For the first time since 2000 when the team played in Florida on January 1st, the Lightning are spending New Year's Eve on the road. The team practiced in Brandon this morning before heading to the airport for the flight to Toronto. Hopefully the hotel gets a U.S. channel or two so the Times Square festivities will be available, though I guess it will be interesting to see the Canadian version. Who's Canada's Dick Clark, anyhow?
The Lightning hotel in Toronto is a massive convention center-style complex located on the shore of Lake Ontario, with two separate towers and a massive lobby filled with restaurants, bars and a Starbucks (of course). The team will spend only a couple of minutes there upon arrival this evening before heading out for a New Year's dinner at a local steakhouse. Then it's back to the hotel to quietly ring in 2008.
Obviously this is an important road trip for the team. The Lightning outplayed the Flyers for long stretches Saturday afternoon but couldn't build an advantage and ultimately fell once again. The players held a 30-minute meeting in the locker room following the loss, but not much is known about what was said. There also was a long meeting before practice today - this time including coaches - that delayed the start of practice by about 30 minutes. Hopefully some positive results will come out of it.