The Lightning play the second game of this four-game home stand tonight against the Calgary Flames. It is hard to believe this is just the second time the Flames have been to Tampa since Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay is 2-1-0 overall against Calgary since that eventful night on June 7, 2004.
Speaking of the Lightning's Stanley Cup team, it was great seeing former Bolt defenseman Cory Sarich this morning. He was always one of the favorites in the locker room. Sarich is doing well and now has three kids. While he was walking in this morning he ran into Vincent Lecavalier who was on his way to the ice and they spent some time catching up.
As for the game tonight, this is one of the few leading up to the Olympic break the Lightning will play that isn't against a team they are battling for playoff position with. Tocchet is looking for the team to respond.
"Teams behind us are not getting points. I've heard people say we have two games in hand," Tocchet said about the tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference. "It doesn't matter if you don't win them. We are getting to where we want to be and I want to see how we handle it."
The red hot Antero Niittymaki again gets the start in goal. It seems like every game I sing his praises here in this space. There probably isn't a hotter goaltender right now in the league. He is 5-0-1 in his previous six games. Enough said.
Brandon Bochenski appears again to be the odd-man out. David Hale has returned to Tampa from his conditioning assignment after sustaining a lower body injury in Norfolk. In case you missed it yesterday Paul Szczechura cleared waivers and was reassigned to Norfolk. He was already there on a conditioning assignment.