During the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals, fans of the Chicago Blackhawks will experience the Lightning’s ridiculous version of home-ice advantage.

By Patrick Comia

Well, it’s the fans of the Chicago Blackhawks turn to feel the strict “playoff policy” when they enter Amalie Arena for Game 1 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.

The best-of-seven series gets underway Wednesday night, 8 pm EST.

This is nothing new to the three teams that came before Chicago, yet it’s still making headlines. An example of this was found in a column by Greg Whyshnyski on’s Puck Daddy this afternoon.1nhl2

You don’t need to go far to get the low down on the questionable, yet legal home ice advantage for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chicago fans can tap the shoulders of any the Lightning’s first three opponents and get the details. Plenty of stories have been covered on those team’s fan sites, blogs, or even the national news could attest to this.

But look at the details. Per the official site of Amalie Arena, fans of the Blackhawks will not be able to wear their team’s colors in the sections, as outlined in their arena’s section under Dress Code.

If someone takes the time to research this, it is not bad. In fact, fans can still occupy anywhere else around the ice. Just not in those luxury, premium areas.

One really can’t blame the Lightning organization for enforcing this policy. There’s no NHL regulation prohibiting a team from this practice, and commissioner Gary Bettman or deputy-commissioner Bill Daley has not voiced their concern.

However, what may gain some traction is the way ticket sales have been handled thus far during the Lightning’s playoff run.

They have made it known that they will, in so many words, restrict playoff tickets to only Florida residents purchasing online. So, if your billing address is out of the state of Florida, it’s a no-go.

Sorry Chicago fans, your billing zip code starts with a 6, you can’t get tickets. You are going to have to get creative or look on the secondary market (anywhere outside of purchasing directly through Ticketmaster/Amalie Arena). The reach hasn’t yet reached that far, so the prospect is there.

All of these efforts are all in the name of keeping home-ice Lightning blue.

No matter how much you hate it or disagree with it, it’s the letter of the law awaiting the Blackhawks down south.

All opposing fans can do is bite the bullet and move on.

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I'm a blogger trying to make it in this world. Have been, and always will be, a fan of the NYR and NYG. Writing for the New Jersey Devils cause, well, someone has to do it!