|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 was your typical practice-travel day, with the team skating for 45 minutes before the flight to Philly. Sun Sports broadcaster Bobby Taylor had the usual crew gathered last night for dinner at Ralph’s, a nearby Italian spot that’s become a Lightning tradition. Be ready for the post-dinner Sambuca shots if you ever visit this slice of Philly; I’ve seen them claim a well-intentioned trainer or two.
The weather’s not bad at all today in Philly, with the temperature peaking into the 50s. That makes it a little easier to walk down the block from the hotel to Au Bon Pain for a little breakfast (sorry, but I’m not paying $27 for a breakfast buffet. I’m sure it’s fantastic, but unless there’s a post-meal massage involved, it’s not worth the price.)
John Tortorella indicated yesterday that he’d likely split the goaltenders in the back-to-back games in Philly tonight and Newark tomorrow, and Mike Smith is getting the nod tonight. Expect Karri Ramo tomorrow against the Devils. Filip Kuba continues to skate with the team but won’t be in the lineup tonight. Brad Lukowich, who brought his buddies from the band Three Days Grace out to Tuesday night’s game, is on the trip and continues to skate as he recovers from hernia surgery.
Nothing else of note this morning, except for the fact the media (“happy”) bus driver got lost twice on the way back from the arena. Chief had to step in and provide a play by play (isn’t that Rick Peckham’s job?) for the bewildered driver, telling her where to turn and when. Aren’t you supposed to know the city inside and out if you drive a bus?