J.T. (that's Joshua Thomas, by the way) Brown set to make his Tampa Bay Lightning debut
J.T. Brown has not really practiced with the Tampa Bay Lighting. He participated in today's morning skate, yes, and he's had talks with coaches and his new teammates. But Tampa Bay's newly signed college free agent is pretty much going to wing it in his NHL debut tonight against the Jets.
"I'm probably not going to be able to do everything I did in college and, obviously, this will be a little bit of a learning experience for me," Brown said.
"We'll just throw him out there," coach Guy Boucher said. "Obviously, you don't necessarily want him against he top line, but it's going to happen. We're going to throw him out there and he's going to get a chance to show us the stuff our scouts and GM have seen in him."
Brown will start the game on a line with center Vinny Lecavalier. Boucher said Brown will play all of the five remaining games on the schedule and Brown said his initials stand for Joshua Thomas.
As for what Brown called a surreal morning in which he skated with the team and got some advice from Lecavalier in an on-ice conversation, Brown called it "surreal."
What advice did Lecavalier give?
"I tried not to give him to much," he said. "I'm sure he's already got a lot with the defensive zone (coverages) and our system. So, I just covered the simple things we want to do in our offensive zone. I know he's a fast player, so just to use his speed. He's got so many things to think about. Just keep it simple."
Added Brown: "It's still hockey. You're still playing the game you know how to play."
Other stuff from the morning skate: So much for sticking with Dwayne Roloson in net until the team is officially out of the playoffs. Sebastien Caron gets the start against the Jets after Roloson did not fare well in Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Devils and was pulled in the third period. ... Boucher made it sound as if Roloson will start in Tampa Bay's final home game Monday against the Capitals, and Caron will start at least one one of the final three game on the road. ... Center Nate Thompson, out seven games with an upper-body injury, gets back in the lineup tonight. ... Pretty good quote from Marty St. Louis on how he's handling the final few games of a disappointing season: "The process of moving forward has started," he said. "Mentally, if you beat yourself up all the time it's not productive. We know we're not going to make the playoffs, so you have to start the process of moving forward so you can finish the season strong. Don't get caught in a rut just because you're not in. It's a hard thing."