Tampa Bay Lightning players, coach, thank fans for showing up Sunday despite Super Bowl
It is not very often players or coaches thank fans for showing up to a game, especially when the game is not even close to a sellout. But that is what the Tampa Bay Lightning players and coach Guy Boucher did after an announced crowd of 14,896 showed up at the St. Pete Times Forum on Super Bowl Sunday to see the Lightning beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime.
"I am so impressed," Boucher said. "It really touched us to have all these people here. I honestly thought there would be nobody here, and everybody expected that. To me, this is as good as full. There's a Super Bowl going on, that's amazing."
Well, the Super Bowl wasn't quite going on. The game began at 3:08 p.m. and was over at 5:40 p.m. Still, the timing definitely put a crimp in some Super Bowl party plans.
"It was great to have a crowd like that, especially on a day like the Super Bowl," center Vinny Lecavalier said. "To have the crowd encouraging us, that was great."
"We didn't know what to expect with the Super Bowl," center Steven Stamkos said. "But we had great fan support."
Boucher said it was important the Lightning put on a good show for the home folks after a poor, poor outing Friday in a loss to the Capitals.
"To me, it's a thank you to our crowd (Sunday)," he said. "We gave everything we got to make the crowd forget about our last game. I can't believe there were that many people."