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Jon Cooper

Lightning, Panthers set to kick off NHL season on Friday

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It all begins for real tonight at Amalie Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning open the 2017-18 season against the Florida Panthers, the first of four meetings between the two teams. For the Lightning, they seek a return to the playoffs after missing the post season by a single point last year. If they can avoid significant injuries to key players, always a big “if,” they have every reason to expect to be playing hockey well into the spring.

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Lightning ready to get serious about regular season

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The preseason for the Tampa Bay Lightning is now in its final week. Only three games remain before the regular season begins on October 6. Tonight, Tampa Bay has a rematch with rival Florida at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The Panthers beat the Lightning on Sunday at Amalie Arena, 4-2.

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Lightning well represented in World Cup of Hockey

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For some reason, it’s difficult to get excited about the World Baseball Classic. It occurs every two years during spring training when major league players are far from performing at their peak. The World Cup of Hockey, which begins Saturday, also takes place during training camp. It is there the similarities end. The very nature of athletic competition in a contact sport like hockey versus a non-contact sport like baseball almost guarantees a better product. This will not look like…

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Confident Lightning feel Penguins haven’t see their best

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are back home after splitting the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals, feeling good about themselves, though hardly satisfied. “We’ve got to play better to win this series, there’s no doubt,” coach Jon Cooper said Tuesday, adding the team has yet to “put our best foot forward” against the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I think now that we’ve played them two times, we know a little bit more what to expect,” Cooper added. “But I know…

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Lightning awaits conference finals opponent

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The Tampa Bay Lightning has secured their place in the Eastern Conference Finals of the National Hockey League Playoffs. Sunday’s 4-0 blanking of the New York Islanders sent Coach Jon Cooper and his staff into preparation mode for the next round. Coaches and players are frequently asked “who would you rather play in the next round?” The choices are the Washington Capitals or the Pittsburgh Penguins. This question is normally answered with the politically correct “it doesn’t matter; either team…

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Panthers take first place from Lightning in Atlantic Division

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First place slipped away from the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night. The Lightning, ahead by percentage points coming into the game, lost the most important game of its rivalry with the Florida Panthers Saturday night. Playing on its second consecutive night, and its first game without defenseman Anton Stralman, the Lightning lost 5-2 to the Panthers. Tampa Bay scored first but gave up four straight goals to lose. Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos scored for the Bolts, both on the…

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Jeff Vinik says it’s no sure thing that MOSI will move downtown

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

After their dramatic unveiling of their billion-dollar project to redevelop 40 acres of real estate in the Channelside District last December, Jeffrey Vinik’s Strategic Property Partners group has been relatively quiet in terms of news about what will actually be housed there. In recent months there has been discussion about the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) moving from its current North Tampa location across the street from USF to “Vinikville.” Though Hillsborough County officials have expressed excitement about the…

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