It's been a long while since I did one of these:
You have no idea how hard it is for me to compliment a division rival but the Hurricanes, but they are due a lot of respect for what they've accomplished in winning the Stanley Cup tonight. In many ways their season and their run to the Cup was very similar to the Lightning's two years ago. So, congratulations Carolina and in particular Cory Stillman, whom I respect as a hockey player more than 99% of the players in this league. And condolences to Edmonton, who for the past ten or so years has been a gritty heart and soul franchise that has been nothing but a credit to this league.
All that said, next season the Lightning need to take their trophy back.
I personally have a varying opinion about John Grahame than the average Lightning fan. Most fans want someone new between the pipes, I don't.
Most fans will compalain that because of him the team faltered. I disagree with that. I'll admitt that he wasn't as consistent as he should have been. However, this was his first year being the number one guy.
The first year isn't always as easy as Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundqvist would make people believe. Also keep in mind that there was the lockout last year. To go from backup, to starter with a year off in between, that isn't an easy job. Please also remember the rule changes, before he was just a guy being given a shot at a job he knew, now he's a guy given a shot at a job he doesnt know very well.
Tonight brings the final installment of our 2006 Entry Draft Preview for the June 24th draft in Vancouver. To date we've chronicled 14 players who might be of interest to the Lightning on draft day and tonight we will add two more potential prospects from the Czech Republic to bring the total to 16 players.
D Nigel Williams of the USNTDP from the NHL Combine.