||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 announced this morning that defenseman Brad Lukowich is flying to Germany today to undergo surgery for a sports hernia. Lukowich will see the same doctor that performed a similar surgery on Nolan Pratt last season. The procedure is unique in that the doctor doesn't cut through the abdominal muscles, so the recovery time is only a few weeks. Many of the world's top soccer players from the English Premier League, as well as other top athletes, travel to see the same doctor.
Tonight's meeting with Buffalo is a battle of teams dealing with some similar off-ice situations. Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell and the Lightning's Dan Boyle are both headed for unrestricted free agency this summer, so there's speculation they could be traded at next week's deadline if new contracts aren't worked out. I'm guessing the Lightning will reach a new deal with Boyle now or trade him for the best return possible then make a strong bid to re-sign him on July 1.
With Lukowich joining Tim Taylor and Ryan Craig on Injured Reserve the Lightning are down to one extra skater. John Tortorella said Andreas Karlsson will sit out tonight, though not because of anything he’s done wrong. Tortorella praised Karlsson for the minutes he’s given the team, and said he’ll get him back in the lineup soon.
Johan Holmqvist will be in goal for the Lightning.
“Holmer’s given us a chance to win,” Tortorella said. “I think his focus has been good. He just keeps on fighting, along with our whole team.”