Lightning lineup lacks playoff experience
He's heard stories from teammates and watched it play out on TV for as long as he can remember. Beyond that, though, Lightning center Steven Stamkos has no idea what it's like to play in an NHL playoff game.
The thing is, he's not alone. In addition to Stamkos, eight Lightning regulars will make their NHL playoff debuts Wednesday when Tampa Bay faces the Penguins in Game 1 of their first-round series.
Even coach Guy Boucher is a newcomer. Don't get the idea, though, their lack of experience has the Lightning at a disadvantage. They believe they have plenty of experienced players to lean on for advice.
"I've been talking to guys like Marty (St. Louis) and Vinny (Lecavalier) for two years now about what it's like to be in the playoffs, so you do feel like you kind of know what to expect,'' Stamkos said.
"Of course, until you've played yourself, you really don't know. But we have played Pittsburgh four times already this year, so we feel like we know what we're getting ourselves into there. It's really just a matter of being prepared for that.''
In addition to Stamkos, forwards Sean Bergenheim, David Thompson, Teddy Purcell and Dana Tyrell, defensemen Victor Hedman, Mike Lundin and Matt Smaby and goalie Mike Smith are making their playoff debuts.
New building, same traditions
The Stanley Cup playoffs are here, which means the Penguins are encouraging their fans to take part in traditions that have become synonymous with springtime in Pittsburgh.
Fans attending playoff games at Consol Energy Center are being encouraged to wear white. Free white T-shirts will not be handed out this season, but there are plenty of opportunities for fans to coordinate their attire.
Specially designed shirts for males and females are being sold at local Dick's Sporting Goods locations and the PensGear store located at Consol Energy Center. The shirts are $14.99 each, with proceeds going to The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation to support youth activities, including youth hockey.
Also, the Penguins will distribute white rally towels to every fan during playoff games this spring.
Fans can go big
Fans unable to land tickets for playoff games still will be encouraged to descend upon the area around Consol Energy Center.
The popular 16x9 high definition screen, which is presented by Trib Total Media, will be returning for playoff games.
The screen will be set up in the Civic Arena south parking lot along Centre Avenue, which is located directly across the street from Consol Energy Center.
Fans watching the game outside are reminded that alcohol and grills are not permitted.
Game 4 between the Penguins and Lightning in Tampa, originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 20, has been changed to a 7 p.m. start.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ protracted slump continues with 5-2 loss at Carolina
- Penguins notebook: Staal insists he never asked for trade to Penguins
- Penguins defensemen Letang, Martin embrace heavy workload
- Penguins notebook: Adams says fight was to counter Blues’ brutish tactics
- Penguins’ Letang proving his worth
- Penguins end 4-game losing streak with 3-1 victory over Coyotes
- Penguins notebook: Johnston supports Bennett, Adams
- Penguins notebook: Malkin, Hornqvist skate with team
- Penguins, Blues players adjust to roles with new teams