Lukowich is under friendly fire

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:16 PM ET


 TAMPA -- Brad Lukowich is excited about the reaction in Calgary over the Flames' run.

 However, there is a point when it becomes too much. That's when Lukowich's friends talk to him.

 "I'm a little disappointed in my buddies back home," said the Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman, who hails from Cranbrook.

 "They're still rooting for the Flames and are die-hard. They lived in Cranbrook and moved (to Calgary) to go to college or because of their girlfriend they met at Cowboys is there. The funny thing is they're all calling for tickets, saying, 'Oh man, the Flames are awesome. Can you get me tickets?' "

 Flames supporters aren't the only ones looking forward to seeing the Stanley Cup final return to the Stampede City for Saturday's Game 3.

 Lukowich calls Calgary his second home -- for good reason with a brother, sister and cousins, Ed and Morris Lukowich, all there, too.

 Plus the litany of friends, happy to call him and let him in on the festivities.

 "They send me e-mails all the time and I think you know the e-mails I'm talking about," Lukowich said.

 "We got a kick out of that here. Guys are calling me on cellphones after the game, telling me they're on the street (17th Ave.). It's great they're in it. It's so good for Canada, great for that city. It's excellent Canada gets to rally about their sport.

 "It's gonna be emotional to go back there."

 Lukowich and his Lightning teammates have heard about the buzz around the Flaming C.

 They've also heard about the stunts at visiting team hotels -- the parade of noisemakers that greeted the Detroit Red Wings and the convoy of semi trucks for the San Jose Sharks.

 "Have you ever been to Philadelphia?" he said, showing his team's preparation.

 "I think we stayed above a fire hall, the biggest police precinct in town, the emergency ward and the bus depot. I think they were all on the first floor.

 "It was unbelievable. At four o'clock in the morning, there'd be sirens going off and you'd look outside and there'd be nothing out there. It's pretty funny actually.

 "It'll be neat to see what's in Calgary. Canadians, man. They love it."

 Lukowich, who came to the Lightning from Dallas last season, also has an inkling of what to expect in the Saddledome.

 "Montreal was incredible. Unbelievable," he said. "You couldn't hear the guy next to you when he was talking. You'd see his mouth moving but there was nothing coming out.

 "The Edmonton crowd is unbelievable, too. It's the building, they're right on top of you and it makes it one the greatest places to play.

 "We're looking forward to it. Being on the road, we feed off that energy."

 He hopes to get his name on the Stanley Cup, something he missed out on due a technicality as a member of the 1998-99 Stars.

 Lukowich was part of the team that defeated Buffalo for the Cup but never played in the final and didn't qualify for games in the regular season.

 "It's brutal. To look back is pretty disappointing," he said.

 "I had my day with the Cup and everything and got a ring but it's not on the Cup.

 "I've got another chance now."

 As for those tickets, he has a warning for his friends. So far, he's only been able to secure ducats for immediate family.

 And the lineup is growing.

 "The guys from (the band) Three Days Grace called the other day and told me they were thinking about flying in and asked for tickets," he said.

 "I said, 'Not really.' "


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