Unlucky Connolly keeps Lightning from clinching a winning record for the season.
Dwayne Roloson allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the overtime loss. Deserved better, perhaps.
TB St. Louis (25), (Lee, Malone), 5:49
TOR Connolly (13), (Gardiner, Steckel), 6:32
TB Stamkos (59), (Gervais, St. Louis), 8:48
TOR Gardiner (7), (unassisted), 17:05
TOR Phaneuf (11), (Kessel), 4:01
Steven Stamkos was named the game's third star. He'll get one crack to get the one goal he needs to get to 60.
Congratulations to Martin St. Louis for his 9th straight 25 goal season. That's amazing consistency from a small player who played the bulk of his career in the clutch and grab era.
In case I haven't mentioned it, I loves me some Brian Lee. 3 shots, 5 hits, and he set up Marty's goal. Steve Yzerman robbed Ottawa blind in that deal. Not saying Gilroy's a bum, but Lee is a potential stud 2-way blueliner in this league, and I'm still stunned why the Sens gave up on him. The only thing I can think is that he never blew up offensively to the degree they thought he would. Still, to give up that skating ability and that willingness to step up and deliver a hit for a player as inconsistent as Gilroy? C'mon, man.
Brett Connolly will look back on his rookie season one day and laugh. It's been a hard one, and tonight's own-goal put the punctuation on that. He's immensely talented and creative, though. There are better days ahead.
Keith Aulie had 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:50 against his old club. Good for him breaking the 15 minute barrier in IT.
J.T. Brown was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 15:11. It'd be nice to see him hit the scoresheet in the finale.
J.T. Wyman had 5 shots and 1 hit in 10:52. The coaches love him. He'll enter next season a slight favorite for a spot in Tampa Bay, I surmise.
Seems like the Lightning may have let all the air out at the home finale.
Sebastien Caron allowed 5 goals on 25 shots for the loss. Not a good effort for a guy looking for an NHL gig next season.
MTL Emelin (3), (Desharnais, Budaj), 2:11
TB Lecavalier (22), (unassisted), 7:26
MTL Cole (33), (Desharnais, Pacioretty), 1:42
MTL Cole (34), (Plekanec, Markov)(PP), 14:34
TB Gervais (6), (Wallace, Hedman), 3:42
MTL Pacioretty (31), (Gorges, Plekanec), 5:58
MTL Pacioretty (32), (Subban), 14:57
It makes me ill to see David Desharnais do so well and to know we had him in camp and the only thing we were willing to offer him at the time was a 3-way deal in the Coast. Painful. It was obvious years ago he had this in him.
Vincent Lecavalier has scored 373 goals in his NHL career, and probably none were easier than that gift from Budaj. That was pitiful.
Keith Aulie was -1 with 1 hit in 11:10.
J.T. Brown was +1 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 14:56.
J.T. Wyman was +1 with 2 hits in 9:52.
"To the last, I will grapple with thee... from Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"
Dwayne Roloson allowed 2 goals on 33 shots for the victory.
WSH Semin (20), (Perrault), 12:47
TB Purcell (21), (Stamkos, St. Louis)(PP), 17:20
TB Hedman (5), (Thompson, Pyatt), 17:45
WSH Chimera (20), (Semin), 16:43
TB Stamkos (57), (Clark, Lee), 18:57
TB Stamkos (58), (Thompson, Brewer)(EN), 19:59
I loathe the Caps. I loathe their fans. I loathe their players. I loathe the Ovechtrick. I loathe the lack of respect they have for their own talents. I loathe their lack of respect for the game they play. I even loathe their lack of respect for their own coaches. I hate missing the playoffs, but if we have to, sticking a harpoon in the Caps' playoff hopes is a decent consolation prize. Loved burying them in the playoffs last season. Love putting them in jeopardy of missing the playoffs this year.
Keith Aulie was -2 with 4 hits in 12:11. And, old Aulie returneth.
J.T. Brown had 5 shots and 1 blocked shot in 11:45. That move. In the third period. You know the one I'm talking about. The spin-o-rama from behind the cage for the stuff attempt in front. That's something you try in a summer roller hockey league. Few players have the creativity or the guts to try that in a pro game. Have mercy. Gotta get at least 15 pounds of muscle on this young man, but he has the talent.
J.T. Wyman (pictured, but not really) was +1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 15:27.
Impressive debuts and #91 with a hammer.
Sebastien Caron made his first start in a Lightning jersey and was excellent stopping 26 of 28 for the victory. Let him play out the season and earn himself an NHL contract somewhere for next season, I say.
TB Malone (19), (unassisted), 15:37
WPG Miettinen (5), (Kane, Stuart), 6:20
WPG Wellwood (18), (Byfuglien, Stapleton), 9:28
TB Malone (20), (Purcell, Hedman)(PP), 7:25
TB Stamkos (56), (Lee), 0:45
Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos were the game's first and third stars. Congratulations to Ryan Malone, who raced from 15 to 20 goals in the hockey equivalent of a blink of an eye this week. It'd be fun to see what Malone could do if he could stay healthy for an entire season. Stamkos, for his part, sets a new NHL record with 5 overtime game winning goals in a season, as he continues his push to get to 60 goals. Pretty cool.
What I really enjoyed about this game was the way the young players received opportunities and showed something. Brett Connolly looked good, Victor Hedman kept up his points streak and got in a little scrap, and I'll write about J.T. Brown in a bit. Even Keith Aulie had a pretty positive game, in my mind, and it seemed like Brendan Mikkelson got to play a ton, too. Oh, and Brian Lee was damned impressive with 6 hits tonight. You're seeing a lot of good young pieces playing well in both Tampa Bay and in Norfolk, and you've got the best young player in the game in Steven Stamkos. Mix in another lottery pick, and this season's going to seem like a minor pothole in the grand scheme of things. My only regret is that, in beating Winnipeg, the team may have lost an opportunity to get into the top 5-6 picks of this draft. Some scouting organizations judge this a 5 player draft, as far as impact players go. I judge it a 5+1 or 2, right now, especially given the situation with Sarnia's Alex Galchenyuk losing so much time to injury this year, a la Connolly in his draft year. And I still want that little, mean-spirited Dan Boyle clone from Red Deer. The Lightning would be picking 9th now, pending the outcome of the lottery drawing, based on my quick look at the standings. Maybe they can get the ping pong balls to bounce their way and still move up 4 spots into the top-5.
Aulie had 1 shot and 3 hits in 13:37. He was good tonight. I know, I was surprised, too. He was physical. He had some interesting little offensive zone forays. He wasn't a pylon. That was more like it. And, you can now tell your children where you were when Keith Aulie finally broke the 13 minute barrier in a game that wasn't completely out of hand.
J.T. Wyman had 4 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 7:26. Old J.T. overshadowed by new J.T.
J.T. Brown had 2 shots in 13:33 in his NHL debut. Color me impressed. He's a very, very good skater and he showed some decent early chemistry with both Vincent Lecavalier and Brett Connolly, and those are two players that aren't the easiest to read off of because they're both creative stickhandlers. He looked pretty responsible defensively in terms of his positioning, too. You can tell he was well coached at Minnesota-Duluth. I don't know if he can be as physically active at 170 pounds in the NHL as he was in college, but I'm looking forward to him getting on the Steven Stamkos training regime this offseason and seeing him add that element into his game next year, because his college film will remind you of Jeremy Roenick, at times. That was a quality signing.
Hard to waste a hat trick.
TB Malone (16), (Stamkos, Hedman), 19:16
NJ Zubrus (17), (Elias)(SH), 3:07
TB Malone (17), (Brewer), 4:40
NJ Josefson (2), (Carter, Clarkson), 6:54
TB Malone (18), (Hedman), 10:13
NJ Kovalchuk (33), (Henrique, Parise), 13:26
NJ Zidlicky (2), (Kovalchuk, Elias)(PP), 14:37
NJ Ponikarovsky (13), (Salvador), 2:25
NJ Clarkson (29), (Ponikarovsky, Henrique), 6:05
TB Smith (2), (Wallace, Aulie), 19:51
Ryan Malone was the game's second star. Good for him to give himself a fighting chance to get to 20 goals by the season's end.
It's good to have Vincent Lecavalier back.
As of this minute, the Lightning would pick 9th, but they're in a 4-way tie with Anaheim, the Islanders, and Carolina at 77 points. So, they could easily be in 6th position soon, and they're just 2 points ahead of Toronto, which would pick 5th. There's a certain defenseman from Red Deer I think is going 4th or 5th, at the latest, in this draft. So, while losing stinks, it might be for a good purpose.
Keith Aulie had a helper and 2 hits in 11:58.
Trevor Smith had a goal, 1 shot, and 2 hits in 16:01.
J.T. Wyman had 2 hits in 16:56. Smith and Wyman are legitimate contenders, along with about a half dozen other forwards, for a spare number of spots on the Lightning in camp next season, in my opinion. We'll see another contender, J.T. Brown, make his debut this weekend.