Buccaneers induct John Lynch to Ring of Honor

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers inducted team legend John Lynch into their Ring of Honor at halftime Thursday night, November 3rd, during their 43-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium.

Lynch, now a color commentator for the NFL on FOX, spoke briefly to the crowd after his name and number were unveiled on the ring of honor to the left of fullback Mike Alstott, also a member of the Super Bowl XXXVII championship team.

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John Lynch’s name shines in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium next to Super Bowl teammates Mike Alstott, Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp

Lynch thanked the Glazer family, his teammates and the fans in Tampa for all the support he received during his career.

Unlike his teammates  Derrick Brooks and Warren Sapp, Lynch has yet to be elected to the Hall of Fame, though he is hopeful that one day he will join them in Canton.

Lynch certainly has a case, between his 1,058 tackles and 26 interceptions over a 14 year career and always seeming to make a play when it was needed most.  It remains to see if Hall of Fame voters agree with Lynch, who is a finalist for the Hall again this year.

 

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Bishop’s 23 saves not enough as Habs best Bolts

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Alexander Radulov (#47) and Jason Garrison (#5) battle for the puck October 27th at Bell Centre (NHL.com).

The Tampa Bay Lightning fell on Thursday night, October 27th, to the Montreal Canadiens 3-1at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Alex Killorn opens the scoring in the second period

Entering the third period, the Lightning led the Habs 1-0 on the strength of an Alex Killorn second period goal.  The Lightning would then surrender three third period goals, including the game winning goal by Max Pacioretty at 10:23.

Max Pacioretty gives Montreal the lead

While Ben Bishop would make 23 saves for Tampa Bay, Montreal goaltender Carey Price would make 29 and improve his record to 4-0-0 as the Lightning dropped their first game this season against an Eastern Conference opponent.

The Lightning continue their road trip with a matchup versus the New Jersey Devils, a team the Lightning have already defeated at home this season, tomorrow night, October 29th, at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Sun.

Lightning strike six times to take opener from division rival

The Tampa Bay Lightning showed resilience Thursday night, October 13th, beating Atlantic Division rival, the Detroit Red Wings, 6-4, in front of a sellout crowd of over 19,000 at Amalie Arena.

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A commemorative puck, featuring the logo of both teams, with Downtown Tampa in the background

After the pomp and circumstance of opening night that included a message from team owner Jeff Vinik and the introduction of Lightning players and staff, an actual hockey game remained to be played.  And what a game it was.

It didn’t start the way the home fans had hoped for.  Red Wings newcomer Thomas Vanek scored a power-play goal at the 3:12 mark of the 1st period to give Detroit an early 1-0 lead.  Just over five minutes later, Vanek scored again.  That would be it for scoring for the opening period, but before even half of that period had been played, it was 2-0 Detroit, and quite frankly, the Lightning looked lost.

Jonathan Drouin opens the scoring for Tampa Bay

Jonathan Drouin would open the scoring for the Lightning at 7:23 of the 2nd period with a power-play goal of his own.  Less than a minute later, however, Frans Nielsen would put the Red Wings up 3-1 to almost immediately take any life that had returned to Amalie Arena away.  Cedric Paquette would score an unassisted goal for the Lightning at 13:05, and through 2 periods it was 3-2 Detroit, but after the Paquette goal, it seemed the Lightning had new life.

New life they indeed had as Brian Boyle would tie the game at 3:17 of the 3rd, Tyler Johnson would give the Lightning the lead at 8:34 and Alex Killorn seemingly sealed the deal at 16:50.  However, one of the weirdest goals you’ll ever see in a hockey game happened shortly thereafter to make it a one goal game again.

Tyler Johnson gives the Lightning the lead

With Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek making a break for the bench for an extra attacker, a seemingly normal dump in by Danny DeKeyser of the Red Wings, a play which mainly serves as an attempt to get the puck into the offensive zone while making a line change, took a funny bounce off the boards and somehow bounced off of Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop and into the net to make it 5-4 Tampa Bay.  Over two minutes remained to play and in a one goal game now, anything could happen.

Danny DeKeyser scores from center ice

However, crisis avoided for the Lightning as, with Mrazek out of the net in favor of an extra Red Wing skater, Valtteri Filppula would score an empty net goal at 18:39 to seal the deal and give the Lightning a hard earned opening night victory.

It’s hard, if not impossible, to make any meaningful conclusions off of this one game.  Especially a game where Tampa Bay looked downright lost during the first 20 minutes.

It’s easy to say that this is a team that will never quit, even when down two goals after the first and even when they go back down two goals, as was the case shortly after Drouin’s goal.  It’s also easy to blame the same cast of characters who dug the 2-0 hole in the first place.  It’s easy to blame Ben Bishop for giving up four goals, just as it’s easy to absolve him of the blame on the goals, especially that last freak goal.

Ultimately, the only real conclusion that can be taken from this game is that the Lightning were able to get six goals from six different scorers to take two points in an Atlantic Division rivalry game.  At the end of the night, it wound up being a good start to the season, but it’s important to remember that it’s just one of 82.