Angelidis, Mike

NHL Game Night: 2-23-12 Lightning at Jets

Running out of steam?

TB-3
WPG-4

Mathieu Garon allowed 4 goals on 18 shots for the loss before giving way to Dwayne Roloson, who stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way.

First Period
WPG Ladd (20), (Little, Wheeler), 7:11
WPG Glass (5), (Thorburn, Flood), 14:59

Second Period
WPG Ladd (21), (Kane, Byfuglien)(PP), 1:36
WPG Byfuglien (10), (Wheeler, Ladd)(PP), 2:48

Third Period
TB Stamkos (43), (Malone, Purcell)(PP), 11:00
TB Purcell (16), (Stamkos), 19:06
TB St. Louis (19), (Purcell, Stamkos)(PP), 19:51

Martin St. Louis was the game's third star.

It seemed like, through the first two periods, the emotion of the trade deadline changes finally gave way to the reality that this is a much less talented team than it was 1-2 weeks ago, especially when you factor in Lecavalier's injury. It would be simple to call the first 40 minutes a lack of effort, but I think it's more to the point to say the Lightning may be running on fumes now. That's too bad. They've got to be sick to their stomachs knowing where they could have been if they pulled out a win last night (within 3 points of the division lead, let alone the playoffs).

Trevor Smith had 2 hits and 1 blocked shot in 10:29.

J.T. Wyman had 1 blocked shot in 7:48.

Mike Angelidis had 1 shot and 2 hits in 7:02.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-21-12 Ducks at Lightning

All you really need is Stammer and a dream.

ANH-2
TB-3

Mathieu Garon stopped 28 of 30 for the win.

First Period
TB Stamkos (41), (Malone, Purcell), 0:28
TB Stamkos (42), (Clark, Purcell), 17:58

Second Period
ANH Koivu (11), (Ryan, Fowler), 0:40
TB Purcell (15), (Stamkos, Gilroy), 2:40
ANH Ryan (22), (Koivu), 18:38

Third Period
NO SCORING

Garon, Steven Stamkos, and Teddy Purcell were the game's three stars.

For those keeping score at home, the Lightning have traded their 3rd line center, traded arguably their 2nd best defenseman, lost their 2nd line center and captain to injury, and traded a top-6 forward and gotten zero NHL roster players in return... and they keep winning. Tonight's win moves the Lightning to within 5 points of 8th place in the conference with 23 games left to go. Games. Ice. Not paper. You've read it here before.

I would laugh my rear end off if the Lightning, flush with the potential of up to 6 top-60 draft picks this summer ready to deploy to get a goaltender and just about anything else Stevie Y desires, still rolled into the playoffs with Stamkos toting a Richard and a Ross Trophy. At that point, I'm sorry, he should by default be the Hart Trophy winner, too. Logically, that can't happen, but logic be damned. Another 20 games like these last 3 and this team's going to have beaten the house like a rented mule.

Victor Hedman logged over 27 minutes of ice time tonight and was +1. You may not be Lidstrom yet, my friend, but once Yzerman's through trading you'll be getting Lidstrom's ice time.

Trevor Smith was -1 with 2 hits in 11:14.

J.T. Wyman played 12:26.

Mike Angelidis had 1 shot and 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 5:28.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-24-12 Blue Jackets at Lightning

Man, Columbus is dreadful.

CBJ-2
TB-4

Mathieu Garon allowed 2 goals on 24 shots for the win.

First Period
TB Angelidis (1), (unassisted), 13:20
CBJ Lebda (1), (Brassard, Umberger), 15:07

Second Period
TB Lecavalier (19), (Gervais, St. Louis)(PP), 8:19
TB St. Louis (12), (Lecavalier), 16:56

Third Period
CBJ Johansen (9), (Umberger), 5:40
TB Thompson (5), (Moore, Smith), 11:29

Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and Bruno Gervais were the game's three stars.

Columbus is horrible. If the Lightning had a more functional power play or if Curtis Sanford had been a little worse, the Lightning would've easily doubled their margin of victory. It's a nice win to have going into the All-Star Break, but they're terrible. They looked like a Junior A team, at times.

The Lightning probably will get a slew of guys back from injury after the break. That's good, because Norfolk's just about down to the popcorn vendors as far as their roster goes.

Brett Connolly had 1 hit in 6:43.

Trevor Smith had an assist and was +2 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 13:39. Here's a guy making a move to try and stick. At a bare minimum, he's getting quality minutes on tape for other NHL teams to evaluate.

Evan Oberg had 1 hit in 1:21 in his debut after being called up from the Delta Airlines Frequent Flyer Club.

Mike Angelidis had a goal and was +1 with 1 shot in 4:01. It was a soft as hell goal, but no one deserved that moment more than a hard working guy like Angelidis.

Finally, Pierre-Cedric Labrie was -1 with 3 hits in 5:01.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4/23/11 Admirals at Penguins

A brave Norfolk Admirals team has nothing to be ashamed about effort-wise in this playoffs.

NOR-3
WBS-6

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wins the Series 4-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, including an unsuccessful third period penalty shot by Joe Vitale in the third period. Considering the winning goal was essentially a 3-on-1, there's not much more Tic could've done tonight. He finishes the playoffs with 1 shutout, a 2.20 GAA, and a .924 save percentage, and he looks like a lock to be Norfolk's starter next season. In all likelihood, Cedrick Desjardins will be the backup in Tampa Bay next season, and Tokarski's play down the stretch seems to indicate he's the type of netminder who wants and needs to be the clear cut #1 in order to be at his best after struggling a bit as a tandem starter with Desjardins. He's regained the title of the Lightning's "Goaltender of the Future" and the priority for next season, his third pro season, will be for Tokarski to prove he can be that consistent #1 goalie before potentially moving up to the NHL in the 4th season of his pro career. At least, that seems to be what the plan is for Tic.

First Period
WBS Wagner, (1) (Walker, Craig), 2:13 (PP)
WBS Wagner, (2) (Potter, Walker), 3:58 (PP)
WBS Wagner, (3) (Wallace, Potter), 18:36

Second Period
NOR Pouliot, (4) (Ritola, Vernace), 14:18
NOR Jones, (1) (Ritola, Milam), 16:03 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Vitale, (2) (Wallace, Collins), 7:23
NOR Wright, (1) (Fornataro, Pouliot), 10:35 (PP)
WBS Wallace, (1) (Vitale, Potter), 18:57 (EN)
WBS Sill, (1) (Strait, Thiessen), 19:21 (EN)

Marc-Antoine Pouliot was the game's third star.

When you consider the Penguins came into this series the best team in the Eastern Conference, and the Admirals had to win their last game just to avoid having to cross over into the Atlantic Division, the Admirals have nothing to feel ashamed of in playing this series so tightly. The hard work and character of this Admirals team is worthy of mention, and the team and organization have come such a long way in 4 seasons since the Lightning started their affiliation with Norfolk.

Coincidentally, the East's crossover team, Binghamton, just knocked off Manchester in Game 7 to advance to the Atlantic Division final against Portland. One wonders what shape a Norfolk/Manchester series might have taken if Norfolk hadn't beaten Connecticut to close the regular season.

The big question now is what this Norfolk Admirals team will look like next season, with several of their older players facing contract decisions and several of the Lightning's best young prospects ticketed for Virginia next season.

Will veterans like Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Chris Durno, Mike Vernace, Mathieu Roy, and Troy Milam be back with the team next year? What about long-time pros like Blair Jones, Mike Angelidis, Mattias Ritola, and Vladimir Mihalik? Mihalik and Ritola just finished their 4th years of pro hockey and Jones and Angelidis finished their 5th. Many of these players will surely have opportunities to play in European leagues next season. We know Johan Harju will, for instance, and the question is whether Johan will stay in North America after a disappointing second half. And will Kevin Quick's time in the Lightning organization be over as well?

Conversely, the Admirals will need to free up spots for several of the Lightning's top prospects. Carter Ashton and Charles Landry have already made appearances for the club this season in the playoffs. Richard Panik and Tyler Johnson seem like locks to be in Norfolk next season, too.

Next season could be a big change for the Admirals organization, as the last vestiges of previous regimes pass on. Change is inevitable for a minor league club, but the Admirals seem destined for even more change than is the norm. The good news is that they seem to have good goaltending locked down and even better coaching after a successful inaugural campaign by Head Coach Jon Cooper and assistant Mike Flanagan along with player development consultant Steve Thomas. This group seems to have taken a decent foundation laid by earlier teams and made it even stronger this year, and that foundation can help the new Admirals grow to be even more successful than this year's edition, in time. Look at how well guys like Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas took to the league this season. It portends good things.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Playoff Game Day: 4/19/11 Penguins at Admirals

A brave effort by the Admirals comes an eyelash short.

WBS-2
NOR-1

Norfolk Leads the Series 2-1

Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 25 shots for the loss.

First Period
WBS Veilleux, (2) , 17:58

Second Period
NOR Giliati, (1) (Roy, Vernace), 15:40 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Lerg, (1) (Hutchinson, Thiessen), 10:20 (PP)

Stefano Giliati and Tokarski were the game's second and third stars. Giliati played a heck of a game and was arguably the team's most dangerous forward.

Due to injuries, the Admirals were already without the services of Alex Berry and Mike Angelidis going into the week. They lost 2/3 of arguably the best line in the AHL to recall when Mattias Ritola and Blair Jones were moved up to Tampa Bay earlier in the day. Captain Chris Durno then went out very early in the game with an injury and never returned, and was soon followed to the locker room by Paul Szczechura, who was injured by Brian Strait after the whistle in a very questionable play. So, the Admirals played the Penguins to a stalemate with no less than 6 of their best forwards out of the lineup until a Pierre-Cedric Labrie double minor for high-sticking gave the Pens the opportunity to get the go-ahead goal.

The difficulty for the Admirals now is that Ritola and Jones won't return for Game Four tomorrow night, and Durno and Szczechura's injuries are obviously serious to have missed the remainder of the game when the team was so shorthanded. The Admirals do have a healthy Alex Hutchings on the roster, but Hutchings was not listed on the team's Clear Day roster as a player in residence. So the team may be very shorthanded again in Game Four. Tonight might have been the Admirals' best chance to get to a third win before Friday. You knew things were dire when Admirals radio voice Pete Michaud let a Freudian slip that the Pens were about to tie up the series if they could hold off Norfolk in the final few minutes of the game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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