Blogs

Evaluating Tampa

[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The Tampa Bay Lightning finished 43-33-6 this season with 92 points, eighth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Southeast Division. In 2003-2004, prior to the lockout, the club finished with 3 more wins but 14 more points in the standings. The Lightning's goal production this year actually improved by 7 goals, but their defense declined by a shocking 68 goals (that is not a typo) and the team actually scored 8 less goals than it allowed this season. The most important number though is 15, as in the 15 less playoff games the team won this season after being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs 4 games to 1 by the Ottawa Senators.

Evaluating Johnstown

[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The Johnstown Chiefs finished 30-26-16 with 76 points in 4th place in the American Conference North Division. After sweeping their playoff play-in round against 5th place Trenton 2-0 they were swept by Toledo in the first round of the playoffs 3-0. The year was a marked improvement over the 2004-2005 season when the Chiefs finished 7th in the North Division, out of the playoffs, with a 22-36-14 record and 58 points. The Chiefs offensive production improved this season by 32 goals while their defense relented 15 less goals.

Evaluating Springfield

[b]The Bottom Line[/b] The 2005-2006 Springfield Falcons finished with a 28-48-4-3 record for 65 points, which placed the team 6th in the Atlantic Division and 12th of 13 teams in the Eastern Conference a full 20 points out of a playoff spot. The season was a modest 8 point improvement over last year's team which finished 24-47-3-6 with 57 points. At year's end Head Coach Dirk Graham and Assistant Coach Phil Russell were dismissed from the team.

E-Mail for a Thrashers Homer

To: holly.gunning@hockeysfuture.com From: Pete Choquette and the Bolt Prospects.com Staff Subject: Nice Choke Holly, It's hard to believe the Thrashers, with the might of former HF Top-50 Prospect Garnett Exelby and his obvious greatness in the lineup, could choke so hard when the chips were down. Don't worry, there's always the lottery to look forward to determine when the Thrashers will select the next prospect you'll grossly overrate. Of course, on that day, some of the Lightning's prospects (you know, the ones you regularly abuse your position to take a crap on) will still be playing hockey in the playoffs, not that anyone associated with "Blue Land" (they certainly "blue" tonight didn't they?) would know anything about playoffs. Hugs and kisses from your pals, The Bolt Prospects.com Staff

Will the Lightning Attempt to Sign Smaby for the Playoffs?

Here's an interesting question for you Bolt Prospecteers to try and answer that was asked to me by our web guru Tim: North Dakota's season, one way or another, will be over by late Saturday night. Hopefully, on that night, Smaby and his Fighting Sioux will be playing in the national championship game against the winner of Wisconsin and Maine. When it's over, will the Lightning attempt to sign Smaby as their #7 or #8 defenseman going into the playoffs? Considering the meager ice time Timo Helbling and Doug O'Brien have gotten with the Lightning's recent injuries, I wouldn't be surprised if they do.
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