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Fan Of The Week: The Tampa Bay Lightning

I know what you’re thinking. How can a sports team be named as a ‘Fan of the Week?’

But the Lightning, or more specifically, coach Guy Boucher made the choice easy when he decided that the team would stick around after home wins and salute the fans.

After the Lightning’s 5-3 victory over the Thrashers on Saturday, the players stood at center ice and raised their sticks to salute the announced crowd of 19,791 at the St. Pete Times Forum.

That, in essence, makes the team a fan of the fans.

Boucher’s thinking:

“People pay to get a show,” Boucher said. "They’re the ones who make this team do what it has to do. It comes on the ice to make a show, and once the show is made, I think it’s important the players recognize the people (who) paid to get in here.’’

Still not convinced?

Let’s compare, shall we?

Rays fans stayed away in droves, and the response from at least two players was to chastise fans and talk about embarrassment.

Bucs fans stay away in droves, and their response is to deny local fans the opportunity to watch on television.

So, for being fans of the fans, the Tampa Bay Lightning has earned the right to be SB Nation Tampa Bay’s Fan of the Week.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.