TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The drive from Spring Hill to Tampa, which is about one hour depending on your starting and stopping points, is hardly an inconvenience for Emily Gifford and Cassie White. They are Tampa Bay Lightning fans and they are excited for Game 2.
I met them outside of Amalie Arena hours before the beginning of the game. They were sitting on a bench separated by a homemade sign, which is what captured my attention.
Gifford had written “21 is on Point” on one side and “Tampa runs on Brayden Point” on the other side. Can you name her favorite player?
“Brayden Point is my favorite player,” she told me. “He is just a fantastic player, probably the nicest person I have ever met.”
Yes, Gifford has met him countless times. She will stand by the exit of the parking lot reserved for the players and she has interacted with the majority of them. She shared three photos of her and Point, adding that she has at least 15 of them.
“He is so down to earth, so humble,” said Gifford. “He loves the fans. He will do anything for you and he comes in clutch all of the time. He is an amazing dude.”
Point actually scored the only Tampa Bay Lightning goal in the first game of the team’s series against the New York Islanders.
Thankfully, Gifford and her sign – and White and her puck – should bring the Lightning some additional luck in Game 2. They referred to their accessories as “good luck charms.”
“Kevin Shattenkirk threw this puck to me last year during warmups,” explained White as she twirled the puck in her hands. “It is signed by Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson.”
She scored those signatures the same way Gifford snagged those selfies and they are likely to venture to that special spot again following the game on Tuesday night.
They are Lightning fans through and through and they want the players to know it.
Gifford glanced at her sign moments before we parted ways telling me, “It is one of my favorite things I ever made.”