TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Tampa Bay Lightning are not off to a cold start this season.
In 2004, when they were crowned Stanley Cup champions, they started the season winning 7 of their first 10 games. This year, they are 8-1-1, which is their best start in franchise history.
You can give a lot of the credit to the returning players but the new faces get some too, including defeseman Dan Girardi.
"Its been great -- a little adjustment coming from New York and the guys here have been great. New York City is always a go, go, go type thing and everyone is always in a hurry and here you just drive the speed limit, there is no one honking ... just kind of chill and relaxing," Girardi told FOX 13's anchor Walter Allen during a one-on-one interview.
The defenseman played his entire career -- 11 years -- for the New York Rangers. This is his first time with another team..
"Steve (Yzerman), when he called me, I was very excited for him to call me, personally, and tell me he wanted me to come here and that kind of made my decision right there. (With a) guy like that calling me and with a team wants me that badly, money aside, you don't care about that. You just want to go to a team to win and I think we have the right parts to do that," Girardi said.
The Bolts just missed the playoffs last season, and the year before that the team lost to Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. In 2015, they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. The team has gotten a taste but has not savored a championship since 2004.
Expectations are high. Girardi is one of reasons.
"Obviously I've played a lot of games for the Rangers in the playoffs and it takes everyone pulling in the same direction. They key is to have that check by your name and get into the playoffs and from there anything can happen," he said. "I got a good sense of urgency with this team. Coming into camp very hard, very competitive and it's said it hasn't been like that for a while and I kind of like that. I just think everyone is hungry to get back into the playoffs and make a run at the Stanley Cup."