Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Post-shutout blowout

It may not have been a pretty game Monday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning got skunked 3-0 by the Washington Capitals, but the Bolts' practice Tuesday morning made it up to the Moody family.

I decided Tuesday it would be a good day for the wife and kids to play hooky from their normal days and partake in a little bit of Lightning hockey. It may have only been an off-day practice, but it was still a good time to spend together (Editor's note: It was Moody's birthday, too).

Being the only four people inside the St. Pete Times Forum gave us a good chance at a few sigs as well.

The players were awesome and all took the time to say "hi" to the girls. Most even tossed out a high five as they came off the ice.

Being in a good mood, I decided to step back and let the little ones have all the fun as the players finished up their hour-long skate.

The first few guys flew off the ice after a tough practice, leaving me to think it was going to be tough for the girls to get any autographs.

Marty St. Louis, above, changed it all for them. He stopped and chatted with the girls, asking them if they enjoyed coming out to the rink to watch practice.

I give Marty, or MSL26, credit for one thing, he is great with the kids.

When Vinny Lecavalier, or V4, came off, he walked right over to Mikayla and asked if she needed an autograph.

Quick to respond, she handed over this photo of them taken last season, and a marker. To our surprise, he said he didn't like the marker and told us he would be right back. He went in the back and returned with a new marker to sign for her. Later, he told me that he didn't like the thin-writing Sharpies.

Class act to help her out that way, in my opinion.

After that, every Lightning player who left the ice stopped and asked the girls if they would like an autograph. They added a few extras.

As usual, I couldn't risk a shutout. So, while Marty was chatting with the kids, I finished off my All Star Game photo of him taking a shot on Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom. He let me know that he missed the goal be a mere inch.

Other Lightning players who signed Tuesday were Alex Tanguay, Mike Smith, Stephane Veilleux and James Wright.

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