tampabay.com

Canadiens school Bolts 'kids'

By TOM JONES
Published September 21, 2005


MONTREAL - The Lightning's second preseason game did not go nearly as well as its first. One night after beating the Red Wings, the Lightning was thumped by the Canadiens, 6-1, before a rowdy crowd of 18,323 at the Bell Centre.

The result was not surprising. Of the Lightning's 18 skaters, only seven are expected to be in the lineup opening night. Meantime, the Canadiens lineup was loaded with NHL regulars, including top stars Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev and Richard Zednik.

"They're a good team," Lighting coach John Tortorella said. "Some of our young kids were learning some lessons pretty quick out there. That's part of this."

Playing behind a young defense, Lightning goalie Sean Burke was hung out to dry as the Canadiens dominated the play.

"It was nice to play, believe it or not," Burke said. "But they were buzzing."

SHOOTOUT STUFF: All preseason games feature a shootout at the end regardless of the score. The Lightning didn't fare well there, either.

The Canadiens won 2-1 on goals by Kovalev and Alexander Perezhogin. Pavel Kubina scored for the Lightning, while Montreal goalie Jose Theodore stopped Vinny Lecavalier and Vinny Prospal.

TODAY: The Lightning are off today, but general manager Jay Feaster will be busy. The team is expected to make its first round of cuts, trimming its roster from 51 to approximately 28. Most players will be reassigned to their junior clubs or one of the Lightning's minor-league affiliates.

Meantime, stars Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis and Brad Richards will fly to New York to take part in the NHL's re-launch party at the Museum of Radio and Television.

MEDICAL UPDATES: Defense prospect Gerard Dicaire has been cleared to begin skating again. Dicaire, who had a fainting spell over the summer, had trouble with conditioning drills on the first day of training camp. He was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, which causes his heart rate and blood pressure to drop drastically after working out.

Doctors increased his potassium and sodium intake, which may have solved the problem.

Before his setback, Dicaire was considered a candidate to fill the Lightning's opening for a sixth defenseman.

Meantime, another candidate for the opening, Todd Rohloff, is skating again after missing four days with back spasms. However, he remains less than 100 percent.

With no prospects making a serious run for the opening, it's likely Feaster will go outside the organization either through a trade, free-agent signing or waiver pick-up to land another defenseman.