Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning seeks All-Star Game for Tampa

TAMPA — Could an All-Star Game be coming to the Tampa Bay Times Forum in the near future? The Lightning has asked the NHL to make it happen.

Though not naming the game specifically, team spokesman Bill Wickett said the Lightning has asked the league to host "an event."

The draft would be a tough sell in west-central Florida, and it is difficult to believe a Winter Classic could be held here. That leaves the All-Star Game, last held at the Times Forum in 1999. The stadium recently went through a $60 million makeover.

"It's always a fun event," Tampa Bay C Steven Stamkos said. "It's great for the fans to get to see that caliber of player. In those cities it's a pretty big deal."

Wickett said no applications have been submitted, though a league representative did a preliminary arena walk-through.

It could be a while before Tampa gets the All-Star Game. There won't be one this season because of the Olympics, and Columbus, scheduled to host the 2012-13 game that was cancelled because of the lockout, likely will host next season. There have been reports the Coyotes might host in 2015-16.

In other words, Jeff Vinik better start lobbying his fellow owners if he wants the game soon.

"I've never had a chance to do that before on any level," Stamkos said of perhaps playing in an All-Star Game at home. "I have seen guys who represent the team whose city is hosting. It's always a great time and pretty cool to play in front of your home fans, so it would be special."

CHANGES: The Lightning went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen Saturday against the Sabres as defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio played their second games of the season. D Andrej Sustr and RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie were scratched.

"Our schedule tightens up in November, and we have to get those guys in," coach Jon Cooper said of Aulie and Barberio.

"You don't like to sit out, but it's a team game, and we've been playing really well lately," said Aulie, whose only other game was Oct. 8 at Buffalo. "Getting back in the game, you have to focus on the little things and things that are going to help the team, not try to do too much. Sometimes players try to make up for lost time and try to do things they don't normally do."

Barberio, whose other game was the Oct. 3 season-opener against the Bruins, had two shots, two giveaways and a blocked shot, and was plus-1 with 12:03 of ice time. Aulie was minus-1 with 7:05 of ice time.

MISSED CHANCE: RW Teddy Purcell was involved in an odd play when he failed to get a shot off at G Ryan Miller on a partial second-period breakaway.

"Their (defense) had inside position on me, so I tried to take his ice away," Purcell said. "Miller, he just read it the whole way. He made himself so big, and I was in so close. Looking back now, maybe I would have liked to go quick backhand, forehand, five-hole. But once he was with me, instead of wasting a shot, I tried to put it out front, maybe hit a skate, get lucky."

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning's 39 shots were a season high. … Stamkos won 12 of 19 faceoffs. … Anders Lindback is expected to start in net today at Florida. … As expected, D Victor Hedman (right foot) played.

Comments
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning shut out Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Turns out, Andrei Vasilevskiy is all right.And, believe it or not, so is the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was the unlikely hero in Monday’s streak-snapping 2-0 win over the Blackhawks at the United Center.Vasilevskiy, 23, played like the...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

Lightning angered by slash that has Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks

CHICAGO — The Lightning got more bad news Monday with wing Ondrej Palat out 6-8 weeks with a lower-body injury. It’s a big blow to a struggling Tampa Bay team, which is now without its top defense­man (Victor Hedman) and now arguably its best defensi...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blackhawks

Matt Peca and Michael Bournival likely won’t be the last callups by the Lightning the next month or so. There are plenty of other deserving candidates at AHL Syracuse, with Adam Erne likely getting a shot had he not been injured. With Ondrej Palat ou...
Updated: 6 hours ago

NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition gets some changes

Skills Competition gets a new lookThe NHL switched up its format for Saturday’s All-Star Game Skills Competition (7 p.m, NBSCN). There will be six events, including the traditional hardest shot, accuracy shooting, plus a passing challenge, puck contr...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning’s Ondrej Palat to be out six to eight weeks

Lightning’s Ondrej Palat to be out six to eight weeks

The Lightning will be without Ondrej Palat six to eight weeks. And  Tampa Bay is still ticked by how Palat got hurt.The Wild's Jared Spurgeon slashed/speared the back of the Lightning wing's right ankle on a power play Saturday."It's a huge loss...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Matt Peca, Michael Bournival hope to spark Lightning

Matt Peca, Michael Bournival hope to spark Lightning

When Matt Peca had his best training camp with the Lightning back in September, coach Jon Cooper said he learned the 5-foot-9 forward was someone the Lightning would be able to count on at some point this season.Turns out, that time is now.Peca, 27, ...
Published: 01/22/18
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Published: 01/21/18
Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Jones: Saluting CBS, honesty and goats (not to be confused with GOATS)

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best coverageThe best football broadcast I’ve ever seen was Super Bowl XLIII. That was NBC’s coverage of the Steelers’ last-minute victory over th...
Published: 01/21/18
Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Golden Knights are giving Vegas a great odds-beating story in their first year.The expansion team has the whole league playing catchup.James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault scored to help Vegas beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Sunday and...
Published: 01/21/18
What’s gone wrong with Lightning?

What’s gone wrong with Lightning?

It didn't take the sound of a door slamming in the dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay felt like it worked hard – at least, harder than Thursday's listless loss to Vegas – yet dropped another ...
Published: 01/21/18