THE LIGHTNING INSIDER
Now that the business of that nasty little losing streak is over, the Lightning would like to start working on another streak tonight in Carolina.
How about a one-game road winning streak? That has a nice sound to it.
With the Bolts looking for anything to boost their confidence on the road, a win against one of the best teams in the league would be just what the doctor ordered.
Traveling to the second half of back-to-back games is an unforgiving process for the Lightning equipment staff. Not only did they spend all day yesterday at the St. Pete Times Forum for the game against the Panthers, but immediately after the game they had to pack everything up and sprint to the airport for the flight to Raleigh.
Once the team landed in Raleigh the players, coaches, hockey ops staff, broadcasters and media hopped on a bus to the nearby Embassy Suites for a good night’s sleep. However, equipment managers Ray Thill, Rob Kennedy and Clay Roffer were just getting started as they crammed into a truck bound for the RBC Center to unload the team’s gear and set up the locker room. After a short night’s sleep that started at roughly 3 a.m., they had to be the first people at the rink today to prepare for the game.
Speaking of last night’s flight to Raleigh, here’s a statement you never want to hear before traveling: “There’s a broken part on the plane but the FAA says it isn’t necessary, so we’re flying anyway.”
That was the word the Lightning got in the locker room after last night’s game, and the team considered flying today instead but chose to travel last night. Due to the late arrival in Raleigh (about 1:30 a.m.), today’s morning skate was canceled and the team held a meeting at the hotel instead.
Funny moment from last night’s game – Early in the second period, did you happen to hear the referee announce a bench minor for too many men on the ice – on Carolina! The faux pas brought laughs from the St. Pete Times Forum crowd, and TSN made sure to get that highlight on their morning Sportscentre show today. I’m guessing Florida wasn’t too pleased about it, and I could understand if the ref had said Philadelphia, since the Florida and Philly road jerseys are nearly identical this season.
Following last night’s stress-relieving win, Lightning coach John Tortorella was subdued in his post-game remarks.
“Holmer made some big saves in the third period, and we had to grind it out,” he said. “Tonight we were fortunate enough to find a way to grind one out. That’s what we wanted – just one win. Now we see what we can do against a very good Carolina team.”