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Lightning Prepares to Hit the Ice

With an end to the NHL lockout in sight, will you be watching the Lightning play hockey this year?

The Tampa Bay Lightning are wasting no time preparing for what will be an abbreviated season thanks to the National Hockey League’s 100-plus-day lockout.

The team announced that ice installation at the Tampa Bay Times Forum is scheduled for today. In fact, painting is expected to begin this afternoon.

“The Times Forum staff began by laying down a base coat of ice this morning,” a Lightning media release stated.

All of this is in preparation for what will now be an abbreviated season thanks to the negotiation breakdown between the players’ union and the league. The end of the lockout was announced on Sunday.

While it remains unclear how many games will be a part of the shortened 2012-13 season or when games will officially start, the Lightning seems excited about getting back into action.

The team’s Twitter feed has been blowing up with small nuggets of information about pre-game training.

Coach Guy Boucher seems guardedly optimistic about the Lightning’s chances this season.

“I'm worried about the first game. There is going to be ups and downs. Lows can't last," he’s quoted on Twitter as saying.

What do you think Tampa Bay? How will the Lighting fare this season? Are you ready to “Be the Thunder?” Share your thoughts in the comments section. Better yet, upload photos of you in Lightning gear to show your support for the team as it prepares to hit the ice.

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