There was some talk recently about slightly shrinking the 82-game regular season to lessen the wear and tear on players. While that seems a long shot given the loss of revenue, which the players share, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman had a compromise:
Be more careful scheduling back-to-back games.
"Sometimes, you play Saturday at 7 o'clock and then Sunday at 5, and in some cases, you're going from the Central to Eastern time zone and losing another hour," Yzerman said.
"That … type of situation is a real advantage for the home team. For a good product and a level playing field, we have to watch how we schedule those games. There are just some nights it's a struggle for some teams."
Quote to note
"I still love the Rays. I'm not a bandwagon fan. I was just there to be there."
C Nate Thompson, one of six Lightning players who were guests of Twins 1B Justin Morneau at Tropicana Field on Saturday
Number of the day
18 Saves by Lightning G Dwayne Roloson during the second period of Game 1, one more than the team postseason record set by Jeff Reese on April 21, 1996, against the Flyers and Johan Holmqvist on April 14, 2007, against the Devils.
$30-$350. Available at the St. Pete Times Forum box office and via Ticketmaster: ticketmaster.com, outlets, toll-free 1-800-745-3000.
The series Lightning 1, Penguins 1
Game 1: Pens 3, Lightning 0
Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury wows.
Game 2: Lightning 5, Pens 1
Lightning jumps on sluggish Pens early and holds on.
Tonight: at Tampa Bay, 7:30, Sun Sports
Wednesday: at Tampa Bay, 7, Sun Sports
Saturday: at Pittsburgh, TBA #
April 25: at Tampa Bay, TBA * #
April 27: at Pittsburgh, TBA * #
* If necessary # Sun Sports or FSN
Cap and frown: Picture with Twins caps brings criticism
From the Get a Life Department: There actually was some negative reaction to a picture of Lightning G Dwayne Roloson, G Mike Smith, C Steven Stamkos and RW Steve Downie at Tropicana Field wearing Twins caps before Saturday's game against the Rays. C Nate Thompson and RW Teddy Purcell also were there but without caps. All were guests of Minnesota 1B Justin Morneau, a friend of Roloson, who played four seasons for the Wild. "To me, friendship goes beyond team boundaries," Roloson said. "I've known Justin for a lot longer than I've been here, and my ties to Minnesota are a lot." Smith said no slight to the Tampa Bay area was intended. "It was pretty innocent," he said. "We call Tampa Bay home, and we're going to support the teams here. But when a fellow Canadian (Morneau) invites us out, we're not going to turn down an experience like that too often. And probably no one else would either."