|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 throughout the 2007-08 season to provide you with a positive look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will post the latest following practices and morning skates, and he’ll 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
Yesterday could have been a depressing day for Lightning center Ryan Craig, as he learned he’ll be out of the lineup for an extended period of time with a left knee injury. However, the day will be remembered as one of the happiest of his life as Craig and his wife, Jaydee, celebrated the birth of their first child – Carson Emery Craig. The youngster came into the world at 5:51 p.m., and everyone’s doing fine. Congrats Ryan and Jaydee!
Filip Kuba was back on the ice at practice today in Brandon, and it looks like the league's plus/minus leader should be ready to go tomorrow night. After practice John Tortorella talked about a variety of things including his wish to get Chris Gratton more minutes and the fact he's happy the Bolts will be facing some new competition this week.
"Playing the same teams gets stale," he said.
After practice the team hopped on a flight to Chicago to prepare for tomorrow’s game against the much-improved Blackhawks. Unlike past trips when the team stayed downtown, we headed to the suburb of Oak Brook due to a Radiologist convention that has the downtown hotels booked. Lightning defenseman Shane O’Brien and Paul Ranger and forward Nick Tarnasky took part in the team’s seventh annual Hockey ‘N Heels event last night at the St. Pete Times Forum, as more than 200 ladies signed up to learn more about the excitement of NHL hockey from the people who make it happen. The players spent time teaching the ladies how to pass, shoot and stick-handle on the ice, while athletic trainer Jason Serbus and video coach Nigel Kirwan took the time to explain their jobs in separate sessions. Another stop during the evening was the press box, where Lightning broadcasters Rick Peckham, Bobby Taylor and Dave Mishkin shared stories about life in the broadcast booths. I strongly recommend that any ladies who haven’t taken part in Hockey ‘N Heels do so in the future – you won’t be disappointed.