30 seconds with ...
C Cody Kunyk
Best thing about Alaska: Not the weather; probably how beautiful it is.
Late-night snack: Cheese and crackers
Band you'd like to play with: Metallica
Skill you wish you had: I wish I could draw. I'm pathetic.
Celebrity crush: Minka Kelly
On the hunt
Coming from fairly urban Sherwood Park, Alberta, outside Edmonton, new Lightning center Cody Kunyk was in another world at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. His teammates who grew up in Alaska were happy to show him what the state had to offer.
"We had all these Alaska outdoorsy guys teaching us all this stuff," Kunyk said.
Kunyk had never fired a gun, but his first time duck hunting (in season, he was quick to point out), he got three ducks. Next time he got 10. All, he said, made for good eating. Though already an avid fisherman, he said catching wild salmon in a rushing river "is something different." Snowmachining (a motorized sled that skims across the snow like a personal watercraft on water) is a blast, and he discovered he likes to eat moose (it tastes like "leaner beef.")
"Just a really nice place," Kunyk said of Alaska, "and amazing in the summer."
Steven Stamkos (above) always has said a player doesn't need a letter on his jersey to lead. So when the star center was elevated from alternate to captain after the Marty St. Louis trade, Stamkos said he did not believe his role would change.
Even so, coach Jon Cooper said, "I think he takes command more, where he deferred to whoever the captain was before out of respect. Now he doesn't have to do that anymore."
"The thing with 'Stammer' is everyone looks up to his work ethic," D Matt Carle said. "Here we are, practice is over and he's out there working on his one-timer. That's the kind of thing that really sets him apart, and guys look up to him because of it."
Quote to note
"I don't know if I looked at the standings from games one through 60. I don't know if I looked twice all year. But now I have looked, no question. It's hard not to scoreboard watch right now."
Coach Jon Cooper
Number of the day
151 Lightning goals in 1997-98, fewest in the league since the 1967 expansion, a mark being threatened by the Sabres, who have 136 regulation/OT goals and eight games left.