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Lightning start the healing process with new Steven Stamkos commercial

The ad subtly acknowledges the playoff collapse with a fuzzy clip of the playoff match

TAMPA — If their first commercial reflects the team’s approach, the Lightning will not ignore how its playoff bid ended with a first-round sweep against Columbus.

A new commercial released Thursday as the Lightning officially starts its preseason shows team captain Steven Stamkos walking the streets of Tampa as a narrator speaks of an “epic tale” with “highs and lows.” It’s shot with shadows and storms, yet it also offers hope.

Stamkos released the video on his Twitter account. It found immediate favor with fans with more than 1,000 likes in the first few minutes after the post.

The Lightning have worked to forge a bond with their fans in the wake of the disappointing finish. In a letter to season ticket holders, Jeff Vinik wrote, “Nobody is more disappointed than our players and the hockey operations department, inclusive of (general manager) Julien BriseBois, (coach) Jon Cooper, our coaches, and staff. Me, too.”

MORE LIGHTNING: Bolts to open camp without Point

The team started the preseason with physicals today and will have its first skate Friday at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. Almost everyone returns from last year’s roster. General manager Julien BriseBois stuck to tweaks, such as replacing older defensemen with younger but experienced players, rather than making big changes.