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Obscenities don't faze Sunshine

Published December 7, 2003

BUFFALO, N.Y. - If you tuned into Sunshine Network Thursday night and caught John Tortorella's news conference after the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Senators, you would have heard some salty language.

The Lightning coach was emphasizing a few points concerning Tampa Bay's sixth consecutive game without a victory and a couple of expletives leaked out. (No F-bombs, thank you.)

Sunshine general manager Cathy Weeden said it is one of the perils of covering events live.

"It's the emotion you get," she said Saturday. "Certainly we don't go into carrying a press conference anticipating that's going to happen. But from time to time it does, and the viewers are savvy enough to understand that's part of it."

Still, in a bleep-happy world, anytime things get colorful, eyebrows are raised.

Weeden said she has not received any complaints, and Sunshine will continue to carry Tortorella's postgame briefings.

"We don't think we should steer away from showing things live," she said. "There's much more benefit in showing that emotion."

TRAVEL WOES: The Lightning stayed overnight in Buffalo because of the snow storm in New York, where Tampa Bay faces the Rangers at 5 p.m. today. The team planned a 10 a.m. flight.

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," Tortorella said. "This is the NHL. It's a dog fight every night. If you're not ready to play, you have no chance. I don't care if we get in at 4 o'clock and get our skates on to play. We need to be ready to play hard."

MOVIN' ON OUT: As defenseman Dan Boyle was being attended to on the ice after sustaining a second-period concussion, Tortorella had words with a fan behind the Lightning bench. Team spokesman Jay Preble said the fan was removed at Tampa Bay's request.

GOALIE GOAL: He didn't shoot it into the net, but Brian Eklund, a goaltender for ECHL Pensacola, a Lightning affiliate, was credited with a goal in Friday night's 5-4 shootout loss to Mississippi.

"It's surreal to say the least," Eklund said.

The play occurred in the first period with the Mississippi net empty on a delayed penalty. A misplaced Sea Wolves pass went in. Eklund was credited as the last Pensacola player to touch the puck.

"I'd rather it be me shooting it in to score my first goal but you take it any way you can," he said. "I can make up a nice elaborate story when I tell my kids."

ODDS AND ENDS: Wing Chris Dingman, who played his 300th NHL game, has two game misconducts. One more and he gets an automatic game suspension. ... Tampa Bay recalled center Martin Cibak from AHL Hershey. ... Backing into the Sabres parking lot, the Lightning's bus scraped the front a car owned by Buffalo goalie Mika Noronen.

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