Ritola, Mattias

NHL Game Night: 11/6/10 Lightning at Sharks

Bruised and out of gas.

TB-2
SJ-5

Mike Smith allowed 5 goals on 39 shots for the loss with Dan Ellis out ill. His five hole was open all night like a Waffle House. Not good.

First Period
12:16 SJ Marleau (5), (unassisted)(SH)
13:58 TB St Louis (6), Stamkos (11), Lecavalier (4)
15:26 SJ Marleau (6), Boyle (7), Demers (3)(PP)

Second Period
11:27 SJ Heatley (6), Couture (1), Boyle (8)
17:27 SJ McCarthy (2), Mayers (2), Murray (3)

Third Period
00:27 SJ Couture (5), Heatley (9)
18:13 TB Stamkos (11), Lecavalier (5), Clark (3)

With several players out hurt, and several others in the lineup dinged up, you could see the Lightning sag when it got to 3-1. It's been a tough roadtrip, with only three of a possible eight points gained. They'll have the opportunity now to get healthy and get back on schedule back home in Tampa Bay. It hurts a little bit, but this Lightning club hasn't been able to ice a regular lineup in a while, starting with Simon Gagne's injury. Once everyone returns the top two lines will settle in, the depth players will return to the bottom two lines, and everything will work itself out. The goaltending is still the only thing I'm truly concerned about.

Mattias Ritola was -1 with 1 shot in 9:09.

Dana Tyrell was scoreless in 11:49. The scorekeepers in San Jose must be blind, because I know I saw him throw at least one hit tonight.

Blair Jones was -1 in 7:41 and was 50% on 8 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11/4/10 Lightning at Kings

Couldn't get on the website last night.

TB-0
LA-1

Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 26 shots for the hard luck loss.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
05:20 LA Williams (6), Smyth (5), Stoll (7)

Mattias Ritola had 1 hit in 10:53.

Mathieu Roy was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 9:22.

Dana Tyrell was -1 with 1 shot in 8:58.

Blair Jones had 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 9:03. He was also 4/7 on draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 11/3/10 Lightning at Ducks

Left a point on the ice.

TB-2
ANH-3 (OT)

Dan Ellis allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the overtime loss.

First Period
12:22 ANH Selanne (6), Perry (8), Visnovsky (8)(PP)

Second Period
02:38 TB Jones (1), Malone (6), Purcell (6)

Third Period
00:21 TB Stamkos (10), St Louis (8), Lecavalier (3)(PP)
15:40 ANH Palmieri (1), Ryan (6), Visnovsky (9)

Overtime
02:53 ANH Getzlaf (5), Selanne (8), Lydman (3)

Maybe the Lightning didn't deserve to win based on just forty minutes of solid effort. They came out flat as a pancake in the first period, getting outshot 9-2 in the opening frame before carrying the balance of play with a 32-21 advantage the rest of the way. Still, they were in control and almost potted the insurance goal to make it 3-1 just before things went awry.

Mattias Ritola had 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:57.

Dana Tyrell played 11:11.

Blair Jones had a goal and was +1 with 4 shots and 1 hit in 8:56. He was also 63% on draws. I want to believe this time Blair will stick.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10/30/10 Lightning at Coyotes

Exceeding expectations thus far.

TB-3
PHO-0

Dan Ellis stopped 23 shots for the shutout victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
15:59 TB Ritola (1), Jones (1), Malone (5)

Third Period
04:26 TB Hall (2), Thompson (3), Bergenheim (3)
14:38 TB Stamkos (9), Downie (6), Jones (3)

Dan Ellis and Steve Downie were the game's first and second stars.

When the season started, I had the aggressive goal of 14 points for the first 10 games in my mind. The team finishes the first 10 game set ahead of schedule at 7-3-1 with 15 points. That's outstanding. The next 10 game set is fairly brutal, though, so I'll be happy with 10 points in the second 10 game set of the year. Let's see if the Lightning can beat expectations again.

Mattias Ritola had his first NHL goal and was +1 with 2 shots in 8:06.

Dana Tyrell played 13:38.

Blair Jones had a helper and was +1 in 8:02. He was also 50% on 6 draws.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 10/27/10 Penguins at Lightning

When the Lightning need a good luck charm, they put St. Pete Times Forum VP of Operations Mary Milne on the TV, and game winning goals ensue.

PIT-3
TB-5

Dan Ellis stopped all 24 shots he faced after replacing Mike Smith to get the win. He was excellent controlling his rebounds, which is a new. Smitty, bless his heart, allowed 3 goals on 7 shots. He looked so good in his last start. It was surprising to see him fall off so quickly. The NHL should be scared to death of a time that will eventually come when the Lightning get some consistent goaltending.

First Period
02:51 TB Tyrell (1), Thompson (2), Kubina (3)
03:28 PIT Adams (1), Cooke (4), Orpik (1)(SH)
04:29 PIT Cooke (2), Letang (7), Adams (2)(SH)
12:15 PIT Dupuis (2), Adams (3), Crosby (6)
16:40 TB Purcell (1), Kubina (4), Ritola (1)

Second Period
08:43 TB Lecavalier (3), St Louis (7), Stamkos (8)(PP)

Third Period
06:40 TB St Louis (4), Downie (5), Stamkos (9)
19:29 TB St Louis (5), Stamkos (10)(EN)

Martin St. Louis, Dan Ellis, and Nate Thompson were the game's three stars. A lot of teams would've packed it in after giving up three unanswered goals to the Pens in the first period. Credit to Teddy Purcell for getting the Lightning back to within one. They were like a pack of hungry, wild dogs after that, seriously outchancing Pittsburgh in the final two frames.

Mattias Ritola had his first point with the Lightning, an assist, in 8:18. My initial impressions of Ritola! is that he wins the D. Affy award for being an NHLer from the opposing blueline in.

Dana Tyrell had his first NHL goal, two shots, and one blocked shot in 15:18. Here's what I liked about Dana tonight: it's human nature to relax a little after you've had some success. Dana seemed to work even harder after he got that goal, if that's possible.

Michael Vernace was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit in 3:23. In case your wondering, my back-of-the-envelope estimate is that Vernace made $1,567.71 for every minute he was on the ice tonight. Nice work if you can get it.

As I've been saying on the BoltProspects Message Board, my hope for the team was to get 14 points out of their first 10 games. That was an aggressive number for a team with a lot of new players and a new system, but it's the kind of start they really needed to get out of the chute well on a playoff push. They have 13 points through their first 9 games heading into Phoenix on Saturday. That's not a gimme, but they're definitely off to the kind of start they needed.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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