Connolly, Brett

NHL Game Night: 11-19-11 Devils at Lightning

Three goals down entering a third period is pretty much a death sentence in pro hockey.

NJ-4
TB-2

Dwayne Roloson allowed 4 goals on 24 shots for the loss, including a critical gaffe late in the game.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NJ Zubrus (5), (Carter), 1:09
NJ Elias (8), (Clarkson, Larsson)(PP), 6:05
NJ Clarkson (7), (Henrique, Kovalchuk)(PP), 17:44

Third Period
TB St. Louis (5), (Shannon, Kubina), 8:24
TB Shannon (1), (Downie, Brewer), 9:54
NJ Carter (2), (unassisted), 17:57

Ryan Shannon was the game's third star.

The game was essentially won/lost on special teams, and the back breaker was Clarkson's goal. You have to at least stay within 2 goals going into the third period to give yourself a chance at the pro level. Once you fall down by 3 or more, 99% of the time you're done for, no matter how valiant the comeback attempt.

Sad to see the third jerseys take a blemish on their record.

Brett Connolly had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 12:38.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-17-11 Penguins at Lightning

Clinical, workmanlike victory.

PIT-1
TB-4

Dwayne Roloson allowed 1 goal on 34 shots for the win. As badly unfocused as he was in Winnipeg, he was equally outstanding tonight. Very sharp. Moved very well. Probably should have had a shutout except for the sloppy, penalty-filled, choppy ending to the game.

First Period
TB Lecavalier (7), (unassisted), 8:38

Second Period
TB Connolly (4), (Moore, Bergeron)(PP), 4:08

Third Period
TB Downie (2), (Brewer, Stamkos)(PP), 2:04
TB Lecavalier (8), (unassisted)(EN), 15:49
PIT Kennedy (2), (Martin, Staal), 16:49

Roloson, Victor Hedman, and Vincent Lecavalier were the game's three stars.

34-18 still isn't a good shot disparity for the Lightning, and they definitely were outplayed in the first period, but this team gets the timely goal and save at home, and they've gotten the exact opposite on the road. It's a mystery as to why that is.

Brett Connolly had another goal and was -1 with 1 shot in 6:08. He was dropped to the fourth line to start the game and played sparingly, but was obviously effective in a smattering of power play shifts.

Blair Jones played 4:25. That's over $1,200 a minute for his night's work. I want Blair Jones' hourly rate, please. I'm sure the assistants run him through the gauntlet as a bubble guy when he's a scratch, and he's logged a lot of miles on buses with Springfield and Norfolk to get here, but still, it's nice work if you can get it.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-14-11 Lightning at Jets

Rock bottom?

TB-2
WPG-5

Dwayne Roloson allowed 4 goals on 22 shots for the loss before giving way to Mathieu Garon, who allowed 1 on 17 shots. Roloson got sidetracked with doing a little acting trying to embellish contact around his crease, which he is wont to do, and lost focus, in my opinion. At the point this team is at, extracurriculars like that can't be put before fundamentals. Can't be.

First Period
WPG Kane (6), (Byfuglien, Burmistrov), 4:51
WPG Byfuglien (3), (Kane), 13:02

Second Period
WPG Flood (3), (Stapleton, Little)(PP), 7:49
TB St. Louis (4), (Stamkos, Lecavalier), 10:47
WPG Ladd (5), (Oduya, Stapleton), 12:14

Third Period
WPG Stapleton (2), (Glass), 10:04
TB Stamkos (11), (Gilroy), 10:26

Steven Stamkos was second star. Small solace.

That's a team that the Lightning haven't lost to in 2 years. 12 straight games. And they got rolled. Now you're hearing accusations that there are passengers on the team, people are questioning the goaltender, and Boucher just can't seem to get any of his mind tricks to work. At some point, when coaching fails, the GM has to make a move on the roster, and if there are passengers, there need to be consequences. No one is entitled to dress and play in the NHL or pull an NHL game check. These last 2 games have been utterly embarrassing after the triumph of the Flyers win.

Brett Connolly was -2 with 2 shots in 14:43.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-12-11 Lightning at Blues

Simultaneously frustrating and embarrassing.

TB-0
STL-3

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 24 shots for the loss.

First Period
STL Russell (3), (Grachev, Polak), 18:51

Second Period
STL Shattenkirk (2), (Steen, Langenbrunner), 19:54

Third Period
STL Oshie (5), (Backes)(SH), 6:26

Yuck. The Lightning only managed 18 shots on goal because they didn't have the puck all game long. There was no forecheck and no flow. The passing was off. They had no jump. That was really hard to watch. They just got whipped tonight. That was textbook.

Brett Connolly was -1 with 3 shots in 12:50.

Blair Jones was -1 with 2 hits in 6:46. We've always been big boosters of Blair on this site, but at some point he needs to be a little more than just a plumber. He's got something to give offensively, but it hasn't shown in the past few games. At all.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11-6-11 Lightning at Panthers

Can you imagine how good this team would be if they'd play 60 minutes?

TB-4
FLA-3 (SO)

Mathieu Garon allowed 3 goals on 12 shots before being lifted for Dwayne Roloson. Roloson bailed him out stopping all 28 shots he faced and all 4 shooters in the penalty shot session for the shootout win.

First Period
FLA Campbell (1), (Versteeg, Fleischmann)(PP), 1:49
FLA Kopecky (2), (Skille, Weaver), 13:05
FLA Santorelli (1), (Kulikov), 15:21

Second Period
TB Malone (4), (Stamkos, Brewer)(PP), 16:20
TB Stamkos (10), (Gilroy, St. Louis), 17:46

Third Period
TB Purcell (5), (Downie, Brewer), 8:11

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
TB- Moore
FLA- NONE

Roloson, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell were the game's three stars.

My three stars would've included Steve Downie, who had the tying goal Kontos'ed from him by Teddy Purcell, and Matt Gilroy, who swooped into the zone late in the second period and then dished the perfect saucer to Stamkos to get the deficit down to 1 goal heading into the final frame.

For those who like to complain about Victor Hedman, I'll refer you to that first period as an example of why you should appreciate the young man. It took 20 minutes for the Lightning to adjust to playing without their bell cow on the backline.

I wish this team would figure out how to play a full 60 minute game. This 30-40 minutes of effort schtick is not going to keep getting them W's. The flat first periods have to stop.

We'll have to see about any potential long-term implications that come from Ryan Malone's injury tonight. The Lightning are off until Wednesday, so I suspect he'll be back, but if not: Carter Ashton?

Brett Connolly had 2 shots and 2 hits in 13:37. He showed really good speed cranking up a 3/4 ice rush that ended up in a wraparound attempt in the third period. It'll be interesting to see that part of his game develop where he carries it more.

Blair Jones had 1 hit in 6:41. He's like an awful cacophony of legs and arms that couldn't avoid hitting you on the forecheck if he tried.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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