Live from Tampa: Marty Biron handed first start of season
If you're a faithful reader, you'll know that I raised the Biron possibility right here yesterday. I'm twisting my arm to pat meself on the back for the first time this season. Been off the mark often, but hey...
Marty will be in the net tonight for his season debut as a starter. Coach John Tortorella confirmed this morning at the Tampa Times Forum that the move had been planned, and that Henrik Lundqvist was not tired.
Biron, a veteran who is poised, if anything, said that he was preparing well with goaltender coach Benoit Allaire, and that Tampa's firepower was not any more intimidating than other teams and approaches it as a February game, regardless of the short schedule. Biron did not play in Europe, but skated regularly near his home in Buffalo during the lockout with Sabres such as Jason Pomminville.
"He's a really good goaltender, as we've seen over the years, very calm" said Brian Boyle, "Handles the puck well, like a lot of (French-Canadien) goalies."
Biron has long been known as one of the chattiest guys in the locker room, but Boyle notes that he "doesn't talk as much as Hank out there, who's hollering and yelling."
"I want to play him tonight... we have a philosophy, we're not changing our philosophy, there's no set schedule, but Marty will play. We're not taking (Henrik) out because he's tired or anything like that, we felt really comfortable how we used our goalies last year...we're going to do the same thing this year, obviously in a more condensed situation; we feel we have two good ones there and it helped us in the second half of the year, if you do get to the playoffs."
D Matt Gilroy, who played 10-plus minutes on Thursday, will dress for the second consecutive game; Stu Bickel practiced on the fourth line again. Steve Eminger is scratched, as are Ryan Callahan (shoulder) and Chris Kreider (ankle), who did skate, and might be ready to play next week. I expect Lundvist to play against the Devils Tuesday (as he generally does) and presumably against the Isles on Thursday at MSG.
It is the 20th anniversary of the Tampa franchise and local TV crews spoke with Tortorella and Brad Richards for pieces that will be shown on the enormous new center ice scoreboard during the game....The team, and the writers here, originally were scheduled to travel to South Florida tomorrow for a game against the Panthers, but things changed before the final schedule was released; the Panthers told the league they did not want to play on Super Sunday. We'll be back in April...