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After a quick flight from Vancouver to Calgary yesterday, the Lightning bused straight to the Saddledome for an hour-long workout at 2:15 in the afternoon. Everyone participated except Martin St. Louis
(body maintenance), and with today’s 6 p.m. start time in Calgary the morning skate was scrapped.
Tampa Bay has obviously enjoyed it’s past two trips to Calgary, one being for Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals and the other being a 2007 3-2 victory in the team’s return to Calgary. Lightning fans also might remember that the last time these two teams met the result was a wild, 15-goal, 9-6 Calgary win in December of last season. Don’t expect a similar show tonight.
An interesting side note for tonight is Lightning Interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet facing his first pro coach, Mike Keenan, for the first time. Tocchet was an NHL rookie in 1984-85 when Keenan was guiding the Flyers, and Tocchet admitted this morning that Keenan was one of many coaches who have influenced him a great deal.
As for the lineup tonight, several players are banged up and it’s unlikely the scratches will be determined until after the warm-up skate. One player who is definitely in tonight is veteran Gary Roberts, who has been dominating the Calgary headlines with rumors of a return to Calgary to finish his career. While it’s possible Roberts could move to a playoff team at next Wednesday’s deadline, The Calgary rumor is more based on media hopefulness than anything based in fact.