The Lightning Insider - Game Day
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When things aren't going well the bad karma can tend to snowball. Take last night, for example. After an uninspired and unexplainable 3-2 loss in Phoenix, the Lightning hopped a very quiet charter flight to Los Angeles. Upon landing at LAX the group split up on two buses, as usual, for the 30-minute ride to Anaheim, and the media bus promptly took out a Toyota before even getting off airport property. The driver of the Toyota, who had tried to cut ahead of the bus and caused the collision, thought better of calling the authorities and decided not to stick around. The bus got the better of the confrontation, sustaining minor scratches on its bumper.
What might have been a morning off if the Bolts had performed well in Phoenix turned into a mandatory morning skate at the Honda Center today. Shortly after they hit the ice Head Coach Rick Tocchet gathered the entire team in a corner on the ice for a 10 minute chat, then ordered everyone off the ice except the scratches. Surprisingly, the forward that remained out with still-injured David Koci was Steven Stamkos, meaning Paul Szczechura will be back in tonight. The first goalie off the ice was Karri Ramo, who will make his first start of the season.
"To me it's like a process," Tocchet said of having Stamkos sit out.. "I think it's important for him to get a lot of practice time and a lot of time in the gym to work out. He'll play a lot of games for us but we want to space them out. He needs some time to work with (assistant coach) Wes Walz.
"He'll be in the next game. He's not going to be sitting out consecutive games. I personally think it will help his development."
The Ducks also played last night, losing 4-3 at LA in a game that featured a small second-period earthquake. Call me stupid, but I can't help but think that I wouldn't mind experiencing my first earthquake during our five-day California stay, though only if I could guarantee it was a small one.