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Garrison: Lightning feeling excitement of community

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 5:04 PM / Player's Blog with the Lightning's Jason Garrison

Jason Garrison - Special to

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison will be blogging for periodically throughout the Stanley Cup Final.

TAMPA -- Let's start this off by looking back.

As soon as we won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday, obviously there was a lot of excitement, but it was the first time I came back to my cell phone after a game to find, I think, over 120 text messages.

As fun as it is, as much as you're trying to embrace it all, trying to take it all in, we know we haven't done anything yet because there is still another series to go. But that said, and this goes back to my point about the text messages, there is just so much support out there for me, for us.

Yzerman's patient approach paying off for Lightning

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 4:49 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

TAMPA -- Through 12 seasons and three Stanley Cup championships, Kris Draper watched and played alongside Steve Yzerman as he masterfully mixed qualities such as being humble with being calculated in order to become one of the greatest players of all time.

Draper, watching from a distance now, has seen Yzerman use those same qualities to become one of the best general managers in the NHL.

Yzerman inherited forward Steven Stamkos and defenseman Victor Hedman and has used them as his centerpieces to carefully and methodically, piece by piece, build the Tampa Bay Lightning into a Stanley Cup contender.

The Lightning start the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). Yzerman won the Stanley Cup three times as a player with the Red Wings and once as a member of Red Wings management.

The Lightning are without question his team now, and they have a chance to be his masterpiece.

Devils will be fast, attacking, supportive, Shero says

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 2:22 PM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Before New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero introduced coach John Hynes at Prudential Center on Tuesday, he spelled out the blueprint for what the Devils will look like under his leadership.

"Since this is really the first time I've had a chance to address everybody here, I think it's important for me to establish and say what I think exactly the identity of this hockey team is going forward," said Shero, who was hired May 4. "There are three things that I think you can identify the New Jersey Devils with moving forward, and that's going to be fast, that's going to be attacking, and that's going to be supportive."

Goaltender Matchup: Inside Lightning's Bishop

Tuesday, 06.02.2015 / 9:53 AM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs so broke down the Stanley Cup Final battle between Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning. After starting with Crawford, it’s Bishop's turn in the spotlight.

Much like many goaltending coaches do before a playoff series, correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. Regular-season goals were recorded in their original Save Review System, and playoff goals, including how they were scored, were tracked in the soon-to-launch SRS 2.0. The graphics showing where goals went in and shots were taken from on the ice are nice, but the real value is analyzing the plays that led to them and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.

Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning


Bishop has put himself in the history books during this playoff run by becoming the first goalie to backstop his team to the Cup Final with a road shutout in Game 7 of the conference finals, which Bishop did in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers. He also is the first goaltender with road shutouts in Games 5 and 7 of the same playoff series, and the first to win his first two Game 7 starts, a run that started in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings. But Bishop's first playoff experience hasn't all been positive, which is fitting because there are ups and downs that come with being a 6-foot-7 goaltender in the NHL.

Farrish: Lightning's Bowness key against Blackhawks

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 9:00 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

In breaking down the coaching matchup in the Stanley Cup Final, former NHL assistant coach Dave Farrish concluded that the X-factor for the Tampa Bay Lightning could be the guy standing next to coach Jon Cooper behind the bench.

Farrish is talking about associate coach Rick Bowness, who was on Alain Vigneault's staff with the Vancouver Canucks during the heyday of their Stanley Cup Playoff rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Canucks and Blackhawks played each other in three straight postseasons (2009-11). Vancouver lost to Chicago in 2009 and 2010 but won their first-round series in seven games in 2011.

"Rick has had a lot of experience in the West with Vancouver, so he's got a pretty good track record," Farrish said. "I'm sure Cooper will be leaning heavily on Rick."

Blackhawks have plan for big goalies like Bishop

Monday, 06.01.2015 / 8:15 PM / Lightning vs Blackhawks - 2015 Stanley Cup Final

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Almost as impressive as advancing to the Stanley Cup Final three times in six seasons is the list of big goalies the Chicago Blackhawks have defeated in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in that span.

The Blackhawks, who will play the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Cup Final on Wednesday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports), hope to add a new one to the list: 6-foot-7, 209-pound Ben Bishop.

To do so, Chicago plans to stick to its usual game plan, captain Jonathan Toews said.

"I've definitely watched quite a bit these playoffs, and we know [the Lightning are] fast and skilled, they play a good team game," Toews said Monday before the Blackhawks traveled to Tampa. "[Their defensemen join] the play, great goaltending ... we know they don't have a whole lot of weaknesses. I think we'll have to be prepared for that and do as we normally do: talk about making things difficult on their goaltender, getting to him and making them play in their own end."

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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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