30 November 2010
Record: Lightning (13-8-3) Leafs (8-11-3)
The Lightning are back out on the road for a short two game road trip. They arrived in Toronto early evening yesterday and tonight will be their first game in Toronto this season.
After being beaten by Washington and Florida, the Lightning are looking to stop this losing streak, and tonight's game against Toronto is a perfect opportunity to do that. The Leafs are also on a two game losing streak having just lost to Buffalo and Ottawa this past weekend.
But going into tonight's game, the talk won't be about who is really going to win this game, it's going to be about Stamkos going back home. It will be similar to the Lecavalier to Montreal hoopla but in English. As of yesterday, Stamkos is coming in at 2nd place in votes among forwards for the All-Star game, behind Sidney Crosby. As for the hometown stuff, he was born in Markham which is about 35 kilometer/20 miles outside of Toronto which really is as local as it going to get for the Toronto. After really proving himself last year with his 51 goals, he's now superstar player when the Lightning come to town, expect him to be doling out his friends and family tickets for this game.
Also of note is that Stamkos' agents Make Guy and Don Meehan of Newport Sports is located in Toronto. Before the Lightning touched down yesterday The Hockey News was reporting that no have been scheduled as of yet (link below), but that could all change with one phone call. But deals like what Stamkos will end up signing won't happen in an afternoon, so even if there is a meeting between Steve Yzerman and Stamkos' representatives, don't expect any deal to be announced in the next few days.
Simon Gagne is up with the Lightning for this roadtrip but it doesn't seem like he'll be playing until he gets a few full practices in with the team. So maybe that home game against the Avalanche on Saturday might be a possibility to his return. Maybe.
And speaking of injured players, what has the Leafs captain been up to these days?
Donning an apron. It's hard to imagine what kind of job he would have gotten even if it was for a charity event that required players to volunteer. I just can't see him as a waiter trying to take orders from people with his winning personality. Neither can I see him being relegated to the kitchen. He would think that he would be too good for the kitchen. But not going to harp on him too bad though because it was for a good cause as it was in support of the MLSE Team Up Foundation (image from mlse.com).
- Dan Ellis gets the start in net
- Vincent Lecavalier, Matt Smaby and Simon Gagne are out with injury for the Lightning
- Dion Phaneuf, Colby Armstrong and JS Giguere are out for the Leafs
Your pre-game reading links:
- Official Lightning preview
- My post over at Raw Charge: Stamkos IS the headline today
- The Leafs brace for Stamkos and Lightning (Toronto Sun)
- All Quiet on the Stamkos Front (The Hockey News)
- Stamkos joins the elite with Lightning speed (The Star) - Not just good at hockey, he was good at school too
- Trio of young stars must make Leafs envious (Globe and Mail)
- It's friendship first for Lightning goalies (CBC Sports)
Game time: 7:00pm EST on RIS