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TropicalFruitGirl26

Finally... A REAL Battle of Florida?

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Posted (edited)

1028830182_BATTLEFORFLORIDA.jpg.aa32c744cdbc62a2c9870ccde6f098bf.jpg

 

For years, the NHL and the media has been trying to sell fans on the Great Battle of Florida.
Talk about your "manufactured" rivalries...I HATE manufactured rivalries.

Truth is, not only are both the Lightning and Panthers in non traditional, still developing hockey markets, but at various points since both their existences, either one team has been good, while the other has not....or as has been the case more often than not, BOTH have been bottom feeders.
End result...….. no one cared about any Battle of Florida, and some, like me, never even acknowledged any sort of real rivalry.
Both teams play in the state of Florida....that is the only thing they really have in common.

We all know...real rivalries are brought on while playing intense games, especially meaningful games, for divisions, for playoff spots, and especially DURING playoff series.

 

Well, this off season, the Florida Panthers look like they are really bolstering their lineup with the addition of guys like Sergei Bobrovsky and former Lightning Anton Stralman to go along with the very good players they already have: Vincent Trocheck, Evgeni Dadonov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, and Aaron Ekblad.

The Cats always come to play hard, and yes, there have been SOME good heated games between the two teams of Florida, but now that the Lightning have a fantastic year in, year out contender, the Panthers now look like they are starting to add legit star power and depth to a squad that really needed it.

We know the Lightning will be good again in 2019-20 and they will try to make another Cup run....but now, it looks like maybe the Panthers can be good as well, make the playoffs, and maybe even play a round against Tampa Bay in the post season.
And with Sergei Bobrovsky in net for Florida (the same guy that stymied the Bolts this past playoffs) that makes things VERY interesting indeed.

 

I can now say that perhaps TB-FLA games will be more interesting to watch.
A legit, actual rivalry may develop between the teams moving forward, and that can only bode well for continued interest in hockey for the state of Florida as a whole.
The Bolts have been doing their parts with great games and series against the likes of the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, and especially the Red Wings.
Heck, even the Buffalo Sabres have provided some interesting games against the Bolts.

But a FLA-TB rivalry...a real one, an intense one....one that can actually last years with both teams wanting not only playoff spots, but the Cup itself, would be fantastic for fans and the league alike.
And the media wouldn't even have to try and make crap up just to have something to write about when these two teams play.

Here is to Florida for finally starting to get things right...and I actually wish them success in achieving "map status" if only to make Bolts games against them "must watch" hockey! 

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

Sorry so late in here.

 

  I can see a case being made for both Florida teams being among the best in the East next year with Tampa as the clear favorite and Florida a solid dark horse. It should be fun in the sun for these two. At least for a few years until the Panthers move to Quebec which would be ironic, as Quebec left for Colorado and immediately won the cup in their first year. It would be kind of neat if in 2021-22 they play in Quebec and win a cup, lol.

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So I wonder how Tampa keeps their young goalie after this year?

 

Should they see what happened in Toronto and instead of signing Point like the Leafs did Nylander go ahead and trade him for a haul so they can sign Vasilevskiy next offseason?

 

Cause you know he wants that Bob money now.

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1 hour ago, yave1964 said:

@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

Sorry so late in here.

 

  I can see a case being made for both Florida teams being among the best in the East next year with Tampa as the clear favorite and Florida a solid dark horse. It should be fun in the sun for these two. At least for a few years until the Panthers move to Quebec which would be ironic, as Quebec left for Colorado and immediately won the cup in their first year. It would be kind of neat if in 2021-22 they play in Quebec and win a cup, lol.

 

I still think Florida is a bit thin at the NHL level....meaning a key injury here or there and they are pretty much sunk.

That said, they are heading in the right direction with the signings they made.
Panthers usually do "get up" to play the Lightning...but I am thinking this time, they may actually have the horses and the defense/goaltending to back that up as well.

You know very well though, that Bob comes with injury history, so I am sure Panthers fans are hoping he is more on the ice than off.
Roberto Luongo was far from terrible, and played some outsanding games against Tampa Bay, but the Cats did need someone younger and top quality to replace him.

I honestly think it would be enough for the Panthers to just make the playoffs and meet the Bolts in a playoff series. Something like that is what's needed for a legit rivalry.
Florida doesn't have to be "amongst the best" in the East for that to happen....and really, with the aforementioned depth issues they may still face, I don't think they will be a top two or three team in the East.

Last year, Florida should have been in the playoff mix all along...maybe even grabbing a spot.
They made a nice charge near the end of the season...too little too late of course....this year, with some luck in the health department, they may do just that.

I would say over the last three years or so, TB vs FLA games, for me, have been "meh".... I am looking forward to them this coming season.
And maybe all 19 Panthers fans will make the trip over to Tampa Bay and try to root on their team on the road!! :biggrin: 

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      For years, the NHL and the media has been trying to sell fans on the Great Battle of Florida. Talk about your "manufactured" rivalries...I HATE manufactured rivalries. Truth is, not only are both the Lightning and Panthers in non traditional, still developing hockey markets, but at various points since both their existences, either one team has been good, while the other has not....or as has been the case more often than not, BOTH have been bottom feeders. End result...….. no one cared ab
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