Stanley Cup Diary Of Pensacola’s Eklund – Day 9

June 2, 2004

©Pensacola News Journal

Brian Eklund, the Pensacola Ice Pilots’ goalie for the past two seasons, is the third goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team plays for the NHL’s Stanley Cup. The Lightning evened the best-of-seven series 2-2 on Monday night with goalie Nikolai Khabibulin recording a 1-0 victory in Calgary, Alberta. The Lightning left early Tuesday for home.

Pretty much when we fly in and out of places, we don’t go in the airport terminals. We walk out on the runway, board the plane and the plane’s rolling out in a few minutes. It’s really different (from commercial travel).

We left this morning at 9 a.m. (in Calgary) and got in at 4 in the afternoon (in Tampa). We were in the air for five hours.

I saw two movies: “Blade 2’’ with Wesley Snipes, and “Enough’’ with Jennifer Lopez. They’re bad movies but great for the plane ride. They kill time.

We’re using the Dallas Mavericks’ plane, a charter. We had a choice of 12 movies. The screen is built into the back of the seat in front of you. You just flip through the channels and listen on your headphones. It cost us nothing. You should see the smiles on our faces. A lot of these guys aren’t used to these types of amenities. They’re like kids on Christmas.

I was in the mood for these movies. They had “Old School’’ and “Dirty Harry,’’ but I wanted to see movies I hadn’t seen.

I’d give 1 1/2 thumbs up for “Blade 2.’’ It wasn’t bad at all. It was a pretty good movie for what it was. It had corny lines. It was pretty much an action movie.

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