Another Lightning Stanley Cup Would Unite Tampa Bay Region, Andreychuk Says
The former Lightning captain said Tampa Bay’s hopes of reaching the Stanley Cup finals took a big step forward with their win Tuesday over the Islanders.
After the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 Tuesday night, Lightning Hall of Famer Dave Andreychuk said that not only a big step toward repeating as Stanley Cup champions.
It was also a big step toward uniting the greater Tampa Bay region in celebration.
When the Lightning won the Stanley Cup last year, the team was welcomed back by a boat parade.
That’s something Andreychuk hopes to see more of this year.
“I think any time that we can [win a championship], our team's going to rally around that,” Andreychuk said Tuesday during a week-long camp that teaches individuals with disabilities how to ride bicycles. “Whether it's the Bucs or the Rays or [the Lightning], the community comes together.”
Andreychuk is quite familiar with Lightning celebrations. He was a member of the team from 2001-06, and was the team captain when Tampa Bay won its first Stanley Cup, defeating the Calgary Flames in seven games following the 2003-04 season.
Following their victory Tuesday over the Islanders, Andreychuk also said the Lightning will have to be strong mentally if they want to win in New York.
“I think handling your emotions is first and foremost,” Andreychuk said. “You're going to be jacked up, you're going to be in that building. It's going to be loud. How are your first five minutes starting? I think that's the key to them.”
If the Bolts were to have lost Tuesday night, they would have found themselves in a challenging situation early in the series.
However, Andreychuck said that tying the series could be a turning point for the Lightning.
“It definitely could have went the other way,” Andreychuk said. “If we lose a game, you’re down 0-2. So now, there’s confidence. You’re back in the series.”
The Bolts will now travel to New York for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Saturday. Both games are at 8 p.m.