Tampa Bay Lightning Prepare To Take On Phoenix Coyotes

The Tampa Bay Lightning (14-5-0) will play the first of four games on a West Coast swing and put their perfect 7-0 record against the Western Conference on the line against the Phoenix Coyotes (13-4-3).

Lightning_Victor_Hedman_1The Lightning have enjoyed recent success against the Coyotes going 10-2-0 head to head the last dozen meeting but will be going up against a Coyotes team that is 8-0-1 at home this year.

Ben Bishop will get the start in net for the Lightning and the Coyotes will start former Lightning goalie Mike Smith between the pipes.

The Lightning will be playing its third game since losing Steven Stamkos to a broken leg versus the Boston Bruins.

They have won both games defeating the Montreal Canadians 2-1 in a shootout in Montreal and winning 5-1 over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks at home.

After the victory over the Ducks on Thursday evening coach Jon Cooper said that part of the teams mantra was that “Nobody is filling 91’s shoes [Stamkos] – not one person can do it – nobody in the league can do it. But 20 guys can fill his shoes.”

As for Stamkos and his rehabilitation, according to Nick Kyperos of Sportsnet (via Twitter)  “Stamkos now wearing removable cast enabling him to start an aggressive re-hab. Still no timetable set for his return.”

Prior to today’s game coach Cooper spoke about the adjustments that have to be made on the power play unit, the recent play and increased role of Victor Hedman, Andrej Sustr‘s despite having a “boy body” is not afraid to make a mistake, and the increased use of the Johnson line.

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.