Damian Crisdotero is reporting forward prospect Mattias Ritola has been diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, an inner ear disorder that periodically leads to a painful ringing and distorts a player's balance. The Lightning and their doctors are monitoring the situation, which can be treated with medication, and it is believed the condition will go away with time. Long time Lightning prospect watchers will recall that former Lightning draft pick Zac Bierk had his development slowed by the same Meniere's Disease condition.
I hate shootouts, but not as much as I hate the Panthers.
Dan Ellis allowed 3 goals on 27 shots before giving up 1 goal on 4 attempts for the shootout loss. One of Ellis' goals allowed was on a penalty shot.
10:21 TB Purcell (5), Stamkos (18), Malone (10)(PP)
10:12 TB Tyrell (3), Ritola (3), Downie (11)
12:22 FLA Dvorak (5), unassisted (SH)(PS)
03:08 FLA Kulikov (1), unassisted
08:31 FLA Matthias (4), Santorelli (3)
13:15 TB Bergenheim (4), Purcell (12), Malone (11)
Teddy Purcell and Dana Tyrell were the game's second and third stars. Florida got the bounces they needed to hang around in the game and ended up stealing two points. The effort level was much improved from the Washington debacle, at least.
Mattias Ritola had an assist and two shots in 7:26. Tonight, his softness officially became a liability, when he got beat on Kulikov's goal.
Tyrell had a goal and was +1 with 3 shots, 2 hits, and 3 blocked shots in 12:22.
Blair Jones was -1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 2:37.
Suggestion to Coach Boucher for the next morning activation exercise in DC: bag skate.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 18 shots for the loss before Dan Ellis came in and gave up 2 goals on 11 shots the rest of the way. You can't blame the goaltending, though, when the team in front of the netminder can't win a single skate race or puck battle and only manages a measely 17 shots on goal.
03:09 WSH Carlson (3), Johansson (1)
04:38 WSH Erskine (3), Fahey (1), Laich (11)
06:52 WSH Semin (15), Johansson (2)
08:56 WSH Semin (16), Backstrom (16), Ovechkin (20)(PP)
11:21 WSH Semin (17), Backstrom (17), Ovechkin (21)(PP)
14:46 WSH Poti (2), Hendricks (5)
I can't explain it. I can't explain why this team starts playing stupid hockey every time they go into Washington DC, and I can't explain why this team seems to lay down every time they see the Caps. It's as amazing as it is unacceptable, especially given what was on the line in this game. It's like they don't respect Washington's offense enough and they get into run-and-gun mode, and you lose if you get into run-and-gun mode with Washington. But what's even more annoying is to only manage 17 shots on Washington, when you know damned well the Capitals don't play any defense. But, when you're last to the puck every single time, you don't generate shots on goal, and you get shutout. Lesson learned, I hope. Move your feet.
In any event, there's a trap game tomorrow night against a Florida team that seems to only play about a half a dozen good games a season, and they save them all for the time they play against the Lightning. Time to get back to basics, and start working hard again, because the last two periods against Washington were pittiful.
Mattias Ritola was -2 with 2 penalty minutes and 1 hit. And, the next puck battle he wins will be his next. He's soft as margarine on the forecheck. There, I said it.
Dana Tyrell was -1 in 11:27.
Blair Jones was -1 with 1 shot and 2 hits in 12:15. He also was 56% on draws. I thought today's game was a step forward for Blair. He seemed to do less thinking on the forecheck and more competing. This kid's a beast behind the opposing cage on the forecheck when he's playing rather than outsmarting himself. When he tries to be clever, he kills himself, because he's just not quick enough to take that extra split second to ponder the play. He just needs to stick his nose in and play like the JYD we all know he can be.
First five game winning streak since 2007.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 20 shots for the win.
07:06 TB Malone (4), Stamkos (16), St Louis (20)(PP)
15:37 TB Malone (5), Stamkos (17), Purcell (10)(PP)
04:53 TB Stamkos (21), Downie (9), St Louis (21)
11:05 TB Clark (5), Downie (10), Purcell (11)(PP)
16:56 TB Hedman (1), Ritola (2), Bergenheim (6)
03:58 NYR Eminger (1), Stepan (8)
12:51 NYR Boyle (10), Staal (3), Prust (6)(SH)
18:56 NYR Stepan (5), Gaborik (6), Del Zotto (5)(PP)
Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, and Steve Downie were the game's three stars. It was forty minutes of some of the best hockey of the year, followed by twenty minutes of the team letting its foot off the gas a bit and starting to freelance a bit and play outside of the team system, especially on the power play, as they tried to get Malone his hat trick goal. They'll take the two points and learn from that third period, hopefully, and get ready for a big game against the Caps. The Lightning have maintained contact in the standings at 4 points back with a game in hand. A win against Washington really sends a message.
By the way, Malone's two power play goals and the Clark goal were Exhibit A on how teams cheating to try to take away Stamkos on the power play are just playing Russian Roulette. They left Malone in front for two easy rebound goals by cheating toward Stamkos and then left Downie wide open for a one timer up the slot on the Clark goal. And, what's funny is, Stamkos still had about three really good chances from around the left wing circle anyway. Teams are going to start weighing the risk-reward of overplaying to Stamkos' side now, and I don't think that's a gamble where the team that does it wins. He's got such a quick release there's still a decent chance he's going to get his shot off anyway, and you're surrendering the front of the net or a shot from dead center up the slot in the process. Heaven help the league when that unit gets Lecavalier back in the right wing circle, because if he can pound a few one timers home like he used to back-in-the-day, it's going to create absolute chaos in the assistant coaching community.
Mattias Ritola had an assist and was +1 with 3 shots in 8:04. He darned near had a goal on the first shift on the Lightning's last power play.
Dana Tyrell had 1 blocked shot in 13:36. It's crazy to see his stat line so blank, because he was definitely involved in tonight's play. He played well again.
Blair Jones had 2 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 8:34. I've seen him play better. It's not for lack of effort. He just seems to be playing tight, perhaps.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward (and prospect) Mattias Ritola has been suspended for two games and will forfeit $5,555.92 in salary for a charging incident that involved a hit from behind on New York Islanders player Matt Moulson in NHL game #257, last night, the National Hockey League announced.
Ritolaâ€™s fine is based on his average annual salary and is calculated under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The money goes to the Playersâ€™ Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 6:13 of the second period and Ritola was assessed a major penalty for charging.
Ritola will miss tonightâ€™s game at Philadelphia and at Buffalo on Saturday. He is eligible to return November 22 against the Boston Bruins.
--Tampa Bay Lightning press release