Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning: Melrose has a soft spot for Maple Leafs

Coach Barry Melrose rooted for the Maple Leafs growing up and coached against them while with the Kings in the 1993 playoffs. The Kings won in seven games to make the Cup final.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Coach Barry Melrose rooted for the Maple Leafs growing up and coached against them while with the Kings in the 1993 playoffs. The Kings won in seven games to make the Cup final.

TORONTO — Lightning coach Barry Melrose said the Maple Leafs were his favorite team growing up. And it was the Leafs the Melrose-coached Kings prevented from reaching the 1993 Stanley Cup final.

"I think that was one of the best series the NHL has had in the last 30 years," Melrose said of the seven-game Campbell Conference final.

"With (Wayne) Gretzky having one more kick at the Cup, and Toronto thinking that was the year they were going to the Stanley Cup final, both buildings were electric, and both cities were unbelievable."

And it got personal between the coaches.

Toronto's Pat Burns made fun of Melrose's mullet. Melrose mocked Burns' weight.

"Pat and I are both competitive guys. We're both outgoing guys," Melrose said. "We both talk a lot, and when you get both of those things combined, with the pressure of a seven-game series, a lot of stuff is going to happen. It was a lot of fun."

Like coaching in Canada.

"It's crazy," Melrose said. "In Montreal and Toronto, you're right in the middle of the hurricane, so to speak. But I love that. I love the pressure in a market like that."

HE SAID WHAT? Owner Len Barrie blasted a report by Hockey Night in Canada's Al Strachan that Barrie was in the locker room diagramming plays during one of Tampa Bay's games against the Rangers in Prague.

"What a joke," Barrie said. "I mean, come on. We've got four capable coaches to do that. The day we don't think they are capable of handling that is the day I go into the locker room, not to diagram plays but to make a change."

"Al is sort of like a spaghetti salesman," Melrose said. "Al just throws so much against the wall and hopes something sticks. … It's total lies."

Asked if it bothers him that Strachan said his anonymous source was a Lightning player, Melrose said, "Well, if it is, then the liar is in the dressing room. If that's the case, yeah, I'd be worried about that. But I can't worry about that. If a guy is a liar, he's a liar."

LINE SHUFFLING: LW Vinny Prospal was moved off Vinny Lecavalier's line at Monday's practice and was replaced by newly acquired Matt Pettinger. Prospal centered for Chris Gratton and Mark Recchi.

ODDS AND ENDS: F Ryan Craig and RW Radim Vrbata, both out with groin injuries, practiced and made the trip, though it seemed unlikely either would play. … The Lightning will host two watch parties for tonight's game, which is part of the NHL Center Ice TV package, at Barnacles, 926 Providence Road, Brandon, and the Press Box, 222 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Melrose has a soft spot for Maple Leafs 10/27/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 6:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]