Third Period choke.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 21 shots. Really, it was 4 goals on 8 shots in the Third Period. Not good.
SYR Namestnikov, (3) (Wyman, Oberg), 1:39
SYR Johnson, (21) , 19:48
ALB Whitney, (12) (Anderson), 4:03
ALB Parse, (1) (Gelinas, Anderson), 10:32 (PP)
ALB Anderson, (9) (McKelvie, Zajac), 12:01
ALB Sestito, (7) (Sislo, Wiseman), 17:40
SYR Johnson, (22) (Connolly), 19:38
Evan Oberg was the game's third star. Remember Evan Oberg? 5 points in 33 games is almost unthinkable considering how productive and active he was last season.
What an epic melt down. At least the Crunch finally got Tyler Johnson off the side of the milk carton.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Evan Oberg to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. That leaves just goaltenders Anders Lindback and Jaroslav Janus as the team's only remaining unsigned restricted free agents. Recently acquired forward Benoit Pouliot also remains unsigned, but was not qualified by the team and now has unrestricted free agent status. Pouliot is expected to sign with the Lightning amid multiple reports from team and agent indicating that deal would be done.
Oberg, 24, played in three games with the Lightning last season, recording a plus-2 rating. He was acquired by the Lightning with Mike Kostka from the Florida Panthers on December 2 in exchange for James Wright and Mike Vernace. He made his Lightning debut on January 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oberg has skated in seven career NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks and Lightning.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they had extended qualifying offers to five of their eight pending restricted free agents. Defensemen Keith Aulie, Brian Lee, Brendan Mikkelson, and Evan Oberg along with goaltender Jaroslav Janus received the required offers to guarantee the Bolts retain exclusive rights to these players. It is expected that Tampa will come to terms with contract extensions with these five players sometime during the summer.
Recently required goaltender Anders Lindback received a qualifying offer from the Nashville Predators prior to his trade to the Lightning last week.
Defenseman Sebastien Piche and forward Benoit Pouliot were not tendered qualifying offers, and will be unrestricted free agents on July 1. Pouliot was acquired Saturday from the Boston Bruins during the 2012 NHL Draft, and is expected to sign an extension with the Bolts prior to start of the NHL free agency signing period on Sunday. Pouliot has arbitration rights as a pending restricted free agent, and the Lightning's decision not to qualify Pouliot is speculated as a means to circumvent Pouliot electing player arbitration later this summer.
Piche was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in the Kyle Quincey/First Round Pick trade. The Red Wings needed a spot in their 50-man roster and Piche was sent to Tampa Bay. He was one of the leaders for the ECHL Florida Everblades as they won the Kelly Cup. The writing was on the wall for Piche's future when the third year pro was not recalled to Norfolk following the conclusion of Florida's season.
As uncertain as things have traditionally been for the Lightning between the pipes, the defenseman position may be even more unsettled at this point in the offseason. After cheating father time for much of the 2011-2012 season, age caught up to many of the Lightning's veteran defensemen in 2012-2013. Mattias Ohlund may never play another NHL game after the 35 year old's knee finally gave out after over 900 games of NHL service.
It's been a day since the Norfolk Admirals hoisted the Calder Cup for the first time. The amazing thing about championships is that they're a shared milestone in the lives of, really, thousands, between the players, coaches, staff, and fans. Those journeys often contain compelling stories that make the triumph worth that journey. For Jon Cooper, it was about closing down his law practice to coach his way from Michigan high school hockey, to the USHL to working with Hockey USA, to a 2 season sprint to glory in the AHL. For Cory Conacher, it was about not being drafted and playing hockey at off-the-beaten path Canisius, dealing with diabetes, and earning an NHL contract in March of an MVP season before posting 4 assists in the championship clinching Calder Cup Finals game.
The stories of the players and the coaches are the ones we'll read about in the coming months and years, and they should be. When the Lightning made their Stanley Cup run in 2003-2004 and were playing the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals, John Tortorella refused to fire back at Ken Hithcock's remarks about "Italians from Boston," because Torts rightfully understood, "It's about the athletes." Ultimately, they're the ones who score the goals and make the saves. They sacrifice their bodies and take the stitches and they take the slings and arrows if they lose. Ultimately, it's their moment, and to a lesser extent the moments of their families who supported them in the journey up to those moments. The hockey moms and dads who woke up at 6:00 am to drive their kids to games. Scratching together money for skates and ridiculously expensive composite sticks. The wives and significant others who live with the players and coaches through the disappointments and the frustrations, and live in fear of moments when things can go wrong, like when slap shots can hit a man in the ear at 90 miles an hour, similar to what happened to Scott Jackson.
Less compelling, perhaps, is the story of an organization, but, these are stories can be worth telling, too... especially in this case. We started beta testing Bolt Prospects in 2004-2005, one year after the Lightning's Cup win, in the heart of the NHL lockout. That year was also the first year since the Detroit Vipers of the IHL folded after the 2000-2001 season that the Lightning had a full-time minor league affiliate: the Springfield Falcons. Absent a full-time affiliate, it became clear the Lightning would struggle to maintain their spot on top of the hockey mountain, because split affiliates would not give prime ice time and coaching help to another organization's players. That problem prompted the start of an 8 year process for the Lightning that ended in building what must be considered the sport's preeminent developmental apparatus with the Norfolk Admirals' Calder Cup championship and the Florida Everblades' Kelly Cup Championship.