Until the Panthers start to grow up, Philly’s the target of Tampa’s rage
AS ONE OF THE NHL’S newer franchises, the Lightning don’t have a wealth of great playoff history – the place where many rivalries develop – and the lack of success of the crossstate Florida Panthers has put a damper on that natural feud. The Bolts’ best rivalry at present is with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Why? The Lightning have faced off against them twice in the post-season, including 2004, when they beat Philly in seven games in the Eastern final before winning the Stanley Cup. The bad blood lingered seven years later, when then-Flyers coach Peter Laviolette showed his displeasure with Bolts bench boss Guy Boucher’s defensive system by having his team
basically hold onto the puck and stop playing.
There have also been some high-profile players who’ve went from Tampa to Philadelphia and vice versa, including Vincent Lecavalier and defenseman Matt Carle, who was traded from the Lightning to Philly in 2008 only to return to the Bolts in 2012 as a free agent.
The two teams meet Oct. 30, Dec. 16 and Jan. 12.