Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Recchi sits out and he’s not happy (plus other morning notes)
Posted Feb 20, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Feb 20, 2009 at 04:19 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. - There is only one main lineup change for tonight’s game as Gary Roberts goes into the lineup after missing Thursday’s game against New Jersey. Sitting out is fellow veteran Mark Recchi.
Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet said that reasoning behind the move is to just give Recchi a night off. Tocchet said coming into the season he didn’t expect Recchi to play every game, but he has while averaging over 16 minutes a night. Of course, Recchi is also third on the team in scoring, so he’s been productive as well.
Now, having said that, Recchi is not thrilled about sitting out tonight. He said he is not tired, doens’t not feel worn down in any capacity and obviously he wants to play. When asked about the move, he didn’t really have a ton to say but added that “I had five scoring chances last night, you don’t do that if you are tired.’’ and “I play better in the second half of back-to-back games.’‘
Recchi did not want to elaborate on anything else, but it was easy to sense his frustration over the decision.
Mike McKenna will get the start in goal after Karri Ramo has started the past two games, and played well making 82 saves but coming out with a 0-1-1 record.
Marek Malik will miss his third consecutive game with an ankle injury.
Matt Smaby continues to walk around with a boot on his right foot, although the team won’t officially discuss what the situation is, but since Smaby is still playing, it hasn’t effected his game. And quite frankly, I thought Smaby was terrific in Thursday’s game against New Jersey. With all the injuries to the defense, Smaby’s development has been the silver lining as his game has accelerated because of the extra minutes he’s logging these days.
As mentioned in today’s paper, there are 12 fathers on the trip and they were walking around the hotel lobby this morning and many of them had smiles on their faces enjoying the brief trip to share some extended time with their kids. I’m not sure how they felt about sleeping in the same room last night, but with the late arrival it was probably easy to just lay back and let sleep come