SportsQuest for the Cup


Bolts adjust to mile-high altitude before battle with Colorado Avalanche

“It’s not easy,” said Lightning center Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare.
Rangers Lightning Hockey
Posted at 8:14 AM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 08:26:27-04

TAMPA, Fla. — In the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche, the Tampa Bay Lightning will enjoy more than just thousands of friendly fans during the series’ home games. They’ll also enjoy Amalie Arena’s roughly 20-foot altitude when compared to the alternative venue.

Denver is called the “Mile High City,” because it’s at a roughly 5,280-foot elevation.

According to the CDC, traveling to areas of high altitude can cause hangover-like symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, and nausea.

Lightning center Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare said the effects can be a real factor.

“It’s not easy,” he said. “You know, you can’t complain about it or blame it because it’s a part of it”

Bellemare played for the Avalanche for two seasons before signing with the Lightning.

“It’s hard to not focus on it, because, you know, your body’s going to give you a message — send you messages at times,” he continued, before letting out a sharp exhale to demonstrate. “It’s a little bit tighter.”

Bellemare said his team will do everything it can to prepare for playing its brand of hockey at the higher altitude. Lightning Assistant Coach Jeff Halpern, a former player who has also experienced playing in Denver, echoed Bellemare’s comments.

“Travel-wise, we’re doing as much as possible for it. Beyond that, I don’t know how much else can be done leading up to that game,” Halpern said. “You do feel it, and I think especially in the first period is when you feel it the most.”

Halpern said traveling to Denver days ahead of Game 1 should give his team time to adjust.

Puck drop for Game 1 is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday on ABC.