Zielinski's pick: Top Moment
Lightning fans are making their choices for their Fan's Choices Awards now through May 19th. Bolts Beat Reporter Missy Zielinski chimes in with her choice for each of the awards.
Here's her selection for Top Moment
Stamkos returns as captain
After losing their second captain in less than a year at the trade deadline, the Lightning were not necessarily a team in disarray, but they needed something to put the players, coaching staff, organization and fans back on track. Not only did that come when Steven Stamkos made his much-awaited return to the Bolts’ lineup on March 6, but the Lightning also announced Stamkos as the 10th captain in franchise history. Initially taking warm-ups while donning an “A” on his sweater, when they came back out for introductions at the start of the game, Stamkos did not join the rest of the team on the ice. Seconds later in front of a sold-out crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, Stamkos was welcomed onto the ice by roaring applause while wearing the “C”. Stamkos had been destined for the acknowledgement since being drafted by the Bolts and though it may not have been how the 24-year-old envisioned the honor coming, it helped turn the page to a new era for Tampa Bay.
Gudas making saves in net – In a moment of desperation blueliner Radko Gudas manned the crease as goaltender Anders Lindback got tangled up between players, displaying an ideal head coach Jon Cooper preached all season long – to play for the person next to you. Gudas managed to make two “saves,” while defending the Bolts’ two-goal lead. Afterward, Lindback gave Gudas a stick tap and a pat on the back for the help between the pipes.