of Player Fines decided that the veteran’s stickwork into the rookie’s midsection was a tad over the line and fined Thornton $1,875.00.
The Lightning, at 2-2, did not get a mention in this story as they focused on Chicago, Montreal, and Winnipeg, three teams off to a combined 0-9-2 record. Well, that’s not great.
C’mon, admit it. You didn’t even know Brassard was still in the league. Yet, here he is putting the puck in the back of the net for his latest team - the Philadelphia Flyers. The well-traveled veteran joins a pretty exclusive club as he has scored goals with nine different clubs (Flyers, Panthers, Penguins, Senators, Blue Jackets, Rangers, Avalanche, Islanders, and Coyotes). Four players in Lightning history are also part of that club: Dominic Moore (nine teams), Michel Petit (nine teams), Grant Ledyard (nine teams) and Mike Sillinger (12 teams).
Hockey is truly back now that noted Tampa fan Jillian Fisher is back to making videos. While she doesn’t mention Kuch in this one, it’s certain to pop up in a future one.
ESPN continues to corner the market on all hockey shown on T.V. Along with the NHL, college hockey, and the KHL, ESPN will show all of the Premier Hockey Federation via their ESPN+ streaming service. For the first time in the league’s history they have a broadcast partner that is committed to showing all of their events. Sadly, it does mean the end of the league-based Twitch broadcasts that were highly entertaining last season.