"Good job for them. They get to be heroes again. They get to start golfing next week while we're in the playoffs. I'd sure rather be in this position than the one they are in. I'm sure they feel good about themselves.'' -- Tampa Bay captain Tim Taylor after Florida beat the Lightning 7-2 on Friday night.
My first thought when I heard that? I'm putting that high in my game story. Second? What does Olli Jokinen think about such a quote. Third? Where is Chris Gratton playing golf on Monday. I'm thinking Parkland.
Anyway, good stuff. And tough talk from a guy whose team got bolt-slapped up and down by the ice by the Panthers. Sure, the Panthers are going to have a longer summer, but Taylor can feel secure in saying such a thing because no one is going to hold him to it. These two teams are done for the year. And, as one Panther joked (it was off the record so I can't say his name) Taylor may not even be in the league next year.
Another -- OK, this one was Gratton -- said he found it surprising that Taylor didn't say something after Florida beat the Lightning 5-2 last week.
I just think it was a bit of sour grapes after the Lighting got dogged by the cats (dogs and cats living together?) for the better part of two years. Sure it sucks for them, but it's life. Florida somehow matches up with Tampa Bay, and usually plays pretty hard against them.
-- Left my hotel at 5:20 this morning. Since I was right across the street from the Lightning arena, I tried waking up ThunderBug from his perch atop the arena. Couldn't get his/her attention. I always thought the early bug got the worm (ouch!)
-- Noah Welch back in the lineup tonight. Still wearing No. 6. Thought some might like to know.
-- Welch said last night that his goal against the Lightning really was his first inside the state of Florida. Well, how's that for a Sunshine State welcome?
-- Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times had a funny lede from last night's game. Basically said the game got so bad one fan yelled "I should have gone to the Devil Rays game.'' Yeah, if you're sitting at a hockey game and would rather be watching the Rays at Tropicana Field, it's a stinky game.
-- It's cold in Raleigh right now. Not Minnesota or Montreal cold, but cold. Had to buy some winter clothes today since mine are safely packed away in sunny Sunrise, Fla. The one time I don't check weather.com before I travel.....