Kukla's Korner

Pens/Bolts Series Shifts to Tampa as Playoff Hockey Returns to the Bay Area

It’s been four long years, Tampa Bay, but playoff hockey is finally back at the St. Pete Times Forum tonight, as the Lightning look to take a 2-1 series lead over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

From a personal standpoint, I have to admit, I’m pretty jacked up about tonight, which will actually be my first in-person encounter with a playoff game in any sport, from any perspective. I’ve never covered a postseason game (there have been none to speak of in my time here, of course), nor have I ever so much as attended one as a fan. (I did once get dragged to a NBA playoff game long ago, but I don’t even like basketball, so that doesn’t count.)

More than anything, I’m just excited for the great hockey fans of this area to have the well-deserved opportunity to watch their team battle with so much on the line. I can’t speak to what the atmosphere will be like but I anticipate that it will be every bit as electric as the playoff hockey scene is advertised to be. It will take a concerted effort on my part, I’m sure, to avoid getting wrapped up in that this evening.

I’ll be checking in periodically tonight with the boys from the newly-launched TSN Radio for in-game updates so, if you’re reading this from the Great White North (or you’re streaming their broadcast online), you can catch me there this evening. Ever bipartite, I’ll also be jumping on SiriusXM NHL Home Ice after tonight’s game to recap all the action.

Looking ahead, the ongoing collaboration with FromThePoint.com’s Brian Metzer continues as the series shifts my way and we’ll be putting together a special podcast this week to discuss all things Pens, Bolts and Stanley Cup playoffs there. Stay tuned for an announcement on a time shortly.

But most of all, for those of you right here in the Tampa Bay area, you have every reason to be as enthused about tonight’s game as you no doubt are. It’s been a long time coming. Enjoy.

Keep it right here for more throughout the day.

JJ on Twitter

Filed in: Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | Beasts of the Southeast | Permalink


VooX's avatar

Enjoy the game, JJ, nothing quite matches the intensity and indigestion live playoff hockey delivers to fans.

Please make lots of noise, don’t feel embarrassed, and have a blast.  Playoff hockey becomes a habit, an addiction, you will never get the monkey off your back.  I’ve been a hopeless, and happy, addict for 20 straight years. 

Go Wings!  Go Bolts!

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 04/18/11 at 10:54 AM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

Well, VooX, I’ll make as much noise as they’ll allow me from the press box (which will consist of yapping on the phone with the TSN/XM peeps) and casual banter with my neighbors - but, yeah, I get what you’re saying. smile

By the way, I was talking this weekend about the Wings being in the playoffs for TWENTY STRAIGHT YEARS! That is simply an incredible feat.


Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 04/18/11 at 11:57 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Have fun tonight, JJ.

I don’t have any stock in either team this series, but if one thing is evident it is that TB is owed some calls based on what transpired in Pittsburgh.

For a team not to have dominated play but to have had 13 more minutes of extra man time between two home playoff games tells me that the opposition should be getting their cake at home.  That’ll be an interesting subplot to follow tonight for the Bolts and Pens faithful.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/18/11 at 12:06 PM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

I hear what you’re saying, Leo, though I wish it didn’t always seem like it had to be that way…

If only we had consistent officiating.

(And, while I’m at it, if only we had honest politicans, logic in decision-making, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and so on and…)


Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 04/18/11 at 12:15 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 04/18/11 at 10:15 AM ET


Couldn’t agree with you more there.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/18/11 at 12:26 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

Enjoy the game, JJ.  There’s nothing like live playoff hockey!

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 04/18/11 at 12:35 PM ET

VooX's avatar

Press box?  Oh well.

I never wanted to watch a game and have to sit where I am expected to be impartial and professional.  Don’t have it in me.

Enjoy the game, try and sneak down to the standing room area to let your hair down at least once during the game, ok?

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 04/18/11 at 12:36 PM ET

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