After a 7 p.m. game in Raleigh, NC last night against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Lightning flew to Atlanta, got a good night's sleep and then held a team meeting before today's 5 p.m. match-up against the Thrashers. Everyone on this eight-day road trip is ready to get home tonight, but there is a strong sense amongst the players that tonight's game completely dictates whether the road trip was a good one or not.
With a win in Phoenix, an overtime loss in Anaheim and then a loss last night, the team feels they need to get two points today before coming home for the Thanksgiving week. Tampa Bay plays Toronto at home on Wednesday and the New York Rangers on Friday.
Coach Rick Tocchet met with the media briefly after today's team meeting and indicated that defenseman Mike Lundin will participate in the pregame warmup and that he "should" play in the game this afternoon. So while not fully committing, it appears the coach will give Lundin his first action in a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform this season against the Thrashers. The Lightning will have Antero Niittymaki in goal against Atlanta, putting his league-best 1.93 goal-against average on the line. Niitty has experienced great success against the Thrashers in the past and he hopes to keep it up today.
This afternoon's game is not available on television in either the Tampa Bay or the Atlanta markets, so even Center Ice subscribers are out of luck today. Bobby 'the Chief" Taylor will join Dave Mishkin on the radio call and they can be found at 970 WFLA this afternoon. 620 WDAE will join the game in progress and simulcast after the conclusion of its Tampa Bay Buccaneers coverage today.