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Local broadcast crew not thrown off their game by Lightning’s alternate jerseys

The “Disrupt the Night”-themed jerseys were a bone of contention among some fans and broadcasters last season because of illegible numbers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's alternate jerseys hang in the locker room last season. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
The Tampa Bay Lightning's alternate jerseys hang in the locker room last season. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Oct. 19

TAMPA — It only took minutes after warmups for the tweets to start rolling in Feb. 7 when the Lightning debuted their alternate jersey.

The black jersey was flared up the sleeves with silver specks, logos and numbers. But fans and media alike struggled to read the backs. Other than a few minor modifications in the offseason, the “Disrupt the Night” jersey remains the same for this season.

And unlike other national media, the home broadcast crew didn’t have the same readability issues seeing the new jerseys in action.

“I know the guys by body type and facially,” color analyst Brian Engblom said.

He compared tracking players in the alternate jerseys to the same process the crew has to go through getting to know the visiting team.

“We’re sensitive to that because that’s our job and you need that instant recollection to try and see a number somewhere,” Engblom said. “But it’s not as tough for me, personally, because we get to know the players downstairs and by body type.”

Getting to watch the jerseys in warmups is another advantage, Engblom added, focusing on who has similar numbers, positions and even which kind of shot — right or left — the player uses.

The Lightning will use the alternate jersey at every home weekend game this season.

“They’re beautiful jerseys, and the design comes out and it’s really cool,” Engblom said.

"Disrupt the Night” jersey dates

Saturday, Oct. 26, vs. Predators

Saturday, Nov. 16, vs. Jets

Saturday, Nov. 23, vs. Ducks

Saturday, Nov. 30, vs. Hurricanes

Saturday, Dec. 7, vs. Sharks

Saturday, Dec. 14, vs. Capitals

Saturday, Dec. 28, vs. Canadiens

Sunday, Dec. 29, vs. Red Wings

Saturday, Feb. 8, vs. Islanders

Saturday, Feb. 15, vs. Flyers

Saturday, Feb. 29, vs. Flames

Saturday, March 14, vs. Red Wings

Sunday, March 15, vs. Devils

Saturday, March 28, vs. Rangers

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