|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
John Tortorella’s message this morning, after the team’s skate at Philips Arena in Atlanta, was consistent. No matter the situation, Tortorella believes the way to improve is to stick with the system, believe in each other and use hard work to get it done. He didn’t waver from that message today as the Bolts try to gain valuable points in what continues to be a wide open Southeast Division race.
In an effort to change things up and produce more secondary scoring, Tortorella said he’ll move Andreas Karlsson to the second line with Brad Richards, while Jan Hlavac will see most of his time on the third line. It’s expected that Mathieu Darche could see second-line time as well now that Michel Ouellet is sidelined with a shoulder injury. Johan Holmqvist is expected in net against a struggling Thrashers squad.
Lots of familiar NHL faces are walking around Philips Arena these days as the league continues preparation for the All-Star Weekend, January 25-27 in Atlanta. The NHL’s annual showcase is sure to feature at least a couple of Bolts, and fans need to go to NHL.com to vote for their favorite Lightning players. Vinny Lecavalier is one of the leading vote-getters among Eastern Conference forwards, and is a sure bet to make his third trip to the All-Star Game.