St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Lightning
Print story Subscribe to the Times

About the playoffs

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 10, 2003

FORMAT: The top eight teams in each conference compete in best-of-seven series with division winners receiving the top three seeds. The higher seed hosts the first two games, the lower seed the next two and then they alternate home games until there is a winner. Teams must win three series to advance to the Stanley Cup final.

STANLEY CUP: The oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes, it goes to the team that wins the NHL championship.

CONN SMYTHE TROPHY: Named for the longtime owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the award goes to the most valuable player of the playoffs. The recipient is selected by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Following the Lightning

TELEVISION: Most of the opening-round series will be carried by Sunshine Network with Rick Peckham on the play-by-play announcer and Bobby "Chief" Taylor as analyst. Mike Nabors serves as rinkside reporter. He will host a half-hour show, Lightning Ice Time, before other games on Sunshine. Ch. 28 will televise Saturday's game with an ABC broadcast crew.

RADIO: David Mishkin is the Lightning play-by-play voice on WDAE-AM 620. Former Lightning general manager Phil Esposito serves as analyst for home games. Broadcasts begin with a 30-minute pregame show and end with a 30-minute postgame show.

WEB SITES: The Lightning's official Web site is The Times has a special Lightning area on its site,

FAN CLUB: Call (813) 814-2658 for information. The mailing address is P.O. Box 20394, Tampa, FL 33622.

About the St. Pete Times Forum

ADDRESS: 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa.

SEATING CAPACITY: 19,758 for hockey.

FOOD/DRINK: Fans may not bring food and drink into the arena, but concessions are available. Also, the XO Club is a special season ticket level with food and drink included and Shots at Channelside is a sports and entertainment bar on the west side of the building.

CAMERAS: Still cameras are allowed as long as they don't have detachable lenses. No video cameras or camera bags.

SECURITY: Bags, backpacks, laser pointers, weapons, bottles, cans, sharp objects, sticks, poles, fireworks, pepper spray, mace, food, beverages and wrapped gifts are prohibited. Fans are subject to search at all entries. You'll move through more quickly if you avoid bringing bags or purses.

SMOKING: It is prohibited in the building, but smoking is allowed outside exits behind section 126/128, behind section 212 and behind section 326/328. Fans can exit and re-enter the building during events at those areas.

AUTOGRAPHS: Players enter and leave through Gate D. Some stop to sign autographs before and/or after games.

POWER PLAY: THE ENTERTAINMENT ZONE: The area opens two hours before home games on the main plaza west of the St. Pete Times Forum. It allows fans to show their form in activities such as a hockey slapshot and a bungee run.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?: The St. Petersburg Times bought naming rights to the arena formerly known as the Ice Palace in September, paying $30-million over 12 years to rename it the St. Pete Times Forum. Palace Sports & Entertainment continues to run the team and the arena.

Print story Subscribe to the Times

Back to the Lightning
Today's lineup

  • To Build a Wall
  • Slow pace of ticket sales concerns owner

  • Lightning Playoff Preview
  • At the sports bars
  • The Right Direction
  • Meet the Washington Capitals
  • Lightning players and their roles
  • Capitals vs. Lightning: 2002-3 game by game
  • Drumroll, please ...
  • The trophies
  • About the playoffs
  • High profile: Martin St. Louis
  • Where are they now: 1995-96 Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Turning points
  • From then until now
  • Some storylines to consider

  • Rays
  • Another late run wins it for Rays
  • Rays may gamble on Rocker
  • Shoulder discomfort forces Parque to DL

  • Bucs
  • Bucs offer Green chance to return

  • Other sports

    Gary Shelton
  • There's no Watson to Tiger's Nicklaus

  • Golf
  • Will squishy conditions squash it?
  • Court denies Burk emergency request
  • Johnson says Augusta's position won't change soon

  • NFL
  • Arbitrator in Jets case has tickets for 'Skins

  • In brief
  • AD blames firing on Kansas coach

  • Baseball
  • AL: Royals top winless Tigers, stay unbeaten
  • NL: Chicago's Prior wins duel
  • Byrd needs surgery on sore elbow

  • NHL
  • No. 8 Islanders shock regular-season champ

  • College basketball
  • Villanova escapes sanctions
  • No title, but a lot of love for Vols' anchors
  • What's scary is, no one is leaving Connecticut
  • Holy Cross' Willard latest USF candidate

  • Horses
  • Tension not a factor for Derby prospect

  • NBA
  • McGrady (37) helps Magic end 4-game skid

  • Motorsports
  • Another crew chief exits early for Jarrett

  • Preps
  • County association honors season's best
  • PHU's Hofer perfect
  • Top seniors put on flashy display
  • Long ball helps 'Canes continue Pirates' slump
  • Soccer players say Semper Fi

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111