Goalie showdown will have to wait
(3/9/97 - Flames at Tampa Bay)
It was supposed to have been 'The Showdown By the Bay'.
Or it would have been if Trevor Kidd received the start in goal for the Calgary Flames and ex-Flame Rick Tabaracci started for the Tampa Bay Lightning in today's matinee here.
Kidd, however, will draw a seat at the end of the bench as the Flames try to ride Dwayne Roloson's hot streak (4-1 in his last five decisions).
And Corey Schwab is expected to start for the Lightning after Tabaracci played poorly in a 6-4 loss to Boston on Saturday, in which the Bruins rallied from a 4-1 deficit.
Kidd isn't going to get drawn into a war of words with Tabaracci, his former partner, even if there were some uneasy moments in their relationship through the first five weeks of the National Hockey League season -- or the time it took the Flames to trade Tabaracci to Tampa for centre Aaron Gavey.
"I'm not really worried about (facing Tabaracci) anyway," Kidd said Saturday. "We need points in the standings right now. If we were already in a play-off situation, then we could worry about personal rivalries. But we're both trying to get our respective clubs into the playoffs, so there's more important things to think about."
Neither Kidd nor Tabaracci were big fans of the Flames' goaltending rotation, implemented by coach Pierre Page in November, 1995, as a motivational tool. To reward results, Page wouldn't switch goalies until he lost a game, no matter how well -- or how poorly -- he played.
"Maybe one day we can both sit down and have a Coke and talk things over," Kidd said of Tabaracci. "It was an uncomfortable situation. The situation was created where there was animosity between the two of us. We both wanted to play. We both wanted to be No. 1 guys. The situation was,'You win, you're in; you lose, you're out.'
"So you're sitting on the bench, hoping for the team to win -- but on the other hand, you realize if they do win, you're not going to be playing. It's unfortunate.
"Right now, we're both having an opportunity to play a lot. I don't know in his mind what he thinks, but for me, it's worked out."
Essentially, the strategy of Tampa Bay coach Terry Crisp has been to play Tabaracci until he drops.
Tabaracci has started 37 of the Lightning's last 41 games, including a team record 17 consecutive starts from Dec. 4 until Jan. 8. He is 6-2-1, with one no decision, in his last 10 starts, although he's been pulled from three of his last six.
Tabaracci admitted he had been looking forward to playing the Flames.
"It's still the team I played for for 1 1/2 to two years," he said following Saturday's loss. "I've been excited about playing this game for awhile. But it doesn't matter as much anymore, as it should. I'm just angry at myself for losing a 4-1 lead."
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