Tampa Bay Lightning's Steve Yzerman, at brother's wedding, missed first GM win
So, how about the Tampa Bay Lightning's Steve Yzerman missing his first win as an NHL general manager because he was at his brother's wedding in Ottawa. No finger-pointing here. One's family is the most important thing. But even Yzerman said he had "mixed emotions" about missing Saturday's season-opening 5-3 victory over the Thrashers.
"Obviously, I would have loved to have been at the game," he said Wednesday at the Bell Centre in Montreal. "It was festive when it was 4-0. It quieted down a little bit when it was 4-3."
Yzerman said he still hasn't seen a video of the entire game. He was able to see some television highlights after the wedding. He said that while the game was going on "everybody at the wedding was giving me updates."
And while no one at the wedding gave him a toast when the game was over and the win was in the books, "I got a bunch of texts from people all over."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Mike Smith will get the start in net, which means Dan Ellis probably starts Thursday in Philadelphia. ... Defenseman Matt Smaby and left wing Mattias Ritola likely will be the scratches. ... Yzerman said defenseman Mattias Ohlund, in his second week of complete rest to try to reduce the inflammation and fluid in his right knee, will start skating next week. There is no timetable for Ohlund to be back playing, Yzerman said, "Just try to do a little bit more each day." Yzerman said Ohlund told him he had a similar problem with his left knee a few years ago and the rest regimen did the trick. ... Lost in the emotional shuffle of coach Guy Boucher's return to Montreal, is that center Dominic Moore plays his first game against his old team. Acquired from the Panthers last season, Moore had four goals in 19 playoff games for the Canadiens. "It's always fun to play here. It's a great atmosphere. There's going to be a great vibe in the rink tonight." ... The Canadiens have terrific pregame shows, but it will be turned up a notch tonight in the home opener as the first faceoff will be pushed back 20 minutes to 7:50. ... The ticket list in the Lightning locker room had requests for 71 tickets. Simon Gagne's total went from 15 on Tuesday to 17 today. ... Center Steven Stamkos on participating in the home opener: "We can't come in here and get all unfocused. We know the atmosphere is going to be unbelievable. It's going to be fun in that way. But at the end of the day, when we step on the ice, we're the ones who have to be dictating the play. We can't be mesmerized by all the stuff that's going to be going on tonight." ... Though this from center Vinny Lecavalier on Boucher was interesting: "You would expect a coach, his first year coming in to be a little tentative, like a player coming into his first game in the NHL. But he came in and we saw how confident he was. Everybody was impressed. Just the way he talks to players, he's a great motivator. Everything is really positive. He's really intense. Everything he does is really great to bring a team together." ... Forward Dana Tyrell said he was a Maple Leafs fan growing up in Airdrie, Alberta. So you basically hated the Canadiens? "Yeah, I guess," he said. It also will be his first time playing at the Bell Centre. "When you're out there skating, you can tell by the stands that the crowd is going to be right over the top of you. I'm very excited. It's a big honor to be able to play here." ... Center Nate Thompson walked awkwardly after the morning skate because of all the ice wrapped to his sore groin, but he said he should be good to go.