THE LIGHTNING INSIDER
This ain't Florida, folks. When the Lightning's charter flight broke through the cloud cover yesterday afternoon above Toronto, it was apparent how lucky we are to live in Florida. As the picture of the Lightning’s plane after we landed shows, it’s not exactly tropic up here. Most of the locals are calling the weather “mild,” but in my book if there’s snow on the ground it’s not mild.
The Lightning did their usual morning skate/media frenzy at the Air Canada Center this morning, with the entire team hitting the ice since there wasn’t a practice yesterday. Once again it appears the lineup will remain the same, with Craig MacDonald the lone healthy scratch.
One interesting note pointed out by Sun Sports play-by-play man Rick Peckham is that Andreas Karlsson’s wife, Monique, is the twin sister of Toronto assistant coach Dallas Eakins. Karlsson said he had dinner with the Eakins family last night at their condo near the Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays. Another interesting note about Eakins is that the former defenseman is one of three NHLers to be born in Florida.
The first was Val James who was born in Ocala and played briefly for Buffalo and Toronto in the 80s, followed by Eakins of Dade City and current St. Louis Blue Dan Hinote of Leesburg. Eakins’ father was an Ontario truck driver who moved to Florida for a few years, started a family and moved back to Ontario. Eakins broke into the NHL as a defenseman with the Winnipeg Jets during the Lightning’s inaugural season of 1992-93.