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Cletus's Blog
1995-1996 Tampa Bay Season Preview 
Posted on July 13, 2012 at 09:08 AM.
I did this as a read along so that people that wanted to read could instead of cluttering up my dynasty thread on the main board. So here we go!


August 25 1995...

It's time for a new season Lightning fans! Time for a new start from our team in Tampa. The 1995 campaign was one for hockey fans to forget, especially us down here in Lightning Land. As the NHL tries to put away memories of the lockout Tampa Bay is putting forth a huge effort to erase their last place finish. A lot of credit must be given to coach Terry Crisp and GM/President Phil Esposito on how far this expansion team has come in such a few years but neither are happy with last season's finish. Esposito is quoted as saying, "Last season was disastrous, we've made strides this offseason to make sure it doesn't happen. We've gotten more skill in the forward position and we are going to have very healthy competition for playing time."
That is very true as Esposito has brought in players such as Brian Bellows and Patrick Poulin to help out the younger players. Tampa Bay is also looking for a breakout year from Alexander Selivanov. The talented winger will be playing alongside team MVP Brian Bradley. Bradley says he's excited to see Selivanov grow as a player. "He's really got a nice scoring touch and is developing his all around game to help take some pressure off me offensively."
Defensively might be where this team struggles. Their top 6 defensemen are Roman Hamrlik, Bill Houlder, Cory Cross and whoever steps up. Hamrlik is starting to hit his young stride in the NHL and proving that he was worthy of being the 1st draft pick in franchise history.
Goalies should be solid this year with Daren Puppa returning to the keep pucks out. The veteran net minder is poised for a big year. "You know I've really trained hard this year and I think we're gonna have a good year. We picked ourselves up a solid backup and he's gonna relieve me some, just not too much." Daren is of course talking about Jeff Reese, picked up in a trade from Hartford. J.C. Bergeron is also there battling for the backup role.

It should be a fun season Lightning fans, and I expect to see everyone out at the Thunderdome on the 1st as your lightning take on the New York Islanders. Pregrame starts at 630 here on the Lightning Radio Network, followed by the game at 7. This is Bob Evans wrapping up this preseason look at the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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