May 30, 2004
©Pensacola News Journal
Brian Eklund, the Pensacola Ice Pilots‘ goalie for the past two years, is the third goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team plays for the NHL‘s Stanley Cup. On the road in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Eklund is writing a daily diary for the Pensacola News Journal.
Saturday‘s practice was pretty much business as usual. We watched some video on Calgary to reiterate what we need to do to get the win.
The big thing was that the Flames had broken a pane of glass during their practice and the crew was fixing it while we were skating. We could only use half of the rink. Nikolai Khabibulin took all the shots. (John) Grahame and I just stood off to the side.
It‘s different here. When you pull into the stadium parking lot, people are already camping out for the game. They boo you as you walk in. Once inside, there‘s no Tampa logos. It‘s all signs and posters by schoolchildren saying ‘‘Go Flames‘‘ and stuff like that.
It‘s great, though, to see a city that is in love with hockey and its team.
We have the opportunity Saturday to take over the series. A win could really swing the momentum and turn the series.