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The Lightning have experienced a couple of spectacular aborted landings on team charter flights in their history, one in Denver about six years ago caused by wind shear (a 10 on the white-knuckle meter) and one in Fort Lauderdale in 2003 (only about a 7 or 8, though we were told by observers on the ground that we nearly landed on another plane). So, last night’s aborted landing in the Montreal suburb of St. Hubert was nothing more than a minor aggravation.
The team charter had to de-ice at Toronto’s Pearson Airport before heading to St. Hubert, a small private/military airstrip just across the river from downtown Montreal. Things seemed fine as the plane descended, with a local ski slope visible on final approach. The fog thickened over the airfield, however, and just seconds from touchdown at 12:50 a.m. the pilot opted to pull up and head to the larger Trudeau International field.
The only problem with that situation is that the buses and equipment truck were sitting at St. Hubert watching our fly-over. It only took about 15 minutes to get on the ground at Trudeau, but then the team had to wait for the buses and stairs. The buses arrived before 1:45, but the stairs weren’t in place until 2 a.m.
Based on the team’s late arrival at the hotel, no morning skate was held and the team stayed in the hotel. Brad Richards will be a game-time decision tonight, which is good news because that means he won’t be out for an extended time after suffering a left knee injury last night. Head coach John Tortorella met with the media in the hotel lobby today and said Marc Denis will get the start tonight.