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THE LIGHTNING INSIDER

Tuesday, 11.20.2007 / 2:45 PM / Lightning Insider
By Lightning Insider
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THE LIGHTNING INSIDER
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 had a light workout in Brandon today after last night's OT loss in Atlanta. The good part about the team's current schedule, with games tomorrow against the Rangers, Friday night in Carolina and Saturday at home against New Jersey, is that there isn't time to dwell on disappointing results. John Tortorella touched on that fact in his post-game comments last night.

 
"Were taking this point out of here and were going to go play the Rangers," he said.

 
Considering the Bolts have now earned points in six consecutive games, spirits are high as the team enters a busy holiday weekend. The team will get three days of rest after Saturday’s game before heading to Chicago next Wednesday for a meeting with the much-improved Blackhawks.

 
Paul Ranger and Chris Gratton were holdouts from practice today due to "body maintenance." The team skated for a little more than a half hour and it was a fun session, with one-on-one and two-on-two scrimmage situations. Sometimes the practices are more about keeping the players’ legs active than they are about teaching.

 
Following practice Tortorella touched on the areas that need to improve.

 
“One of the pitfalls we had last night was we had two power plays [in the third period] and we didn't do anything with them,” he said. “I thought we played a hard game after the first 15 minutes but we put ourselves in a bad spot with penalties.”



David Gross asks:
What is the name of the song that plays as the Lightning take the ice and the starting line-up is announced right before the game?

Insider: The song is called 'Fix You" by Cold Play.

Suzi asks:
I have been searching around for the Trib article (which I did read) on Channel 66 picking up the games that Sun Sports doesn't and I have also searched the web and can not find it! I am sure that it was probably used for my parrot's cages and now thrown out! Oh, please help me! I watch every game and need it!

Insider: ION (formerly PAX) will air games on Saturday, November 24 vs. the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, December 15 vs. the Washington Capitals, Tuesday, January 15 vs. the Colorado Avalanche, Tuesday, January 22 vs. the Edmonton Oilers and Wednesday, February 20 at the Buffalo Sabres.  Check your local listings for channels.  In Tampa it is channel 17 on Brighthouse.  It is a great move by the Lightning as they try to make more games available on television to fans in the area.  Games will also air on ION in Orlando and Jacksonville.

Matt Schaffer asks:

I have been a Vinny Prospal fan for years. Back to when he first started out as a Philadelphia Phantom. My question is how does he get excluded from the All-Star Game Ballot (leading the Lightning in goals) while Brad Richards with a minus ten gets on the ballot??? Isn't the All-Star Game supposed to be used to showcase the best players in the league for whatever season we are in. While it's true players like Gretzky, Borque, etc would make the team regardless of they year they would have on their name only, do we really consider Brad Richards that big name of a player?

Insider: Just because Vaclav was snubbed from the on-line voting this season it doesn't mean he will be for the All-Star Game in Atlanta.  Much like in baseball and other sports, the league releases their lists extremely early to make sure they give fans enough time to vote.  Due to that fact, they use the previous year as a basis for the fan voting.  If Vaclav keeps up his current point production there is no reason he should be left out of the annual classic. 

Niki from Riverview asks:
Could you please explain how the plus/minus points are assigned to players?  What are the main activities that would earn or lose a player points?
 
Insider: Plus/minus is a rating of how many goals a player is on the ice for versus against.  As an example, if I were on the ice for two goals for and one goal against I would be a plus-1.  If I would on the ice for two goals against and my team failed to score a goal while I was on the ice, I would be a minus-2.  Keep in mind though, that power play goals do not count against a player's plus-minus rating.