A first season that was all heart
The Lightning brought hockey to Florida 25 years ago with fun, fervor and freshness, and hooked Tampa Bay.
TAMPA — It was 1992, and between periods at Expo Hall — the fairgrounds barn of a hockey rink for the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning, the first NHL team in Florida — Terry Crisp, the team’s coach, stood in the cramped dressing room (what wasn’t cramped at the Hall?) and ripped his players for particularly lousy play. Five minutes into Crisp’s eruption, the door swung open. A father and son, holding popcorn and a snow cone, walked into the room.
“Is this where the bathrooms are?”
Oh, that first season.
“‘Crispy’ couldn’t even talk,” said
SUNRISE — Roberto Luongo moved into a tie for fourth on the NHL career wins list with his 474th, making 37 saves to help the Panthers beat the Blues 5-2 on Thursday night.
Luongo, 38, is tied with Curtis Joseph on the career list.
“It’s nice, but my main goal is to get this team back to the playoffs,” Luongo said.
The Panthers didn’t make the postseason last year.
Vincent Trocheck scored the go-ahead goal, Ian McCoshen had his first NHL goal, and Jared McCann, Aaron Ekblad and Nick Bjugstad also connected for Florida.
Paul Stastny and Vince Dunn — also with his first career goal — countered for St. Louis, which suffered its first loss in five games this season.
The Blues face the Lightning on Saturday at Amalie Arena.
JAGR HAS WEARY LEGS IN DEBUT: Jaromir Jagr was in his eighth NHL season when Matthew Tkachuk was born in 1997, and the 45-year-old star felt all those extra years when he began his 24th season in the league with the Flames. His new teenage teammate played a major role in getting him a win.
Tkachuk scored two goals before Sean Monahan got the winner 1:02 into overtime during the Flames’ 4-3 victory over the Kings late Wednesday.
Jagr nearly scored on his opening shift of a solid debut with the Flames, his ninth NHL team.
“I didn’t feel very well, but I expected that,” Jagr said. “Hopefully next game, I’ll feel better. … After my legs come back, it’s going to be a little bit different.”
Though he didn’t record a shot on goal during his 15 shifts, Jagr spent time on the power play and earned more ice time than coach Glen Gulutzan initially had planned to give him.
Brian Bradley leads the Lightning in scoring in the 1992-93 inaugural and was its first All-Star. “Everybody wanted to prove themselves,” hesays.