THE LIGHTNING INSIDER
With center Chris Gratton still not quite ready to go tonight against the Red Wings and head coach John Tortorella wanting to rest Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis, the Lightning brought in forward Justin Keller for the game. Keller, an 8th-round Tampa Bay draft choice in 2004, had reported directly to the Norfolk Admirals' camp and had looked strong so far. Keller flew in from Norfolk this morning in time to catch the tail end of the morning skate. Dan Boyle skated on his own after the workout, his first time back on the ice since his surgery.
Lightning GM Jay Feaster met with the media prior to the morning skate today and said Gratton is progressing but while the scar tissue heals it's affecting his depth perception. Feaster added that he could be ready any day.
Tortorella will dress only 10 forwards tonight, with two extra defensemen filling out the roster.
Tonight's scheduled lines
Detroit's 22-player roster on today's game notes includes some of their stars, like Nicklas Lidstrom, Dominik Hasek and Chris Chelios, but Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom are noticeably absent.
After a white-knuckle glass elevator ride to the 72nd floor of the hotel last night, the team enjoyed a solid meal at Coach Insignia, one of Detroit's finest. The lobster corn dog appetizers were outdone only by the view, which included a clear shot of the Detroit Tigers unsuccessfully trying to keep their playoff hopes alive at Comerica Park.
As you can see in the picture, there's no shortage of history in Joe Louis Arena. The hallway walls outside the locker rooms are covered with lists of championship teams and award winners from the Red Wings' long history. After the wings skated this morning, a large group of players were seen packing their bags and throwing them on the truck for the trip to the minors. The Wings started camp with 68 players, 35 more than the Lightning.