Bolts excited about frenzy

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:04 PM ET


 TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning know about the Red Mile.

 The Bolts have seen it on TV as overjoyed Calgary hockey fans poured onto 17 Ave. to celebrate every Flames victory.

 They've clicked past the taped highlights on late-night sports shows, the Sea of Red rocking the Saddledome, converting the formerly staid rink into the NHL's loudest arena.

 And all the hype, they say, makes Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final tomorrow night in Calgary that much more exciting.

 Lightning left-winger Chris Dingman, a Calgary Flame for two seasons (1997-99), is anxious to see the new-look 'Dome.

 The scene is a drastic departure from the library he played in during the club's lengthy playoff drought.

 "I've never experienced anything quite like that but we've seen it on TV and I think it will be exciting to play in that kind of atmosphere," said the 27-year-old Edmonton product.

 "It's great to see it for those guys up there (in Calgary).

 "Their fans are loving the excitement and myself, as a player, we enjoy it too. I've seen the Sea of Red on 17th Ave. and all the craziness and it's just great for the fans.

 "We played in Montreal where they're so passionate.

 "It's always fun to play where the fans are cheering and they're enthusiastic.

 "It's great fun to go on the road and get booed."

 "We're excited about going to Calgary, not intimidated," said Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk, looking for his first Stanley Cup in his 22nd NHL season.

 "We've been through these situations before -- I was in Toronto -- and know how crazy it can be (in Canadian cities during the playoffs).

 "I talked to the guys about it and how distracting it can be but any time you get this deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs, the intensity rises for the players and the fans."

 "We plan to feed off of it and I think we're going to enjoy it."

 Andreychuk's experience led him to point out to his teammates before Round 2 the frenzied atmosphere can benefit a visiting team.

 "We went up to Montreal and played in Montreal's excitement and I talked to our players before that series about what it is like," said Andreychuk, whose team eliminated the Canadiens in four straight games before also surviving the raucous crowds in Philadelphia in the Cup semifinals.


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