There is just something different about Playoff hockey.
Everything about it is AMP’D up. From the moment you step foot on the grounds at Amalie Arena, you can immediately feel the vibes. Your senses tingle in a sea of blue, reeling you in with crowd chants and the live broadcasts that feature both national and local media…to the live musical performances, the delicious smells from the food trucks, interactive zones and sponsorship areas. And boy, does the party turn up QUICK!
And that’s all before you ever step foot inside the arena.
With last night’s commanding Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils to take Game 1 in Round 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, there were so many magical moments that stood out, but one a little more than others. At every Lightning home game, a youth skater is selected at the Thunderkid to lead out the Bolt Brigade on to the ice as part of the pregame ceremony. The kids are mainly from local Tampa Bay area youth hockey programs, which truly is an honor for them to have such a cool opportunity to open up the night on the same ice many of their idols play on. Last night’s Thunderkid happened to be the son of Tampa Bay Lightning’s goaltender, Peter Budaj. Junior surely was a chatty one, as Vice President of Street Laced, Greg Wolf (who also serves as the In-Arena Host for the Bolts) found out while interviewing him during an intermission break.
Budaj Jr. really caught the attention of fans with his classic response to being asked who his favorite Lightning player is.
The interview was entertaining enough that the folks at the NHL decided to feature it on their home page today.
See the full story and video on NHL.com here: Greg Wolf interviews Peter Budaj Jr.