NHL Game Night: 11/9/10 Maple Leafs at Lightning

The Lightning made Toronto look like an AHL team, and it wasn't nearly Tampa Bay's best effort.

TOR-0
TB-4

Dan Ellis stopped all 28 shots he faced for the shutout. He made key saves when the Lightning needed them to make sure the Leafs didn't sustain a comeback surge. Very good effort.

First Period
11:10 TB Stamkos (12), St Louis (9), Lecavalier (6)(PP)
11:39 TB Thompson (1), Lundin (3), Tyrell (1)
19:13 TB Moore (5), Jones (4), Malone (7)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
05:46 TB Stamkos (13), Hall (3),Ohlund (1)

Dan Ellis, Steven Stamkos, and Dominic Moore were the game's three stars. The Lightning got away with sleepwalking through the second period because they're just a superior team talent-wise relative to Toronto and because Ellis played well tonight. I suspect Boucher will not let the Lightning get to happy about this win, because they didn't play as well as the scoreboard indicates. Still, it's a good way to snap a three game skid and, for the moment, climb back withing two points of the Caps in the division. To me that's the key. The Lightning need to maintain contact with Washington in the standings and hope they can win the balance of the head-to-head matches with Washington. If they do that, they can be a one or two seed in the East at season's end. And, what the Lightning should know from the 2003-2004 campaign is that being a top seed can really help you by giving you two easier rounds to get settled into the playoffs before the bombs start dropping in the conference finals.

Stupid Canadian media moment of the night: Sportsnet Canada's studio hosts claiming that the Lightning simply had to trade Steven Stamkos to Boston for draft picks. They must've smoked their body weight in dope before going on camera. Don't do drugs, kids, or you might end up as a studio host in Toronto being forced to watch 82 games of a horrible hockey team.

Mattias Ritola had 1 hit in 9:56. As I've said before, he's an NHLer from the blueline in.

Dana Tyrell had an assist and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 blocked shot in 14:11. Another high intensity night for Dana. I liked it. He was a thorn in Toronto's side.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.