Lightning fans in Denver face Avalanche of Colorado backers

Charles Warner licks the wounds of Lightning’s Game 1 defeat as a Denver resident playfully ripped by Avalanche fans.

“They went right in my face and said ‘BOOOO!’ I don’t know how you react to that – but they were quite nice,” Warner said, laughing.

Warner has been in the Mile High City for a decade.

But his pucks and heart still belong to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He has a puck signed by every member of the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup champions in a hanging display, including coach John Tortorella.

Much of the Tampa Bay area is difficult to replace, he said.

“We don’t have grouper sandwiches here, we don’t have Cubans, we don’t have café con leche, we don’t have Lightning, but you have the mountains,” Warner said.

An even better consolation – his real child, born in Colorado – who also wants to be the Thunder.

“She’s totally into it. Like she’s sitting here and you know she’s playing her Roblox and doing things like a 10 year old. But she’s watching the game,” Warner explained. “She dresses up her animals, and she’s — she’s into it.”

His hope — to get young Arya to a game in Tampa.

“By bringing them here, you are, in a way, the belly of the beast. I want to be able to take her to a game in Tampa so she can wear her Lightning gear and feel the electricity, pun intended.”

He’s excited to dive right back into the Belly of the Beast in Ball Arena in Game 2. But he would like a little help.

“I’m usually used to being a fan who gets evicted and wears the other team’s shirt. But in that arena, there were about 30 people wearing Lightning jerseys,” Warner said. “And 20,000 Avs fans. So I don’t know, because you know what – I was alone!”

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