Let tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team to provide you with an inside look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news.
Have a question or comment for The Insider? Send me an email at Insider@tampabaylightning.com
Barry Melrose was admittedly tired this morning after a long nine-day road trip that wrapped up last night in Sunrise. Life won’t get any easier tonight as the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings were in Tampa rested and waiting when the Lightning landed.
It was an optional skate this morning and a good majority of players still skated. Matt Pettinger will get a shot back in the line up tonight, though Melrose said they were still in discussions on who will sit for the game. Evgeny Artyukhin had no lingering effects after returning from a lower body injury last night, so he will most likely not be the odd man out. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Olaf Kolzig will get the start between the pipes as he tries to shake off Monday’s 4-2 loss in Washington. Melrose explained his reasoning by saying “I didn’t want Ollie sitting on the Washington game for too long.”
Before the season started most of the pundits and fans were saying that the Lightning would struggle on defense and be forced to outscore teams to win. Now that we’re 15 games into the season it seems that the opposite is true. Tampa Bay remains in the upper half of the league in goals against and is last in goals per game. Maybe the answer will be facing them across the ice tonight according to Melrose, “Detroit attacks the net like dogs. Our guys haven’t been doing that hard enough or good enough. We have to find a way to put the puck in the net.”
The Lightning will be honoring the armed forces tonight with Military Night presented by Sykes Enterprises. Some of the elements will include a special national anthem from Camp Victory in Baghdad, a Naval reenlistment ceremony, a ceremonial puck drop from the family of the first Medal of Honor recipient from Operation Iraqi Freedom and more. Also don’t forget to bring your nonperishable food items to the plaza tonight as the Lightning wives and girlfriends will be collecting donations for Metropolitan Ministries.