Juran In The Stands: Lightning Fan Fest Blast Off – All Systems Go
Training camp is underway. Preseason games begin this week. After losing half of last season to the lockout, Lightning fans are anxious for the home opener.
The puck will drop onto the faceoff sticks of a different team this season. With the (mostly) new coaching staff has come a new focus and a return to fundamentals. And it isn’t just the prospects who are playing with the intensity of men who have something to prove.
The roster will be shaken up with new faces…by veterans like Valtteri Filppula, by young Syracuse Crunch players and possibly first round draft pick Jonathan Drouin, if they prove themselves ready for a shot with the big club. New line pairings and new chemistry will develop. (Photo/Alexis Boucher)
This season’s team will take the ice under the direction of their yet to be appointed captain. Martin St. Louis? Steven Stamkos? A surprise wild card choice? The answer will come on October 1st; the result will reveal itself game by game.
Fan Fest was held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on the fourth day of training camp. Turnout was strong and enthusiasm ran high. Seeing the players back on the ice again and getting to talk with them during autograph sessions left the nearly five thousand fans who attended feeling happy and charged up for the new season. Many players reached out on Twitter following the event to thank fans for coming out and showing support.
— Tanner Richard (@Trichard71) September 14, 2013
— Victor Hedman (@heds77) September 14, 2013
— Andrej Sustr (@AndrejSustr) September 14, 2013
There’s no crystal ball to predict whether the Lightning will make a better showing in the standings than last season. What is clear is that the organization is making decisions to assemble a team of coaches and players, talent and skill, to contend for the Cup. And this fan base faithfully supports its team on the wild ride from game 1 to game 82.
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