Forget momentum: If these playoffs have reminded us of anything, it is that there is no such thing as momentum from one game to the next. Detroit expects a big pushback from the Lightning, desperate not to return home on the brink of elimination, and Detroit must match that effort. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he’s been constant in reminding his team that it’d better be ready for Tampa’s best game yet. “I’ve reminded them for two straight days now, and I’ll remind them again,” Babcock said on Thursday morning. “There’s a new game here tonight. We’ve got to be better than we were last game if we’re gonna have success. They want to be better, we know we have to be better.”
Possible changes for Tampa Bay: Lightning coach Jon Cooper reverted into full lawyer mode when asked about the possibility of a return for the injured Jason Garrison into the lineup or possible changes that might include the addition of Jonathan Drouin into the lineup for Game 4. He’d suggested on Wednesday that he was leaning toward the same lineup as Game 3 but left plenty of gray area following the morning skate. "We might have the same lineups,” Cooper said. “Depends on where we’re at with Garrison. Whether we change up the forwards or not, as I said, we’ve kind of liked the way we’ve played. But could there be changes? Sure.” Got it.
Garrison ready if needed: While he said it won’t be his decision whether he plays, Garrison indicated that his upper body injury is healed enough to go if needed. “I haven't been told yet,” Garrison said after the morning skate. “I’m going to prepare myself like I'm going to play. When I get either the yes or no, I'll get ready.” Garrison hasn’t played since getting shoved into the boards by Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader on March 28. As for Drouin, he said he hasn’t been told whether he’s playing. He’s ready if needed. “The games are very intense. They’re fast,” he said. “I’ll have to be ready every shift if I’m playing.”
Good luck Chuck? The Lightning got a kick out of the shoutout from NBA legend Charles Barkley during an NBA on TNT telecast when Barkley urged the Lightning on for Game 4, saying “C’mon Tampa Bay, I ain’t gave up on you yet Coach Coop.” Ben Bishop said that the team stayed in the same hotel as Barkley in Los Angeles last year, and Cooper spent a few hours getting to know him. “I’ll be honest, he was one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met,” Cooper said. “I marveled at how he is with other people, the stories he told, how genuine he was. There’s a perfect example. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him in six months, for him to be following us and cheering for us, shows how class act the guy is. It’s awesome.”