Chicago Blackhawks Observations From Behind Enemy Lines In Tampa

By Gail Kauchak
Mar 27, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 27, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite losing 5-4 in overtime, this hockey housewife thoroughly enjoyed watching the Chicago Blackhawks play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena

For my kids, the highlight of their spring break in Florida is going to the waterpark.  My husband would rather be fishing.  But for me, I have to say I had the most fun going to the Chicago Blackhawks-Tampa Bay Lightning game.

It all started when my husband’s friend from Florida scored us tickets to last night’s game.  I had never seen the Chicago Blackhawks play anywhere besides the United Center, and I was curious as to what it would be like to see them in another stadium.

Boy, did our friend outdo himself!  Our seats were in the back row of the lower level, right in front of the first section of skybox seats, and right off center ice.  Ok, so we weren’t right on the glass.  But we’d have to take out a second mortgage on the house to have those kind of seats at the United Center!  I can safely say I will probably never sit that close again.  At the risk of being considered a complete nerd, I’ll tell you I was absolutely giddy with excitement.  My kids were making fun of me.  It was REALLY cool!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  When we first arrived at the stadium, all I could see were red jerseys.  There were some blue and white attire sprinkled in, but not much.  The lady in front of me in line turned around and whispered, “Where are all the Lightning fans?  I thought I was going to be out of place, but besides it being 80 degrees out, I feel like I’m at a home game!”

I was in complete agreement.  Throughout warmups and well into the second period, the stadium was extremely complacent.  The Tampa Bay organization but on quite a show, complete with ice girls dancing in the stands.  But the Lightning fans were for the most part quiet and subdued.  It was pretty sad.

Of course it didn’t help matters that Artemi Panarin was the first to get on the scoreboard.  The Lightning fans woke up a little when Ondrej Palat tallied on the power play to tie the game.  But then Patrick Kane answered back, and Tomas Jurco scored his first ever (and probably his last) goal as a Chicago Blackhawk.  At the beginning of the second period, Richard Panik scored to make it 4-1 for the Blackhawks.  Lightning fans were passive.  On the other hand, spring break Blackhawk fans were having a ball!

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