Nov 30, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings watch the big screen as Tampa Bay Lightning general manager and former Detroit Red Wings player Steve Yzerman (not pictured) was welcomed backed to the Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Getting To Know The Red Wings New Conference: Tampa Bay Lightning

When the Detroit Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference next season they will find themselves in familiar, but unfamiliar territory. Some fans remember when the Wings would play against Toronto, Montreal, and Boston back in the original six days, but those days are no more. The new Red Wings and their fans will have to adjust to the new conference and teams.

Dolly Dolce (DD) from Bolts By The Bay was gracious enough to answer a few question about the Lightning and our new conference.

What is something Red Wing fans need to know about the Lightning and their fans? 
DD: They are their best when their backs are up against the wall. People expect them to drop games against the big named teams, like the Bruins or the Red Wings, when in fact, they play their best against teams like them. Don’t underestimate the Lightning when it comes to a good battle.
The Bolt Nation is a tight knit group. We bleed blue and support our team loss or win, thick and thin. We have our ups and downs. Being a Lightning fan is a roller coaster ride, & I wouldn’t want to take this journey with any other fan base. We are relentless. We are passionate. We are dedicated. Despite the rumors, there is a lot of us. WE ARE THE THUNDER!
Me: The question will be next season if there is more Red or Blue in the stands, it will be Red.

Which Red Wing player are Bolt fans most afraid of playing against next season?
DD: Pavel Datsyuk, of course!
Me: The Magic Man strikes again and if Kenny work out that extension with him there will be 4-5 more years of his terror.

Which player from the  Lightning should Red Wing fans fear?
DD: The obvious Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis. (sorry, can’t pick just one)
Me: Stamkos is a great scorer and St. Louis one of the best playmakers in the NHL, the combination does worry me.

Red Wing fans are hoping that once Ken Holland retires as the GM, Steve Yzerman will come back to Detroit. How would you rate Yzerman’s job in Tampa Bay?
DD: I’d say that Steve Yzerman is hard to rate right now. His trades have been questionable. He has made some moves that are …interesting, to say the least, like releasing Guy Boucher of his coaching duties mid-season, while on a road trip. While this leaves a bitter taste in most fans mouths, it was great for others. But the fans aren’t the ones who have to be happy with him. Let the next two years go by, see how his plan plays out… then I’ll be able to rate him. Right now it’s like tasting a cake while it’s still batter. Can’t really tell.
Me: The addition of Ben Bishop seems to be working and if the reports were true that Boucher lost the lockerroom, then that was a solid move as well.

What will it be like to have four of the Original Six teams in the same conference?<
DD: To have four of the Original Six teams in our conference is both amazing and intimidating. Those teams are so well respected. It will be an honor to have the opportunity to see the teams play, and meet the fans in our arena. It also makes our playoff chances quite harder!
Me: Most Wings fans hope that the Florida teams will be easy victories, but I believe they will get better quickly, while playing in the new conference.

A big thank you to Dolly over at Bolts By The Bay for answering these questions and helping us transition to life in the Eastern Conference. Be sure to check them out and we look forward to seeing you next season in Tampa Bay.

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