Cedrick the Entertainer is bidding to stick around a while.
Cedrick Desjardins stopped 34 of 35 shots to improve to 2-0-0. He's earned another start, IMO.
13:03 TB Tyrell (4), Thompson (8)
19:14 NYR Gaborik (11), Girardi (17)
00:19 TB Thompson (6), Tyrell (5), Lundin (8)
Desjardins and Nate Thompson were the game's first and third stars.
Mattias Ritola had 1 shot in 7:55.
Dana Tyrell had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +2 with 3 shots and 1 blocked shot in 14:12. It was Dana's first multi-point NHL game.
It's the annual Bruins/Lightning hosing at the hands of a referee or video goal judge.
Dan Ellis allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss.
00:28 BOS Ryder (11), Recchi (14), Seidenberg (11)(PP)
07:10 TB Stamkos (29), Clark (10), Malone (19)(PP)
03:27 BOS Kampfer (1), Savard (3), Horton (13)
14:02 TB Lecavalier (7), Bergenheim (9), Kubina (10)
03:00 BOS Marchand (5), Thornton (2), Campbell (6)
10:50 TB St Louis (15), Stamkos (23), Kubina (11)
19:40 BOS Recchi (7), Bergeron (15), Seidenberg (12)(PP)
Vincent Lecavalier was the game's second star. He made a brilliant play to almost set up a goal by Pavel Kubina in the first period and an equally brilliant goal to score Tampa Bay's second goal, but I'd be hard pressed to give him a star nod after losing the faceoff cleanly on Boston's third goal. Details matter, and the Lightning stunk in the faceoff circle in the defensive third in the final frame. I counted three clean faceoff losses in the period. You can't survive on a diet of that. All that aside, offensively, I haven't seen Vinny look this good since he was running and gunning for a Richard Trophy. I think you're going to see a lot of this in the second half of the season: Stamkos drawing the attention while Vinny racks up a lot of goals because he's flying under the radar. Gagne too.
I'm not typically big on complaining about the officials. For the most part, things even out in the course of an NHL game. However, once or twice a season a team gets the shaft, and the Lightning always seem to get theirs against the Bruins. I'm still not over Zdeno Chara batting in a puck at his eye level and a video goal judge still saying it should count a few years back, and tonight was a call that was almost as terrible that I'm not going to get over for a long time. There is NO WAY IN HELL Steven Stamkos' hit late in tonight's game was a penalty. Let me reiterate that, NO WAY IN HELL! That was a clean, shoulder-to-shoulder hit by two players going for a puck in the corner. The player being hit was not in a defenseless position. Stamkos did not hit him in the back or slew foot him, or any of the other dangerous plays that should get you wrung up for boarding. No, Steven Stamkos got two minutes for being the stronger hockey player.
Shame. Shame on the officials. I remember a day when NHL referees would never make a borderline call like that late in a game and potentially rob a team of a point. But, in the post-lockout Gary Bettman world, they get rewarded for affecting the outcome of games, because that somehow equals excitement when you artifically put teams under duress (as opposed to hard, clean hits which in Bettman World aren't entertaining at all, because as we all know we all buy tickets to see the zebras and not the players). They get encouraged to do it, and they get encouraged for giving out penalties for good, hard, clean hits. Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania is complaining about the wussification of America with the football game being snowed out in Philadelphia. Well, I'm officially complaining about the wussification of the NHL when Steven Stamkos (not exactly Steve Avery) gets the gate in the last two minutes of a tied hockey game on a good, clean, hard hit. The referees tonight crossed a pretty bright line with that call. I hope the Lightning send the tape into the league and I hope the refs get reprimanded for what they did. Unfortunately, I would put it past Bettman to give them a bonus for it ("I just picked my All-Star Game crew!"). It was a total joke.
I'm pissed, in case you couldn't tell.
Mattias Ritola had 1 shot in 8:34 tonight. He did some good things tonight offensively. It was one of his better games in a while.
Dana Tyrell was -1 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 12:26.
The NHL just issued a clarification regarding the Atlanta Thrashers ownership settlement. The Tampa Bay Lightning actually own the Atlanta Thrashers.
Dan Ellis allowed 2 goals on 28 shots for the victory.
08:14 TB Stamkos (28), Malone (18), St Louis (32)
06:03 ATL Bogosian (3), Stewart (14), Little (10)
09:04 TB Lecavalier (5), Gagne (4), Bergenheim (8)
16:17 ATL Modin (7), Slater (6), Eager (6)
01:13 TB Lecavalier (6), St Louis (33), Stamkos (22)(PP)
Vincent Lecavalier was the game's first star.
The Lightning have won nine straight games against the Thrashers. Folks should consider the implications of what the Lightning did tonight: the Thrashers were all in for this game, on their home ice. The Lightning came into town with an ailing Martin St. Louis and didn't, seemingly, have quite as much to play for. And the Lightning, honestly, dominated the Thrashers for much of the game. Pavelec kept the Thrashers close enough to take a point, but on balance the Lightning carried the play, holding the Thrashers to just a single scoring chance in the first period and outshooting them 34-28 in the game... with a sick Martin St. Louis who didn't entirely look like himself from the second period on. The Lightning, at 80%, took the Thrashers' best punch and barely flinched. It's hard to imagine the Thrashers jumping over the Lightning, in the long run, considering that.
Mattias Ritola had 2 shots and 1 hit in 10:31.
Dana Tyrell had 1 shot and 1 hit in 13:22.
The Lightning looked flat and unprepared to play in the first period.
Dan Ellis allowed 4 goals on 19 shots on another night where his save percentage ends up being absolutely putrid.
07:21 CGY Sarich (1), Pardy (1), Morrison (13)
13:46 CGY Kostopoulos (2), Bourque (9), Giordano (11)
04:43 CGY Bourque (12), Glencross (5), Backlund (3)
08:35 TB Harju (1), Kubina (6), Jones (7)
19:00 TB Malone (8), Thompson (7), Hedman (10)
08:42 CGY Iginla (12), Bouwmeester (8), Bourque (10)(PP)
Ryan Malone was the game's third star.
It shouldn't take 5 goals to win a hockey game where you hold an opponent down to 19 shots, and allowing a long point shot from Cory Sarich to beat you might be grounds for an NHL goaltender to be fired. Halley's Comet visits more frequently than Sarich scores goals.
Mattias Ritola was +1 with 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 13:28. I stand by my statement about the guy being soft along the wall. He's exceptionally bad on the forecheck for a guy who's otherwise fairly good in the defensive third.
Johan Harju dialed up a five-hole goal on Kiprusoff and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 8:41. The goal was Harju's first in the NHL. I think Kipper may have been baiting Harju to go five-hole and didn't realize Johan's got quite a quick release on his shot.
Dana Tyrell was +1 with 2 shots in 12:26. He worked himself into a shorthanded breakaway on one shift in the game. He still needs to work on his shot, but with his speed he will be a terror on the PK in the near future.
Without goaltending, the Lightning keep winning the hard way.
Dan Ellis allowed 5 goals on 24 shots, but stopped just enough to get the win.
07:14 TB Thompson (4), Hall (4), Hedman (9)
15:53 COL Dupuis (3), M. Hunwick (3)
01:52 TB St Louis (11), Gagne (2), Ohlund (2)
02:44 TB Ritola (2), Harju (1), Tyrell (3)
07:18 COL Duchene (8), Fleischmann (7), Liles (20)
11:07 TB Gagne (2), St Louis (22), Purcell (13)(PP)
01:24 COL Stastny (10), Shattenkirk (9), Hejduk (20)
09:06 TB Malone (7), Gagne (3), St Louis (23)(PP)
15:55 TB Bergenheim (5), Lundin (6), Malone (13)
17:49 COL Yip (6), Winnik (4), Duchene (16)(PP)
18:54 COL Shattenkirk (5), Fleischmann (8), Hejduk (21)
Simon Gagne, Martin St. Louis, and Victor Hedman were the game's three stars. Gagne is playing superb since returning from injury. Like I've said, I'm hoping Lecavalier comes back just as strong after having had time away to clear off a mediocre start to the year.
I've officially lost faith in Dan Ellis now, too. Yes, there are some goals that are getting in on him that are taking screwy bounces. The problem is that screwy bounces have a strange way of happening to bad goaltenders. There's a black cloud over this goaltending tandem, and sooner rather than later Steve Yzerman needs to do something about it.
Mattias Ritola had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot in 8:53. The goal was BoltProspects' favorite of the season so far, for obvious reasons.
Johan Harju had his first NHL assist and 2 shots and 2 hits in 7:33. Congratulations Big Joe.
Dana Tyrell had an assist and a blocked shot in 10:37.