The rationale eludes me as to why Lightning fans would make the series between Tampa Bay and Calgary a "battle" of the U.S. vs. Canada. I am sure this is an embarrassment to the team's Canadian players - including Vinny Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards and Dave Andreychuk. Much of the core of both teams in the NHL final is made up of Canadian players, just like the core of every basketball team is made of American players.
I am a proud Canadian, as I am sure most Lightning fans are proud Americans. But we need to let the players play - because this is a very good series - and leave tribal rhetoric out.
The Times' coverage of the Lightning's trip to the Stanley Cup final has been superb. But the action photography of Dirk Shadd has been absolutely awesome. His shots from the net of Vinny's tying goal in Montreal and one from above the Forum of Khabibulin blocking Keith Primeau's breakaway shot are, without question, two of the best shots anywhere in the coverage of the playoffs.
Nicely done, Lightning fans. Introduce yourselves as hockey fans by booing the visiting team throughout their introductions. As the fan base representing an incredible team that has brought considerable excitement to the game this year, you embarrass not only yourselves and the team you support, but all Americans on the world stage. As if there wasn't enough of that already. I'd expect a great city to show a little more class.
I just wanted to relay the excellent experience my friends and I had during Game 7 of the East final between the Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers.
Three of us flew down to attend Game 7. While wearing Flyers apparel, we were greeted immediately in the parking lot of the St. Pete Times Forum with handshakes and congratulations on making it this far and wishes of good luck for the game.
During the game, nothing but friendly ribbing ensued in the 315 section and after the game more handshakes and congratulations from fans were extended. During our visit, we only received one negative comment, certainly not indicative of the class that Tampa Bay Lightning fans possess.
We are proud to be passionate Philly fans, but Tampa fans reminded me of why I attend sporting events - for the love of the games being played.
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