October 12 Nikita Kucherov scored twice and finished with four points, Brayden Point had two goals and an assist in his season debut and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. October 3 Blue skies and clear water; it couldn't have been a more perfect day to get out into Tampa Bay. With training camp behind them, that's exactly what the Lightning did today.
It means the rest of the hockey world is taking notice and the Lightning are real contenders each and every season. At the same time, this means Lightning fans will have to deal with some not-so-flattering commentary.
Anyone who has been following the Lightning over the last couple of years knows the commentators and analysts over at NBC Sports have not always been kind to the Bolts, even when they were succeeding.
In fact, some Lightning fans have taken to muting their televisions and turning on the local radio broadcast.
In almost every situation, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. It is never a bad day when a team gets national exposure and if this means we have to deal with some lopsided and sometimes unflattering commentary then this is what we must do. Those of us here in the Bolts Nation are all in for the Boys in Blue, right?
Here is a closer look at the games which will be broadcast nationally in the season. Home games are in bold and away games are in normal text.
Columbus defeated Tampa Bay to win the series Tampa Bay became the first team in the expansion era, which began in , to go winless in the first round of the playoffs after leading the league in points during the regular season.
All times are in Eastern Time.