Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lightning 1, Bruins 3 - Bolts LOSE

So the Bolts lose another game, the shots in the 3rd were 16 to 7 in favor of Boston, awful, special teams sucked, Lecavalier can't find the back of the net, but there were a few highlights in this loss:
1. Stamkos got his 20th of the season!
-and an assist from Lashoff!

2.Tocchet said about needing for his players to "push back", and they tried. Artyukhin took on Chara in a scrum, Petiot took on Byron Bitz, although it wasn't much of a fight, and Melichar tried to fight Lucic. I said tried to fight Lucic, because although they were a good matchup sizewise, Melichar is not a fighter, but good on him for trying to take on Lucic, that takes guts.

Here's a video from the Chara/Artyukhin tussle:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Game 77: Tampa in Beantown

The Lightning start a 3 game roadtrip in Boston tomorrow. After Saturday's dismal performance, I hope the guys show up for the game tomorrow night. It's located at 100 Legends Way, just in case they forgot.

Something positive? The Lightning won the last time they played beantown. That's right. On February 22, we won a game against Boston. Recchi also scored that night, but this time around, he's playing on the other team. Also meeting their old team is Lashoff and Karsums, so we should hopefully see a good effort from them against their old team.

-Bochenski was called up last game, and Koci became a defenseman last game against the Senators. I don't know what we'll see tomorrow, or if the roster will look the same. Bochenski was the 49th player to dress for the Lightning this year.

-Lawton and OK spent an hour answering questions from hundred former season ticket holders. I'd like to hear what was said during that.

Tocchet quotes: “This is not going to happen next year. We’re going to make sure we play smart, tough hockey.”

"I'm just from the old school. When you get pushed around, you have to push back," Tocchet said. "We're accepting when guys on the other team are agitating and making a push. We need guys to push back. I'm not talking about dropping the gloves, just playing good, clean, tough hockey. Be abrasive. We need abrasive players on this team. We need guys lively on the bench, not just sitting there." -quote from DC

-I don't know if Tocchet realizes what his bench looks like, or the fact that we are at the end of the season. Maybe we should move on from criticizing what roster that isn't on the IR and just have fun playing hockey. Looking forward to next year and roster changes will happen during the summer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Adopting A Playoff Team

Now everyone here in Lightningland knows that the Lightning are not making the playoffs. We've been eliminated as of March 3rd. That's over a month ago. Now we have had the pleasure of trying to be spoilers, or at least trying when we are already down 3 goals in the 1st period. But, let's not complain about this season anymore.

I don't stop following hockey just because my team is out of the playoffs, but I have been feeling this blog will need to adopt a team to cheer for. There are some teams, that no matter how hard I try, I can't cheer for, so in the next couple of days, I will go through my list, and through process of elimination will find a team to adopt. Suggestions are welcome.

Of course I will follow the team members of the Lightning who will go to the 2009 Men's World Hockey Championship in Switzerland (more on this in the future). This is only an temporary adoption, not a lifetime commitment. There's still a few more days to finalize spots 7 and 8 in both Conferences, so at least we can start with the eliminations. But back to rules to the adoptions.

Now as my About Me says, I also follow the Canucks. I am not making them the team that THB will follow by default just because I like them, though I think they are a great choice.


1. No rival teams - That takes the Caps, Hurricanes and possibly the Panthers out of the running. But is there a real rivalry between us and the Panthers, or Canes for that matter, except that they are in the SE division? I personally wouldn't mind to see the Panthers in the playoffs, if only just for the rats.

2. No teams that we love to hate - Rangers, Flyers. No and no.

Teams that are already out of the running:
1. New York Rangers - Even if this team has former Lightning coach Torterella, there is no way I can cheer for them, something about it is morally wrong, see above.
2. Detroit - They are already expected to win the cup thus would be a team that casual fan would cheer for just cause they are a safe bet, so no.
3. New Jersey - No. Just no. I can't get into their games, comparable to a Wild game, even if the Devils have Parise.
4. Calgary - The Canuck fan in me veto's this one

Possible teams? Perhaps we should throw our support under...Boston? Pittsburgh? San Jose? CBJ? Edmonton? Chicago? Canucks? Montreal? St. Louis?

Lightning 0, Senators 3 - Bolts LOSE

We not just lost this one, we got shut out. In my preview, I suggested that cheap beer might be able to help a fan get through what I thought would be a terrible game. And that's exactly what it was, not much else to say. At least we didn't end up with any points in this one.

Game 76: Ottawa at Tampa Preview

The Enemy Blog:

Have the Senators given up on their playoff hopes yet? These are two teams who are out of the playoffs. Another game that means nothing, well except that someone has to take to two points at the end of the game. God forbid this turns into a 3 point night.

maybe the $2 beers can help you forget how bad of a game you are going to watch
-The Lightning are in town just for this one home game, just enough time to do laundry, then head back out on the road for a 3 game road trip starting with Boston on Tuesday

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lawton throws paper at Caps fans...

Not just any type of paper, no, he threw game notes at Caps fans. Lawton clarifies that he was just throwing them in response to fans that had thrown stuff into the suite first.

Now let's think about what we just read. Did a GM throw paper at the fans because they did it first? Is he 3 years old? This was one of the most ridiculous things I've heard that a GM has done.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lightning 3, Caps 5 - Bolts LOSE

Throughout the past few days both teams' coaches downplayed last weeks game between these two teams. Though Tocchet was quoted saying that winning tonight's game would be the best retribution to last week's events. He would even go to the lengths of only playing two lines if it would help him win.

The Lightning played the first two periods with a huge effort. For once, the shots on goal for the Lightning was comparable to the opposing team. 3 power play goals from the Caps in the 1st, and a goal from St. Louis (with another assist for Lashoff!). In the 2nd, Stamkos notched his 19th goal to bring the game closer. Again, the 1st and 2nd period was penalty city for the Lightning again.

It was early in the 3rd that Vinny Prospal ties it up. But Brian Pothier, who has not scored since Dec 27 2007, answers back for the go ahead goal. Pothier has been out since early January 2008 with a concussion that he got after Lucic checked him into the boards (let's hope Smith will have a speedier recovery). People thought he would retire from the effects of the concussion. This was his 4th game back, first goal of the season. Ovie get's an empty net goal in the end for his 100th point of the season.

In the end the Lightning lose, but made it tough for the Caps to walk away with this win.

-Shots on goal? Lightning 36, Caps 39...finally a game with over 20 shots for the Lightning, and something equal to the opposition

Side Story:
Ovechkin got a new toy today: a 200-mph Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series. Price tag? $250, 000

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Game 75: Tampa in Washington Preview

Enemy blog: Japer's Rink

Tonight we go to THEIR rink. That guy in the photo on the right there. He's pretty into it, pressing himself up against the glass. Something about it is wrong.

No real preview, the title is misleading I know.

-The Caps lost their last game, against the Leafs. Note, their coach isn't fired yet. Did you see Gerber push the ref and get tossed?
-The Caps are already selling SE Division Championship t-shirts, they haven't even clinched yet, a little premature?

Lightning 2, Canadiens 3 - Bolts LOSE

Another overtime loss tonight. Ramo was a god tonight and really was the reason the score isn't Lightning 0, Canadiens 20. This game was penalty city for the Lightning. 9 penalties taken by the Lightning, and Montreal, well they had 2. The refs clearly were making it easy for the home team.

Montreal outshot the Lightning 36 to 19, but that's pretty misleading. It was the Ramo show tonight.

The Lightning got two goals in the third from Koci and Krajicek to tie up the game and send it to OT. It would have been sweet to be steal the two points from the Canadiens, would those have been the 2 points that made them miss the playoffs? We'll never know, because we didn't steal both of the points. We ended up with a useless point.

No time to cry about it, the Lightning are catching the late flight to Washington where we rematch the Caps tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Game 74: Tampa in Montreal Preview

Montreal may have picked a bad year to have their 100 Year Anniversary or maybe they picked a bad team. A team with no heart. But at least they know how to party.

You know these pictures are coming...

And Price knows how to smoke, SO well, that he can smoke 3 cigarette's at a time!

That guy on the left with the neon t-shirt looks like a tool. Where did he get a shirt like that?

More FANTASTIC photos can be found on JT Utah's site 25Stanley (credit to him for the 1st pic, and most likely the 2nd too)

The Habs are having some issues. Fighting to get into the playoffs.

Gainey has already fired the coach. The crowd during the Leaf's game on Saturday night was chanting "Carbonneau!" Can he admit this was the wrong decision and change his mind?

The Habs may also be up for sale. Want to pool our money together and buy them? Do you think OK Hockey is kicking themselves now thinking they could have bought a profitable team? Maybe they could buy this one too to pay for their losses with Tampa...they could call it 'revenue sharing'.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gasp! The Lightning WIN in OT!

Lightning 2, CBJ 1 - Bolts WIN!!!

Did I just write that? Did the Tampa Bay Lightning win in OT tonight? That's right. A win in OT.

What happened during the 1st and 2nd period? NOTHING

The Lightning get 7 shots on goal in 2 periods. Awful. But let's focus on the positive tonight. The 1st and 2nd was a waste of time. Rick Nash was a disappointment.

Jan Hejda starts the 3rd period with a goal for CBJ. If CBJ get 2 points tonight they would be getting that much closer to clinching a playoff berth. Malone says "not so fast" and answers back with a PP goal.

This game moves to OT. I have almost written off the team at this point. My worst fear is that they will end up in a shootout. But no! Martin St. Louis comes back with a huge individual effort and wrists a shot past Mason!!!! Booyeah.

McKenna plays a great game and stops 33 out of 34 shots.

So let's forget about the boring 1st and 2nd. Let's just celebrate the fact we won in OT. At this point in the season, I will celebrate the little things.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Game 73: Columbus at Tampa Preview

*Updated* I have included some info below from the suggestions I have been sent through e-mail, don't feel shy about using the comments section also

Columbus is fighting to remain in the playoffs. They have never gotten to the playoffs in their history and they have a bunch of teams just a few points back. Currently they are sitting in 6th spot in the West, but the Western conference is much tighter than the East. Their website is calling this the March to the Playoffs

The BJ's (*snicker snicker*...sorry I can't help it) have been flying under the radar, but make no mistake, they are good this year. They have a big line of Rick Nash and co. (RJ Umberger and Kristian Huselius). Nash is great player, and he's the heart and soul of this team.

Umberger is pretty much known for his youtube fame and not much else, seriously you have to watch it:

One of the best hits ever.

Correction- RJ is also known for:
-getting headlines in philly last year during the playoffs like
"Forget the cheesesteak, Philly loves the Umberger...."
-Led the team with 10 goals in the playoffs...contributing to the Habs' exit out of the playoffs
-His first NHL career goal was against the Lightning on Nov 22 2005

What has been the real story about Columbus is the rookie Steve Mason. He has been amazing in net, and is the reason that this team currently has a playoff spot. He's currently 2nd in GAA at 2.23 and has the lead in shutouts this season with 9. He has been nothing short of unbelievable.

-CBJ was losing 1-0 throughout the game against Florida on Saturday. 2 minutes left in the game, the BJ's come back and win 3-1, slowly crushing the playoff dreams of the Panthers.

-Steve Mason is 12-1-0 against teams from the East
-McKenna is expected to start in net
-Tocchet tells the media that he expects his players to be in game shape for training camp next season. Really? Do you have to tell your team that? I always thought that was an expectation as a PRO hockey player. With the exception of Kyle Wellwood of course. He get's a pass...and a Big Mac on the side.

Funny of the Day:
“The Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin celebrated his 50th goal by putting his stick on the ice and then mimed warming his hands over it. Some observers called it hot-dogging; when Alex was a toddler in the Soviet Union it was called central heating.” Comedian Torben Rolfsen, on the Web site of Vancouver’s The Province.

Fan Appreciation DAYS...

Notice the s at the end of days....not just fan appreciation night, no, in Tampa we have DAYS.

During the final four home games, starting March 24 against CBJ, the Lightning will have their fan appreciation days. They will play:

CBJ - Tuesday March 24
Senators - Sunday March 29
Penguins - Tuesday April 7
Caps - Thursday April 9

You know those last two are going to be good. It's too bad they don't fall on a weekend.

The promo of the event goes like this:
-All players will walk a red carpet into the rink 3 hours before the game
-Live bands in the plaza
-FanZone tent - kids can make Carrie Underwood signs for the Senators game, make that Hillary Duff signs too
-A charity raffle for jersey's off the players backs
-Thunderbug's ATV to be raffled off

Now what is the best part I read?
$2 beers and $1 hotdogs!!!! Oh wait, there is also free popcorn, peanuts or cotton candy...and rubix cubes!

Ok, I'm getting a little excited. I don't think you really need to give rubix cubes away to children, do you want to distract them from the fact that the Lightning might lose 3 out of the 4 games? Or distract them from the KO that Malone will lay down some fire stick dancing player? Maybe that was Bettman's suggestion, so that he didn't have to explain to the kids what went on.

Now, where I'm from, $2 beers don't exist. Hell, neither do $1 hotdogs. I pay $8.25 for beer in a sippy cup. And last time I got hotdogs, for 2 premiums hotdogs, and a water I paid, 18 bucks, no joke.

I actually like this show by the management, it's great for the kids and this is one of the last things the current ticket holders will think of as we head into the off season.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lightning 3, Thrashers 4 - Bolts LOSE

The Lightning lose another game in the shootout. They've lost a lot of games in the shootout. It's been a trend.

The first period was penalty city. Hooking. Hooking. Hooking. It was like the Lightning were like cheap prostitutes being round up by the refs. They threw a tripping one in there just for good measure.

Stamkos comes back in the 2nd with 2 huge goals. Even Steven. Two PP goals, one from Kovalchuck and one from Prospal. The radio guys were discussing the merits about Prospal borrowing an s from Karsums, so they can call him Prospals. Retards.

We are tied 3-3 going into the third. Nothing happens.

And we go to a shootout. You know this isn't a good thing. What are the chances of winning, like 1 in 10. Hedberg stones all three Tampa shooters. Kozlov gets the only goal for the Thrashers.

-Stamkos got 2 more goals...number 17 and 18 baby
-Lashoff has 4 points in 3 games
-We have dropped 9 out of the last 11 games against the Thrashers. We have one more to go in the season. During the summer we are going to need to learn how to beat them, you can't get into the playoffs if you suck this much against the Thrashers.

Game 72: Atlanta at Tampa Preview

The Thrashers have been on a little bit of a tear as the season winds down.

Enemy Blog: Bird Watchers Anonymous

Both of our teams are out of the playoffs. The Thrashers are sitting at 64 points, and us at 61. No one actually wants points at this point in the season, but that's no reason not to play. After all the hoopla from last game, I'd like to see a good game tonight. So far this season, we've been split so far in wins and losses at 2-2-0.

Even though we are out of the playoffs, this is a good game for the young guys. It's like an open audition, show up, have some talent, play with some heart, and then maybe you can play next season. I just wish Tocchet wouldn't play his big guys so much, maybe a little reduction in minutes to give the young guys a chance would do the whole team some good, but I'm not going to get into that here.

The Thrashers were on fire in March, with a record of 6-3-0. Their GM putting on a happy face, though inside secretly angry that they were ruining their draft number. They are tired tonight, after being spanked by Detroit 6-3, so a win tonight during the Fan Appreciation DAYS that the Lightning are holding would be a nice way to cap off the night. Even if we win, we are still behind the Thrashers in points, and they have a game in hand.

Look out for Stamkos tonight, after the Caps game, he's up to 16 goals on the season. Can he make the push to 20 in the remaining season? Would that make him a late season ballot for the Calder?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ovechkin's "Stick on Fire"

I didn't say much about the celebration show that Ovie made after his 50th goal of the season last night during the recap. But it has got people talking, so I'll discuss. So Ovie get's his 50th goal of the season, which I think is fantastic, but then he did a preplanned celebration. Here's the video:

I like Ovechkin as a player. I think he brings excitement to the game. 50 goals in 3 out of the 4 season's he's played? Shit, that's freaking fantastic. If I were a fan of the Caps 50 goals a season from a dynamic player would get me excited. But last night I think it was a little overboard.

The little 'fire dance' was planned prior to the game. It wasn't an in the heat of the moment celebration, no, he gave this one some thought. The goal was the first goal of the game, and Ovechkin treated the stick like it was lava or on fire. The best part is the fact that he tried to get Mike Green to get in on the dance, but Mike Green looked like he wanted no part of it.

I was not in the Don Cherry camp when he said that Canadian kids shouldn't be like Ovechkin, rather they should be more like Crosby or Thornton. I think goal celebrations are great. After scoring a goal a player should be able to celebrate with a good fist pump, jump on his teammates or the boards or whatever his move is. It's true that not every player celebrates like Ovie, if Joe Thornton doesn't want to celebrate like Ovie, then that's fine, that's his style. What Cherry did say a couple weeks ago, was that down the road, some player will not enjoy the show, and get Ovie. Now Ovechkin is not a small player, he can hold his own, but eventually, some player will see this, and want to teach him a lesson.

Ovechkin's display was not in Washington, no, it was IN Tampa. I thought the celebration looked ridiculous, but what got me, is that he displayed this premeditated celebration at the St. Pete Times Forum. The response to the celebration had this been a home game for Ovie, maybe it would have been celebrated. The Caps will be back in our rink next Friday, and I can't see how that game will be an easy one for him. If you showboat in front of the home team you are making yourself a marked man. And let's not get away from the fact that this is not the NFL.

You can count on Don Cherry tomorrow night to be talking about this. I look forward to it.

The response back from around the NHL so far isn't endorsing the celebration.

Tocchet gave an interview that said:
"He came down a notch in my book after that. I grew up in the old days in the Spectrum, and that first period after that happened, it might have been a three-hour first period. So, it's not something I like. It's hard for me to accept to see that in our building for somebody to do that."
-from Lightning Strikes

Malone on TSN
"I was in the [penalty] box at the time, but you remember something like that and make sure he pays the right way," Malone told the Tampa Tribune. "He's going to do what he's going to do and it's up to us to react the way we should."

So this should make next Friday's game interesting. From what Malone said, he will remember, and from what Tocchet said, does that mean he'll turn a blind eye from a potential fight? If not this game, there is always another, or next season.

I'm all for celebrations and excitement in the game. If Bettman wants to encourage new fans to the spot, exciting players like Ovechkin is great for it. Celebrations and showing that the players are having fun winning is awesome. I just think this one went a little too far.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lightning 2, Caps 5 - Bolts LOSE

Ovechin get's his 50th goal tonight. Whatever. He broke some record in Washington to be the 1st Cap player with 3 50 goal years.

The Lightning played a good 2 periods. And again tonight, they decided to go home early. They went into the 3rd with a 2-2 tie. 3 unanswered goals from the Caps, and that's how it ended. There's not point to recap tonight.

So now the Caps have won 10 straight games against the Lightning. And we will have 2 more meetings in the season. Let's move on from this game, no need to dwell on it.

-Lashoff got 2 assists

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Game 71: Washington in Tampa Preview

They are 1st in the SE division, and Ovechkin and the Caps are making a visit to Tampa tomorrow.

The enemy blog:
Japer's Rink
A View from the Cheap Seats

We haven't won against the Caps in 9 games. Looking at the stats for the two teams, they have almost double the number of wins. Their PK isn't must better than ours, 21 vs. 23, but what stands out is their power play, they are 2nd compared to our 18th ranked PP. They are 1st in the division, and we are last.

This game is gonna be a battle. The Caps are not as good right now as they were before January, but that don't mean to say that they aren't good now. They are still winning games, and then ever so often, have some weird upset like the one that the Trashers laid on them Monday. But if you look at the shots on goal for both teams, Lehtonen was was unbelievable.

Cheap Seats think the Caps "play down" to weaker teams, so we'll have to see what this means for the Lightning.

Last time we played, which was on Valentine's Day, Mike Green made NHL history scoring in his 8th straight game.

I'm a little conflicted about how I feel about winning games at this point in the season. We're 5 points ahead of the Islanders, sitting at 61 points, but now have 3 other teams sitting at 64 teams. I'm not saying to throw the game, I still want to see a good game, but I am a little conflicted about getting points.

Cory Murphy injured, Lashoff gets a promotion...

In last night's game against the Leaf's, Cory Murphy broke a bone in his foot from a shot from Lecavalier. At this time in the season, I think that it is improbable that he will return for any of the games at the end.

He had been QBing the Lightning power play since being claimed off of waivers from Florida. He has had a couple of goals in the last few games, so it sucks to see him be injured.

There is one guy who is probably kinda excited for this. I'm sure he's not excited about how his teammate is injured, but for Matt Lashoff this is an instant promotion.

Lashoff, as we profiled earlier in this blog, got to play his first game for the team last night. Already during his 1st game, he played for 22:58 of ice time and had a spot on the power play. And with the sudden change of events, he now gets to have an extended audition for the Lightning. There will be no pressure on him during these next few weeks, but he will definately have to show Tocchet that he can be a key defenceman for next season. He will step in and replace the role that Murphy had.

This is great for the young kid who hasn't proven himself yet. He has top 4 potential, and now get's the chance to learn and show some skill. So as much as it sucks to have a player injured, this may end up as a benefit for the Lightning next season. Since we are not in a playoff race, we can shut down Murphy for the season and let Lashoff gain NHL experience. This is the time to let the young guys get the chance and the experience that they normally would not have if we were in the playoff race.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Game 70: Toronto in Tampa - Bolts LOSE

Brian Burke and Co made an appearance in Tampa today. Bring on the press conferences!

The day started out as usual. Pre-game skate. Grabovski gets in a fight with his own team...


So for the second time this month (second???), Grabovski and Blake get in an altercation. Today's took place during their practice before the game tonight. Grabovski hit's Blake in the back and then a scrum ensues....see the Toronto Sun for the whole article. At first I though it was a bit of a joke, but after reading it, it makes me question Grabovski. Does this guy not understand that you don't hurt your own player? Hitting him in the back during practice? I understand that during practices, frustrations do arise. It can help a team when it challenges a team or player to play better, but I don't know what to think of this guy, but I don't imagine that helps his team in any way.

The Lightning went up 3-0 early in the second periord. Starting with a goal on the PP by Lecavalier in the 1st, then two quick goals 10 seconds apart in the 2nd by Stamkos and Pettinger.

Stralman get's a clean hit on Lecavalier. Lecavalier doesn't like this too much, so decides to slash him, then tries to pick up a fight with Stralman. Kubina steps in to quiet things down. Nothing comes of it, and Kubina stepped in at the right time. I thought the check was clean, but I also understand Lecavalier slash. It is good to see that this didn't turn into more than just a minor penalty as some clean hits seem to elicit these days.

Late the 2nd Mitchell gets a goal for the Leafs. Now this is all good heading into the intermission, the Lightning are up 3-1.

Intermission (The Lightning fall apart)

Jason Blake scores in the opening of the 3rd through Ramo's 5 hole, it's now 3-2. The Lightning fights off a penalty, in fact they fought off all 5 penalties that they took this game. Jeff Hamilton ties up the game for the Leafs. They then get two power plays during the end of the 3rd, but can't get the go ahead goal. This game will go to overtime, Ramo makes some huge saves. It doesn't matter, we move to the shoot out.

St. Louis has a nice spin-o-rama, but hits the post!

Lecavalier has a great goal on Cujo...and it reminds me why I appreciate hockey...

The shootout goes to 6 shooters each team, and in the end Mitchell ends it for the Leaf's. The cheer from the rink sounded like the Lightning were playing in the ACC instead of being in Tampa. Man those Leaf fans travel well (almost as well as Hab fans)..

-Lashoff played his first game with the Lightning
-Cory Murphy got a lower body injury, and missed the 3rd period
-The Lightning let on 39 shots on net...ouch.
-The Lightning only got 22 shots on Cujo

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Peltonen takes on Artyukhin

Seah Leahy posted this video in the evening headlines of PD. I missed this from the game last night. Peltonen tries to take on Artyukhin in a fight, and Arty looks 40 pounds heavier and six inches taller than him. You can see Arty just hesitate before throwing his first punch...

Artyukhin: 6'5", 259 pounds
Peltonen: 5'11", 182 pounds

This is Peltonen's 1st career fight. Huge size mismatch.

**The fight apparently in response to the knee-on-knee hit that Arty laid on Peltonen during their last game on January 17. Arty had got a 2 game suspension for it.

Meet The New Guy: Matt Lashoff

Inspired by the KB's amusing series of better known as a newbie, I thought we should take a look at the new guy that we've traded for.

He has been out since the trade deadline with a calf laceration, but is expected to make his Lightning debut soon.

Today's New Guy: Matt Lashoff #49

The Beginning: He was was drafted #22 overall (1st round) by the Boston Bruins in the 2005 entry draft. Lashoff played 3 seasons in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and then in the 2006-2006 season played for the Providence Bruins. He has played 46 games with Boston since being drafted, has recorded 1 goal and been a -7. His first NHL goal was scored on Dec 31 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers. He was named to the AHL all-rookie team in 06/07. He was traded to the Lightning at the trade deadline with Martins Karsums in the exchange for Mark Recchi and a 2nd round draft pick.

How much does he cost? $685, 000, he's an RFA this year.

What will he bring? Born September 29, 1986 in East Greenbush, NY. He's 6'2" and 204 lbs. He a 22 year old defenceman with a left handed shot. Like any young defencemen he still makes mistakes. He's supposed to a good all around player that skate well and has an offensive upside.

He sounds like he has top 4 potential, and with the opportunity to play in Tampa at the NHL level, it should improve his game. He is still young, and has room to improve, but did we notice how young our blue line is getting?

Interesting Facts?
-He has a younger brother named Brian Lashoff who is also a defenceman.
-He got a scholarship to go to Boston University, but decided instead to play in the OHL
He's not very interesting according to the internet, this was as much as I could find, these young guys with uninteresting lives are killing me.

Possible Nicknames?
1. Lash-on....Lash-off!!

Lightning 4 v. Panthers 3 - Bolts WIN!!!

Hell may have frozen over. Quite literally. It is March 15th, it's snowing outside of my window, and, wait for it....the Lightning have won 2 in a row!

What a game last night. Albeit I didn't watch it. I was fed text message updates as I was drinking beer at 4 in the afternoon. Sadly, there was no green beer, while spending much of the night at a Newfie pub, I did get to listen to some entertaining singing. If you have never been to a Newfie pub, well, it's an acquired taste. Much of the night you will drink beer and slap your hands on a table as you listen to a band play far too loud songs about drinking and going out to sea.

1st period, Frolik scores off of a pass from David Booth 15 minutes in. The Panthers ended the 1st outshooting the Bolts 15-5. Disgusting.

2nd period, after a hooking called to Krajicek, Booth gets a power play goal. A minute later, Murphy scores against his old team while on the PP, which is his 5th of the season. The Panthers are still outshooting us, so far 26-12.

3rd period. Booth get's his 2nd goal of the night. Who is this guy and how does he have 26 goals?
This guy was all over the ice last night, he almost got a hat trick and made a nice defensive play in overtime.

I get a text message from a friend saying that with 6 minutes left, not really much hope, the cats were leading 3-1. I drank more beer. From the highlights, Krajicek makes robs some Panther of a goal by swatting the puck out. Later on, Martin St. Louis deflected Krajicek's shot, GOAL! Just like that we're back in the game. 3 minutes later, Petiot, who, has not played in the NHL in 3 years, passes the puck to (the overpaid) Halpern and he buries it! TIE GAME!

This game goes into overtime, which solves nothing.

It moves to a shootout and Stamkos beats Vokoun on his backhand for the game winner. YEAH!

Now I know I should not be getting carried away, but since January, this is the first time the team has won 2 in a row, I'll take that win. And truthfully I do want to see the Panthers in the playoffs, at least more than I want to see the Rangers, but they'll have to get their points elsewhere.

The comeback in the 3rd was like the Pens game from earlier against Ottawa, you can't count out the team till the end. Tocchet must go crazy to see his team give up 3 goals, and then try to scratch back in the 3rd. If he had hair, he's be losing it. I wish I saw a little more consistancy with the team. They show they can play well, but only after then are losing going into the 3rd.

Cassie at the Bolts Blog is calling this the best that the Lightning have played, that's saying a lot. Wished I could have caught this one. Meow....the cats lose...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Game 69: Tampa at Florida Preview

The cats are in a playoff race, and this game is huge to them.

They currently have 77 points, and sit in 9th spot. They are 1 point back from the Rangers and the Hurricanes, and although I would prefer to see the Panthers in the playoff instead of either of those teams, I still don't want it to be against our team that they do that.

The enemy blog:
Litter Box Cats

The Panthers need to make the playoffs. They haven't been in the playoffs since 2000, during which we've won a cup and also have dropped to the worse team in the league. They need this playoffs or their fanbase might revolt.

According to stastistics from
this, the Panthers have the lowest amount of fans watching their games. The KB did some calculations and came up with this: 2,320 out of 1,546,920 households watch the games on tv. Um, more people go to the games than watch them for free on tv. So maybe they don't have a fanbase.

They are also selling playoff tickets, and if they don't make it, you get to go to 4 games against GOOD teams, for
FREE next year.

They are 34-25-9 so far this season, I hesitate about putting up our stats, but we all know how bad we've played, so we're 22-32-14. Currently the Panthers have been 3-1-1 so far in our season series. This is the last game we have against them this season. The last time we lost 4-3.

This game is like a Panthers reunion. Half of our defence is played there: Noah Welch, Cory Murphy and Lukas Krajicek. We also will get to play against Eminger for the first time since the trade.

Whatever. I'm going to think positive. Stamkos has had 8 points in his last games. The Panthers have lost the last 2 games. We haven't posted 2 consecutive wins since mid January, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be the night to replace that stat.

If we don't, well I hope the green beer will numb the loss. Only on St. Patrick's day will I drink green beer or go out to the bar at 4pm. Recap tomorrow. Go Bolts!

Roberts took Stamkos under his Wing

So I was reading the Globe and Mail today. Normally I don't read their sports articles, though they writers are not bad when on radio, but today there was a neat article that was published. After last night's win over the Leaf's, the centre of the universe had a little bitching about the reffing last night. I would love to know what Wilson said to get him tossed out of the game last night. But anyways, if you keep reading the article passed their bitching about 'tomfoolery", they had a neat story about the friendship between Gary Roberts and Steven Stamkos.

Apparently Roberts was at the game last night, he lives just outside of Toronto, and was watching from the press box. Roberts took Stamkos under his wing, they were roommates during the first roadtrip in Prague, and according to the article, Roberts frequently took Stamkos out for dinner. He also plans to keep in contact with Stamkos during the summer to help him along.

Pretty cool of Robert's to be able to help Stamkos through the early part of the season, especially when the marketing of Stamkos came down on him hard. Unlike Crosby, who after being built up after the draft had a decent rookie year, Stamkos' rookie season has been more like Vinny's first year. If you remember, Vinny was called the Michael Jordan of hockey, and in his first year, well Michael Jordan he was not. Now that we see Stamkos on a line with St. Louis and some goals start coming for him, you can see the confidence building with every game. If the team had been in a playoff run, his recent goal scoring would be a bigger story. His record is even better than Vinny's for his rookie year even though the season is not over yet. Doesn't that make you excited to see what he will do next season?

For the full article, click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lightning v. Leafs - Bolts WIN!!!

Welcome to the centre of the universe. I'm watching the Sportsnet Ontario feed. These announcers are awful. I hear nothing but:


"SONT Louis"


Just awful.

But I got no choice. The things I do to catch the game.

The second period consisted of countless powerplays given to the Bolts. Tampa got a goal by a puck that was pushed in by the Gerber's leg. St. Louis shook his head a little at Stamkos for not giving him the puck when he was at the point on the PP. Then a couple shifts later, a great pass from Stamkos to St. Louis on a rush and GOAL! We're up 2 to 1 heading into the third. Sweet. That just made me forget about how bad our powerplay was.

Ramo was great in the third period. Huge saves. One of the commentators kept yelling


How do these guys have a job? Goals from Malone added to the lead. And you can tell that by the time that Szczechura scored that they gave up. Man that guys needs another vowel in his name. Nice to see him get a goal in front of his family (being from Brantford, ON).

Bolts win. Leafs still suck. Losers since '67.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lecavalier: Hand Delivering Tickets

Now we all know that the 2009 season's tickets are now being sold for the Lightning. The Lightning website has been advertising for it about a week now on their website.

So on Monday, they started what they call the 'Goodwill Tour'. Players, coaches, broadcasters and executives are making surprise visits to 83 selected season ticket holders trying to get them to renew their package. Apparently even Oren Koules was out delivering renewal packages. No mention of LB though.

The players that were delivering tickets included Lecavalier, Stamkos and Malone, faces of the franchise. But imagine if you were got selected, and instead of Vinny showing up at your office/house, you get some VP in sales or a broadcaster?

I would feel gypped. GYPPED.

If I got LB instead of Stamkos? I would seriously consider giving him a piece of my mind. Y'know like an armchair GM to another fantasy GM, oh wait.....

But, from a marketing perspective it was a great idea. It shows the fans that the management actually are trying to care about their fans.

This was a tactic that was used by different teams during the summer. The Pens, Flames, Canucks and Sharks all delivered random season ticket holders' their tickets personally. It was all about the marketing, but a nice surprise if you ended up having Sidney Crosby or Dion Phaneuf show up at your door. It was a nice thank you to the fans for buying season tickets.

But this was a little different. The Lightning will have a tough sell trying to get fans to renew their tickets because well, the product this year, did not live up to the expectations, and well there is a recession going on ya know.

It will be an even tougher sell to get casual fans to buy season tickets.

But the owners are going to need all the fans they can get to help pay for the enormous salary of V4 that will kick in this summer.

Lightning 2 v. Senators 3 - Bolts Lose

Working while the game is on sucks. So no recap on the first period. It's a 1 - 1 tie anyways, so I don't care. Murphy and Shannon score, both on the powerplay according to the box score.

Second period starts with Ottawa on a power play. Petiot is out of the box. Petiot? Playing? I'm shocked. Nothing happens on the pp.

Fisher gets a nice rush, but Ramo makes an even better glove save. Stamkos and St. Louis fly down to the other end, Stamkos gets a shot but no goal.

TSN has stopped talking about hockey and instead is focusing on Carrie Underwood and Hillary Duff. No ducking today for the camera's? I can't believe those two date Ottawa Senators.

Schubert takes a stupid tripping penalty on Stamkos. We're one for one on the penalty. Alfredson get the puck and tried to get a shorthanded goal. Lecavalier takes the fake and dives to block the shot, Alfedson passes to Kelly, goal.

Adam Hall answers back 10 seconds later. Just like that it's a tie game. Take that Ottawa.

TSN is now showing a clip of Lecavalier in a race car. We're back on the PP. A lot of passing, Lecavalier has a chance, but no goal. Nothing much happens for the rest of the period.

End of Second

TSN shows some clip of some possible eye gouging from Arty on Ruutu. Ruutu never got the call on the ice because, well he's Ruutu (at least he's better than Matt Cooke). They'll definately review this one, possible suspension coming. Ruutu will be back for the third, so it should get interesting.

Third Period
Tampa gets a power play. 2 seconds later Malone takes us off of the power play. Weak.

Stamkos has a great shot on goal, Elliot gets a piece of it. The lightning go back on the powerplay. It sounds like Pierre Mcguire is a 13 year old girl the way he is gushing about Lecavalier.Thank god I don't have to hear him comment on more than 2 games a week. I can only take so much He's a MONSTER!

Spezza is celebrating like he got a goal. Was there a kicking motion? Review. C'mon Toronto!


Pressure in the Lightning zone, Ramo kicks out the puck on a huge chance by the Senators. St. Louis gets the puck with 3 seconds left, and shoots high! After the period ends you can see him shaking his head knowing he could have ended it there.


Great 3 on 1 chance by St. Louis and Lecavalier, St. Louis can't find the net.

Some garbage goal by Mike Fisher ends the game. Then we get camera angle of Carrie Underwood hugging some girl. The box looks like its filled with girls who don't understand what icing is. Apparently this is her birthday present, a garbage goal from Fisher.

I would have preferred that if we were going to lose, to get no goals. Good effort from the team though. It's nice to see them play like this game actually meant something.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Gary Roberts Retires

So today, Gary Roberts made it official, he's retired.

He played his last game against the team that he won the cup with, the Flames. After not getting picked up on waivers around the trade deadline due to his high cap hit, he has decided to retire, for the second time.

So today it reminded me of a video that I came across last year during Pittsburgh's run for the cup. The video is gold.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lightning vs the Hurricanes - Bolts Lose

Lightning 3 - Hurricanes 9

"I feel bad for the them (the fans)"

Can you get rid of 21 guys in one night? Team Stinker. Embarrassing. These are all the things that Tocchet said during the post-game press conference. He then said that some of the team is out of shape and he would subject the whole team to off ice workouts. Everyday. Until he pretty much feels like it.

Now this isn't quite throwing your team under a bus like what Michel Therrien loved to do. His were classic. But this was close.

No recap on the game for 2 reasons. 1. It sucked. 2. I couldn't find a broadcast of the game, so spent the time instead watching the Oilers beat the Leafs.

I would love it if the Lightning would podcast their games like other teams do, so if I miss them, I can always catch them later. I live in the West, so I'm always on the way home from work when the games start, thus I'm always missing the 1st period.

During the cbc hotsotve I checked the scores. Had a little laugh about CBJ beating Detroit 8-1. Then realized that was the exact same score was in the Lightning game. What a blowout.

Now I understand that winning at this time in the season, is not good for our draft picking order, but to give your home crowd a 9-3 loss? If the lightning post another loss like this they will continue to lose fans.

Perhaps if you go to a game where the Lightning are being beaten 9 to something you should take a cue from the Oilers fans and start chanting "We want 10". And then cheer when the away team scores. Just a thought.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lightning Resigning Tocchet

TSN is reporting that the Lightning are close to signing Tocchet to a 3 year contract extension...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Meet The New Guy: Martins Karsums

Inspired by the KB's amusing series of better known as a newbie, I thought we should take a look at the new guy that we've traded for.

Today's New Guy: Martins Karsums #83

The Beginning: Was drafted #64th by the Boston Bruins in 2004 in the 2nd round. He left Latvia and played in the QMJHL for Moncton Wildcats until 2006. He won the Guy Lafleur trophy during the 2006 playoff run for MVP. He then played for the Bruins' AHL affiliate in Providence for two seasons. This year he has played for the Bruins for, count them, 6 games! So far he's not no goals, 1 assist and is a -3. But he did put up 41 points in 43 games played in the AHL this year, so he is a promising forward.

How much does he cost? $825, 000 and he's an RFA this year.

What will he bring? Born February 26, 1986 in Riga, USSR (now Latvia). He's 5' 10" and 198 Pounds. He's a right wing forward.

How did he get here? Came to Tampa with Matt Lashoff in the trade for Mark Recchi.

Interesting Facts?

You spell his name like: Mārtiņš
-He gets points for having not 1, not 2, but 3 accents!
He's not much more interesting than that.

Really I tried.

Besides the face that both of his names are plural.

He probably got made fun of a lot for that growing up.
Much like having two first names, especially when they sounds like girl first names, ie. Jody Shelley of the SJ Sharks. So it could have been worse Martins.
Possible Nicknames?
1. The possum - His name kinda sounds like a possum

Feel free to add more nicknames in the comments. I feel like there should be more, but it may take tonights game and a couple of beers to help contribute.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Meet The New Guy: Noah Welch

Inspired by the KB's amusing series of better known as a newbie, I thought we should take a look at the new guy that we've traded for.

Today's New Guy: Noah Welch #7

The Beginning
: Was drafted #54th overall (2nd round) by the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2001 Entry Draft. Before being drafted he played 4 years in the NCAA for Harvard University, where he was the captain. After being drafted he spent some time playing for the baby Pens in Wilkes-Barre Scranton before being called up to the Pens. He was then traded to the Florida Panthers during the 2006-2007 season for Gary Roberts, where he again split time between the Panthers and their AHL affiliate. He had two goals during his 29 games with the Panthers.

How much does he cost? $ 750, 000 and he's an RFA this year.

What will he bring? Born August 26, 1982 in Brighton MA, which makes him youngish. He's 6'4" and weighs 212, which means he'll bring some size to our blue line. He's also a left hand shot.

He's had 4 goals during his 56 games in the NHL. At the age of 26 that's not a lot, but he has been sidelined with a shoulder injury for what seems like 2 years.

Interesting Facts?
-He will donate his brain to concussion research to Boston U after he dies.
Well if hockey doesn't work out, at least he'll be remembered for something

-He majored in government at Harvard, and graduated leading Harvard's all time leader in penalty minutes.
So he can take you out on a date and talk about the government! Thrilling..

-In his NHL debut with the Pens he scored two goals. One, he scored on his own net, then he scored against the Montreal Canadiens.
Probably not the best thing to do in your NHL debut...

Possible Nicknames?
1. Juice
1. Grapes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Trade Deadline Lightning Style

What was the trade deadline for the Lightning today?

Two words: A joke.

Seriously, OK Hockey seems to be turning the Lightning into more of a circus. Or maybe they really don't care about fans. Or winning. Or their money.

So the trades today:
1. Mark Recchi & a 2nd round 2010 draft pick to Boston
- Not unexpected. But we threw in a draft pick with him for Boston to take him.
-Recchi does not find out that he was traded from Lawton, oh no, Len Barrie told him.

What did we get from Boston? Matt Lashoff (D) and Martins Karsums (RW)
*Is Martins Karsums more than one person? Or does someone want to tell him that both of his names are plural?

Lawton thinks both players are NHL ready, well Boston didn't think to play them enough to be, and I think they are still a little raw.

So far this deal is ok. We weren't going to resign Recchi for another year so I'll consider this deal an ok deal, but giving away draft picks is never a good idea, especially if your farm system sucks. It's too bad Karsums isn't really more than one person.

2. Steve Eminger traded to the Panthers for Noah Welch and a 3rd round draft pick in 2009.
-Noah Welch hasn't played much in the past 2 seasons because of a shoulder injury!!!
-Eminger has been one of the better of our defencmen. Why are we trading him AWAY?
-Did we just go from Boyle > Matt Carle + Ty Wishart > Eminger + Steve Downie > Noah Welch + 3rd round pick? Seriously?

After this trade I was convinced Lawton has been drinking too much of the Koules-Aid.

3. Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers and a 4th round draft pick to Toronto for Richard Petiot.
Who??? Well we just sent 3 injured guys and a draft pick for a guy who has played the last 3 years in the AHL.
That's right.

So this trade is not so much for a good player, more for a way for Lawton to dump a bunch of salary. Much like putting Roberts on the waiver wire (and not getting picked up), Burkie is eating up salary for the Lightning in Toronto. He's doing this all for the 4th round draft pick.

What does our defense look like now?
Lukas Krajicek, Cory Murphy, Josef Melichar, Matt Smaby, David Koci and Noah Welch.


Our defense doesn't have top 4 defencemen. And is Noah Welch even playing NHL hockey? Has he seriously been healthy scratched 26 times this season? Was it my imagination or did we have Boyle only a year ago? This management in a circus.

Now, I'm not saying I don't understand why management traded away a 30 minute a night defencemen named Eminger away for an RFA named juice, but it's hard to take as a fan. True, because Eminger is playing so many minutes, and has already 1.5 million dollars already thrown at him, and he's an RFA with a contract up this summer, and they have no money, and he's not a top 4 defencemen....well I see the bigger picture. But these next 18 games will be painful. And he plays 30 minutes a game!

But if someone could tell me why we traded for Eminger in the first place, it would be nice. I would like Boyle back. I'd like to take O'Brien back as well seeing as how well he's playing for Vancouver these days.

I read somewhere that all of these salary dumping is to get the Bolts under the cap for revenue sharing, but I can't find a good source for it. Whatever the case is, we know that Lawton isn't the one actually making these decisions.

Clearly "Management" ahem ahem, certain player turned owners, must think this a joke. It makes the team look like a joke. Can we even tank enough games to get a good draft pick? Does management realize that giving your fanbase a crappy team will not make fans want to pay to see the team, even it it's only for $5.69? (My thoughts on that will take up a whole other post).

In the end, the Lightning was a disappointment in the trades today.
Our defence sucks even more.
I hope Barrie enjoyed the night of entertaining his friends in Vancouver during his game that night, and taking them all out to his post-game party at his restaurant... if he keeps doing what he's doing to the team, he'll not only loose the fan base, but also money faster than you can say Phoenix Coyotes.

Mark Recchi in the Dark

Quick Note:
-On TSN this morning, Mark Recchi gave a phone interview with James Duthie. He says he has been kept out of the dark on the possible trades for him today. He said that when he was being traded from Carolina in 2006 that Craig Patrick kept him informed along every step. The non communicado doesn't sound like it impresses him.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gary Roberts on waivers...

TSN is reports that Gary Roberts has been put on waivers, see the link for details:

-Satan has also been put on waivers clearing cap space for a move for the Pens.
-Crosby is not playing tonight
-Some Pens fans on The Pensblog are hoping that Shero picks up Roberts for the team

Obviously Lawton couldn't move Roberts in a trade, this kinda surprises me since he seems like a player that other teams might was to pick up. But perhaps sending through waivers will help him salary dump for the last 18 games. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Recchi sat out the game tonight, which pretty much confirms he'll be traded tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

1 Day, 7 Hours to Trade Deadline

So before all of the craziness begins of trade deadline day... A little look at the 19 games ahead...

The bolts have almost finished their last game against the Western Conference, they just have St. Louis left on Friday.

I'm looking forward to the game against the Pens tomorrow night. The last time they met the game was nuts. This is the first game this year that the Lightning host the Pens in Tampa. This game means a lot to the Pens, they are currently in the 8th playoff spot ahead of Buffalo and Carolina by only one point. I think we should also see Crosby back in the lineup.

The last time these two teams met, the Lightning blew a 3 goal lead going into the 3rd period, and yes I know blowing a lead is nothing new this season, but the game ended up in overtime with Malkin ending it. That was a hard loss to take because they played so well in the 1st and 2nd. This should be a good rematch.

Thoughts on the Trade Deadline:
There are 3 guys that I just don't see making it through to the Blues game
1. Gary Roberts
Being a UFA at the end of the season, he could be worth a draft pick or young player for his services. I'm not hoping for more since he is 42, but Calgary is rumored to have some interest with his return to the Flames.
2. Mark Recchi
Another in the over 40 club, also another UFA after the season. Whether teams will want him given his age is questionable, so maybe a pick?

The other two names being thrown about on Puck Daddy is Halpern and St. Louis. I can't see the Lightning trading away St. Louis mostly because he's signed through 2011/1 and cheap. His locker room presence and no trade clause also helps his case. The other one is Halpern, and for him it will depend on the offer because again, he's cheap.

I'm hoping for picks and young players for the team. As demonstrated by watching our team crumble after the circus during the summer, and seeing a young Kings team still be in the playoff race in the West, I think we have to give up the old guys if there's a trade available.

Should be a good game tomorrow. Go Bolts Go!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tampa Bay 8 - Calgary 6

This is not a joke.

The Lightning lit up Calgary 8 to 6.

The Flamers tried to throw a party for Iginla, and ended up getting burned. I don't have a good recap of the game as I was not able to get a feed to watch this game. Instead I'm listening now to the Fan 960 trying to explain what exactly happened in Calgary tonight. They were stunned by this game, just stunned.

The first period from the highlights that I saw was pretty tame. Artyukhin starts off the scoring, then Iginla answers back on the PP.

The second period is where it got interesting. There was 7 goals in the 2nd period. Goals from St. Louis, Lecavalier, Stamkos and Prospal, with goals coming against from Conroy, Cammalleri and Lundmark. This was ridiculous. I cannot believe I missed this.

The third period was no different. Goals from Malone, Lecavalier and an empty netter from St. Louis. Iginla and Bertuzzi try to answer back in the 3rd, but it made no difference.

The fan960 is saying "I can't believe Iginla had 5 points tonight and we lost". Calgary also blew a 2 goal lead. They are chocking it up to an odd ball game.

Kipper was awful. He was pulled, and McElhinney, who has played what 5 games this year? But it made no difference. The flames are trying to forget about this game.

Other thoughts on tonights game:
-Mistake the starting goalie, McKenna played tonight.

-The defensive play was down again on this game. Back up to letting on 39 night shots on goal.

-3 PP goals, then again 3 goals let in on the PK

-Stamkos notched goal number 13

-Must have felt good for Tocchet to get a win against his former coach Iron Mike Keenan

Tampa in C-Town

Tampa is in Calgary tonight against the Flames.

The Flamers have been on a 5 game win streak. And Iggy is 1 point away from matching the Theo Fleury's club record for the Flames of 830 points. AND Mike Cammalleri has 32 goals.


As someone who has had to watch a lot of the Flames, they will be even harder to beat since Iginla is trying to break a record. You'll see the Flames make their best effort to help their captain tie, then beat Fleury's record. Count on it.

The last 4 games that the bolts have played against the Flames, since we beat them in 7 games for the 2004 Stanley Cup, have ended up being split between the two teams. But obviously this year, the Flames are the Northwest Division leaders and we are out of the playoff race.

I don't have a lot of hope here for the boys. But I hope that they put up a good effort like we saw on Friday against the Canucks. Though if Kipp has an off night, anything can happen.

-On a positive note, the defensive play has gotten hugely better when we compare the Edmonton game to the Vancouver game. They brought down the shots on goal from 45 to 25.

-Ramo is expected to make his 4th consecutive start in goal

-I'm more optimistic about the next 3 game homestand, starting with the Pens on Tuesday, followed by the Blues and the Canes.

-Will Gary Roberts end up in Calgary at trade deadline day?