The Lightning arrived in Boston at around 5 p.m. yesterday after a quick practice at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum and a three hour flight north. The practice featured a lot of power play work after the Bolts failed to score on seven chances against Colorado on Monday. The coaches also showed some film to some players on the team plane.
The Lightning also continued another team tradition started this year on the flight to Boston as Ryan Malone received a shaving cream pie to the face for his 30th birthday. He still had some white residue on his ear as he exited the plane, drawing more chuckles from his teammates. The pie present marked the second day in a row a player received a birthday surprise from his teammates as Paul Szczechura got the honors on Monday.
From an "on the ice" standpoint, the big news of the day is the Matt Smaby will make his season debut tonight on defense. "It's been a long training camp," he said. Smaby says he feels great physically and he is excited to go. It looks like David Hale will sit out. Also, Mike Smith will get the start in goal.
Tampa Bay has earned five of a possible eight points against the Northeast Division this season and it will look to continue that strong play today.
Fans might like to note there are a number of interesting different connections between the Lightning and Bruins. Tampa Bay coaches Rick Tocchet and Adam Oates both played for the Bruins during their on-ice careers and former Lightning Associate Coach Craig Ramsay is in the same position for Boston under Claude Julien. And, of course, Mark Recchi, traded from Tampa Bay to Boston last season, is still playing a prominent role for the B's after helping them into the playoffs last spring.
Please note gametime tonight is 7:00pm and the game will be broadcast on Sun Sports and 620wdae.