May 26, 2004
©Pensacola News Journal
For the past two seasons, Brian Eklund has been the primary goaltender for the Pensacola Ice Pilots. Now, he’s the third goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is playing the Calgary Flames in the NHL’s Stanley Cup finals.
Here is Eklund’s diary from before Game 1:
For my 24th birthday (Monday), I got a lot of ribbing more than anything else. Little jabs and little jokes — anything to make you feel embarrassed for a few minutes. I really didn’t get any presents. Just a couple of shots off the head (pucks at practice).
From my family, I got a couple of phone calls early in the morning, but no presents. They put up with me for 24 years. It’s more an ode to them.
A few guys on the team did know it was my birthday. I’m close to a few guys — about five or six of us all have our birthdays within a month of each other in 1980.