Tampa Bay Vs. Philadelphia
This has been looming for a while and after 6 games -- it's official:
The Flyers are considered and have been considered one of Tampa's top rivals by Tampa fans since we met for our first playoff appearance ever. That series was notable by the war between Eric Lindros and Mike Petit / Igor Ulanov. Not to mention two thrilling OT victories with thanks to Brian Bellows and Alexander Selivanov.
And of course a little rivalry in another league over the years didn't exactly make this (nor other) Lightning forget just what Philadelphia is: the enemy.
The Lightning will be facing the team it swept during the regular season. Of course, this is no item to get cocky about as Philadelphia and most every team in the playoffs is different than they were during the regular season. But, to support those getting ahead of themselves -- This is a worn out and battered Philadelphia team that has just ousted a physical Toronto Maple Leafs team.
Operation Andreychuk's Cup and the "Pass the friggin' Torch!" tour 2004 rumbles into unchartered waters for the Lightning and a date with destiny and Lord Stanley's Cup.