The Red Wings head to Tampa tonight for a chance to get three out of four points on the Florida trip. Chances it'll happen? What are you asking me that for, I'm not giving betting odds.
- The Red Wings wanted to take full advantage of the Florida sun yesterday, having a short practice to maximize sun time. Mmmm, vitamin D.
- The annual visit from the injury bug is starting to wear on the Red Wings. Stephen Weiss is out of the lineup with a groin issue; Henrik Zetterberg has been put on LTIR because of a herniated disc; Jimmy Howard tweaked his knee after making a save on Daniel "No Knees" Cleary. Hey, injury bug, you've overstayed your welcome.
- Injured shoulders Danny DeKeyser and Darren Helm were skating after the morning skate today. DeKeyser is expected to return after Christmas against Florida while Helm doesn't have a timetable to a return yet.
- No other updates to the Morning Skate lineup.
- If you skip to the projected lines, you'll notice a name conspicuously absent: Steven Stamkos is a month into his recovery from a broken tibia.
- In a relief for people who remember last year's Calder Cup Finals, Richard "I have a really apt nickname" Panik has been suspended two games for boarding Washington's Karl Alzner.
- As with the Panthers on Tuesday, the Lightning are also hosting a Toys for Tots drive. Fans can bring new and unwrapped toys to the ticket offices of the Tampa Bay Times Forum during their hours of operation, and up to the pre-game tonight. As an added incentive, fans will get a voucher for a free ticket to a future Bolts game for each toy received (limit four per person). As mentioned on Tuesday, toy drives are a great way to collect gifts for kids who otherwise wouldn't get anything this holiday season. It's a gesture they'll love, and you get hockey tickets in exchange.
- Finally, Ben Bishop gets the nod in net. At 6'7", 214 lbs., it'll have to be very obvious for a goal to be called off due to incidental contact with the goalie outside the crease.
Lightning's projected lines:
FORWARDS Ondrej Palat Tyler Johnson Martin St. Louis Alex Kilorn Valtteri Filppula Teddy Purcell J.T. Brown Nate Thompson Nikita Kucherov B.J. Crombeen Dana Tyrell Mark Barberio DEFENSE Sami Salo Eric Brewer Matt Taormina Radko Gudas Matt Carle Andrej Sustr GOALTENDING Ben Bishop Anders Lindback
It certainly won't be all sunshine for the Red Wings if they come out of Florida with just the one point from the game against the Panthers. I agree with Michelle in the Morning Skate: I'd like to keep Tampa Bay behind us in the Atlantic division standings. Keep these guys down.
GET HUNGRY! LET'S GO RED WINGS!!!