|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
The Lightning’s lineup has undergone some more changes prior to tonight’s battle with the Toronto Maple Leafs as goaltender Karri Ramo and defenseman Jay Leach will be in the lineup. Ramo (RAH-moh) will make his first NHL start tonight after playing in only six games in Norfolk due to an ankle sprain that sidelined him for more than a month.
Leach will be in the lineup because defenseman Brad Lukowich’s shoulder isn’t ready to go, and coach John Tortorella said he’s not sure how much the AHL veteran will play.
“He’s a tryer,” Tortorella said. “I want him to keep it simple and put his big body in front of the net.”
As for Ramo, Tortorella has gone out of his way to try to remove pressure from the young Finn.
“We’ve had great reports on him since he came back from injury,” Tortorella said. “Goaltending is one of the issues we have – not the only one – so we’ve got to look at it. We’re forcing the future a little, and we know it’s a tough spot for him.
“We’re that high on him that we feel he gives us a chance; we need to see what he’s about. This isn’t about pointing fingers or blaming, it’s about trying to fix a problem.”
As for other injury news, Ryan Craig underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee and is expected to be out as long as six months. However, Chris Gratton skated on his own this morning which has to be considered a good sign as he rests his hip injury. Still no timetable on Dan Boyle, and Michel Ouellet has his arm in a sling following the separated shoulder he suffered last week.