Lightning Strikes (Cristodero)
Actually, the better question is why wouldn’t he be? “Anyone player who tells you they’re not superstitious is probably lying,” he said.
Asked to give some examples of his superstitions, Stamkos mentioned:
* Putting the left …
Lightning rookie Alex Killorn talks about his first NHL goal after a 6-5 overtime victory over the Panthers on Feb. 16.??
View images of the Lightning's loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ryan Malone might be out three to four weeks with an undisclosed lower-body injury, meaning he could miss as many as 14 games, coach Guy Boucher said. Previously, the team said Malone, who was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Sunday, was day-to-day.
"It's going to be tough missing him," Boucher said. "Other guys will have to step up. We've had a young kid we've been meaning to bring up and now we have the opportunity to do so."
Boucher was referring to Richard Panik (pronounced PAH-nik), who had 21 goals, 35 points in 43 games for AHL Syracuse.
"A huge opportunity for me," said Panik, who turned 22 on Feb. 7.
But the immediate concern was for Malone. The injury occurred Sunday before the game with the Rangers as players were going through their usual pregame soccer kick-around. Malone said the pregame "activation" aggravated something that had been lingering. Perhaps, but the bottom line is Malone was hurt "trying to kick a soccer ball."
"It was just kind of a weird instance," Malone said. "It's disappointing. Obviously, you'd rather be hurt when you're out there playing, but it could be worse."
Malone, who in four previous seasons with Tampa Bay has never played a full schedule and the last three seasons has played 69, 54 and 60 games, said he could be back as quickly as 10 days.
"Nothing to serious," he said. "It will be all right. Hope for the best."
"I feel bad for him," Boucher said. "In a short season like now, one month, that's a lot. I can't wait for him to get back, and when we do we'll be a better team. In the meantime, it's an opportunity for some guys to step up, and not just the younger guys but other guys that are on the team who have the opportunity to show what they've got."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Anders Lindback gets the start in net tonight against the Canadiens. Lindback is 5-3-0 in nine games with a 2.96 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. But in his past three games (two starts) he has a 3.24 goals-against average and .875 save percentage. ... No word yet on scratches but defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron and right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie were off the ice last. ... Panik, who will wear No. 71, said his parents and girlfriend are making the 17-hour trip from Slovakia to see him play. They are expected to land at 7 p.m. ... Boucher said the biggest difference in Panik from last season (he had 19 goals in 64 games for AHL Norfolk) is his consistency. Panik, 6 feet, 1, 208 pounds, agreed and said it was simply a matter of better mental preparation. "Just be ready for every game," he said. Added Boucher: "A big guy, tremendous speed, puck protection. he forces himself in, a solid hockey player." ... The plan for Alex Killorn heading into Sunday's game with the Rangers was to start him on the third line and then see what would be. Killorn played so well in his first NHL game, picking up an assist in 13:17 of ice time, he ended up on a line with center Vinny Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell and getting power play time. "He deserved it," Boucher said. "It's not a question of age or experience, it's really how ready these guys are. If they're ready, let's go." ... After a sizzling start in which he had five goals and 12 points in seven games, left wing Cory Conacher has zero points in four games (though he still leads all rookies in points and assists). "I just have to understand goals are going to be a lot harder to come by," he said. "It's starting to become playoff hockey and that's just how it is. I was getting those bounces earlier in the season, everybody was, and that's why those goals were going in and now they're not. You have to continue to go to those dirty areas. A lot of those goals are scored within a couple of feet from the net, so it's going to be important for me to keep driving to the net."
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ryan Malone, injured prior to Sunday’s game with the Rangers while participating in the team’s usual pregame soccer ball kick-around, was placed on injured reserve with an unspecified lower-body injury. Malone is unavailable to the team for a minimum of seven days and will miss at least three games. Richard Panik, with 21 goals, 35 points in 43 games for AHL Syracuse, was called up to Tampa Bay and could be in the lineup for Tuesday's game with the Canadiens.
Saturday’s game between the Lightning and Bruins at TD Garden, which was postponed because of a massive storm that dumped 25 inches of snow on Boston, has been rescheduled for April 25, the league announced. The game will be the second-to-last of the season for Tampa Bay and the second of a back-to-back that includes the Maple Leafs in Tampa on April 24.
The storm that dumped about 25 inches of snow on Boston Friday night into Saturday morning forced the postponement of Saturday night's game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bruins at TD Garden. The league said the game will be rescheduled.
"Although both clubs and the assigned on-ice officials are in Boston, travel conditions remain too hazardous for fans, security personnel and TD Garden staff to get to the arena," the NHL said in a release.
With Boston's Logan Airport still closed, the Lightning will bus Saturday afternoon to New York for Sunday night's game with the Rangers.
Saturday's game already had been switched from a 1 p.m. start to 7 p.m. And while the snow has stopped, and the sun has even peaked out occasionally, a travel ban remains in effect until 4 p.m. and certainly not all roads have been cleared.
Interestingly, the Lightning Saturday morning made it by bus from the team hotel to the arena (while the snow was still falling and the wind was still howling) for a morning skate. The bus only got stuck once, though driver Jason Stirk, 29, of Boston, did a fine job maneuvering the snowy streets with help, for the second half of the trip, from a police escort.
"I like the hotel," coach Guy Boucher said, "but when you're enclosed like that, everybody is breathing the same air, so to see some hockey, feel some hockey, guys wanted to get on (the ice)."
From the Lightning:
NHL, BOSTON BRUINS ANNOUNCE TIME CHANGE FOR SATURDAY’S BRUINS, LIGHTNING GAME
BOSTON, MA – The National Hockey League and the Boston Bruins have announced that the start time for the Bruins/Lightning game on Saturday, February 9 has been moved to 7 p.m. at the TD Garden due to the weather.
The game was originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 at the TD Garden.
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos scored a goal on his 22nd birthday last year, though the team lost 3-1 to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Kings. Stamkos said he wouldn't mind a "big win" over the Devils tonight, on his 23rd birthday, no matter if he scores or not.
Stamkos' 186 goals are the most any active player had when turning 23. They also are fourth all-time behind Wayne Gretzky (329), Dale Hawerchuk (220) and Mario Lemieux (215).
"It's pretty surreal when you think about it," Stamkos said. "It's something that you work hard towards. It's not something that you set as a goal but it's an accomplishment to be up with guys like that. It just goes to show the quality of teammates and coaching staff I've played with and the opportunities I've got. At the end of the day I want t continue getting better and scoring more goals and helping this team win."
We've talked before about how Stamkos, just with time, has grown bigger and stronger and how his summer workouts with trainer Gary Roberts have helped Stamkos take better advantage of his skills. But with age also comes wisdom.
"It's not necessarily the older the wise, it's more experienced," Stamkos said. "You could be young and go through situations where you can gain that knowledge. For sure, i buy into the experience thing. If I knew what I know now the last time we were in the playoffs (2010-11), it's a different story. I'm definitely maturing as a person and a player, picking up different things every day I play. It's going to be an ongoing process until you are done playing."
Asked for a specific example of how experience has helped his game, Stamkos said, "My mind-set coming into games compared to the first 40 games of my rookie season is night and day, the confidence level, what you expect of yourself, what your teammates expect of you, knowing your opponents now. I've been in this league, this is my fifth year. You understand what type of team you're playing against, what type of player you're playing against their type of tendencies. Those are the things you pick up. That's why veteran players are usually successful, they're able to pick up those things as they go through their careers. That's something I'm starting to do now."
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Anders Lindback gets the start in net. ... Sounds as if right wing B.J. Crombeen will be out of the lineup tonight, but coach Guy Boucher says it is only a precaution after Crombeen had to leave Tuesday's game after a fight with the Flyers' Zac Rinaldo. Crombeen took several hard blows to the head (including at least one when he was on his knees in a defenseless position). Crombeen and Boucher said the player has not shown any concussion symptoms. But with the hyper-sensitive atmosphere right now when it comes to head injuries, it seems to make sense to hold out Crombeen, who did not skate this morning. "It's touchy," Boucher said. "It's a lot more touchy than it used to be. I remember when I was playing, you got knocked out and you didn't know what was going on but if you could say what your name was you were back in after 10 seconds. It's changed quite a bit and it changed for the better that we're more careful." Crombeen skated Wednesday and rode the bike Tuesday and today without effects, he said. "It's tough," he added. "Every ounce of me wants to be out there with the boys and the team but you understand the rationale behind it and it's definitely not going to hurt to get some rest." As for Crombeen being more aware of head injuries given the recent publicity, especially coming out of the NFL, he said, "You play hockey and you play the way I play, obviously, you know the risks that come along with it. It's kind of what you signed up for. So, you do the best to protect yourself and make sure those kinds of things don't happen. There's a chance something can happen to you walking down the street, but it's obviously heightened playing hockey and playing at this level. You just try to be aware of it and conscious of it." ... Nothing official but appears that defenseman Brian Lee and right wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie also will be scratched as they were on the ice late. If so, that means Boucher will play with 11 forwards and seven defenseman. It also would mean defenseman Brendan Mikkelson gets in his second game of the season and first since Jan. 22 against the Hurricanes, and defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron gets in his third game of the season. ... Rookie left wing Cory Conacher got an official letter from the Lightning telling him he can look for permanent housing in the Tampa Bay area. The team had put Conacher up at a hotel during his first few games in the league. And while nobody expected Tampa Bay to send Conacher back to the minors, getting the letter was a relief. "It's a Christmas gift for me," he said. "It's such a dream come true for a young kid like myself." ... The Lightning's three one-goal losses in regulation are as many as the team had all last season.
Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos turned 23 today. His 186 goals are more than any active player had when turning that age and fourth all-time. Asked if he had any birthday plans, he said, "A win would be nice." Here are the lists, provided by the Elias Sports Bureau, of the top goal scorers, active and all-time, at 23 years old.
Steven Stamkos 186
Sidney Crosby 183
Alex Ovechkin 163
Ilya Kovalchuk 160
Jaromir Jagr 138
Wayne Gretzky 329
Dale Hawerchuk 220
Mario Lemieux 215
Steven Stamkos 186