Seven straight wins over Atlanta.
Mike Smith allowed 2 goals on 30 shots for the win. That might have been the best Smitty has played since his concussion problems knocked him off track. That was encouraging. He moved well and he played an efficient style.
03:10 TB Clark (2), St Louis (5), Stamkos (6)(PP)
16:05 TB Lecavalier (2), Bergenheim (2) 17:50
TB Stamkos (6), Lecavalier (2), St Louis (6)(PP)
08:07 ATL Slater (1), Ladd (5), Byfuglien (4)
17:22 TB Stamkos (7), (unassisted)
13:36 ATL Byfuglien (2), (unassisted)(PP)
19:28 TB Stamkos (8), V. Hedman (5)(EN)
I thought the Lightning's effort level was outstanding, but I wouldn't say they were super-crisp. There's still another gear the Lightning haven't quite found yet in the early season, which should be a bit terrifying for the rest of the league. Their breakout and passing still needs a little work. There's too many soft passes, and still a lot of feeling out of new teammates. Once that part starts to click, the Lightning are going to be a mother to play against.
Dana Tyrell had 2 penalty minutes and 2 shots in 11:09. He looks like he's getting a little more comfortable each game, and he even got a couple of PK shifts tonight. I also like that he's getting shots on goal. That first NHL goal will follow pretty soon.
Bizarrely officiated game.
Dan Ellis allowed 3 goals on 25 shots for the loss.
02:15 NYI Grabner (2), Niederreiter (1), Weight (5)
18:05 TB Bergenheim (2), Purcell (5), Hedman (4)
04:44 TB St Louis (2), Stamkos (5), Lundin (1)
10:00 NYI Parenteau (2), Wisniewski (5), Tavares (2)(PP)
01:56 NYI Moulson (4), Nielsen (4), Mottau (3)
You know, just a strange night when you see two Islanders goals that were initially waved off turned into goals. You also saw a ridiculous one-sided call against Ryan Malone on the first half of the 2-man advantage the Isles scored on and then the bizarre double call on the Isles afterward where Matt Smaby climbed in the box for what turned out to be no reason. Bizarre officiating. It was a mediocre game for the Lightning playing against an inferior opponent that has a few of its best players out injured. They should've handled their business and they didn't. But, on the other hand, strange. I'd be more upset if the Lightning didn't at least get a point out of the night.
Dana Tyrell had 1 shot in 9:09. The partial breakaway he generated was the first exhibition of what Tyrell's speed can do at the NHL level.
Way too much drama at the end, but the Lightning win.
Mike Smith allowed 4 goals on 19 shots for the win. Five goals worth of support can make a lot of goaltenders look good.
15:04 DAL Petersen (1), Robidas (1)(SH)
16:21 TB Downie (2), St Louis (4), Stamkos (3)(PP)
19:46 TB Stamkos (5), Hedman (2), Malone (4)(PP)
06:04 DAL Burish (1), Ribeiro (6), Morrow (1)
09:26 TB Bergenheim (1), Stamkos (4), Purcell (3)
18:06 TB Moore (3), Kubina (1), Downie (4)(PP)
06:11 TB Moore (4), Purcell (4), V. Hedman (3)(PP)
06:24 DAL Morrow (5), (unassisted)
19:00 DAL Neal (3), Richards (8), Ribeiro (7)
When you outshoot a team 44-19, it's not supposed to be this close. The Lightning had good intensity, but they need to tighten up on the mental lapses.
Dana Tyrell was -1 with 2 shots in 14:25.
Michael Vernace was -1 with 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 5:45.
If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If the Panthers score six goals at their home opener... well... you get the point.
01:50 FLA Stillman (1), McCabe (1), Dvorak (1)
14:25 FLA Booth (1), Matthias (1), Olesz (2)
15:13 FLA Reinprecht (1), Bernier (3), Santorelli (2)
18:15 FLA Wideman (1)(PP), Weiss (1), McCabe (2)
07:49 FLA Booth (2), Olesz (3), McCabe (3)
17:25 FLAR Olesz (2), McCabe (4), Booth (3)
The Lightning may have been a little tired, or they may have been a little too pleased with themselves. Either way, they re-learned the valuable lesson that in the NHL, if you come out flat, you can get embarassed by anyone in the league on any given night. The good thing is that it's one of eighty-two games. Dallas Stars on Monday. Turn the page.
Mattias Ritola was -3 with 3 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 12:14. That +/- number looks terrible, but I thought he looked good in the offensive third and was one of the few Lightning players with any jump.
Michael Vernace was -1 with 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 16:33. If I were Vernace, or Dana Tyrell, I'd be sweating bullets. There are a lot of players down in Norfolk playing some damned good hockey.
C'est une belle chose.
Mike Smith allowed 3 goals on 27 shots for the victory. He's a hot mess to watch, but the pucks are hitting him, and the Lightning have the offense to consistently get him to the pay window.
MTL 5:22, Lapierre 1 (unassisted)
MTL 18:07, Plekanec 1 (Cammalleri, Spacek)
TB 1:44, Clark 1 (PP) (Purcell, Malone)
TB 10:54, St. Louis 1 (Stamkos, Jones)
MTL 11:25, Kostitsyn 1 (Plekanec, Gorges)
TB 18:41, Stamkos 3 (PP) (Lecavalier, Malone)
TB 4:09, Malone 1 (Moore)
Ryan Malone was named the game's first star. Shame on the Montreal media for showing such a lack of class to not give Lecavalier or Stamkos a star for the game tying goal. Shame on the Montreal fan base for booing like a bunch of Panthers fans (all three of them) and then throwing things on the ice when a Montreal defender fell down on the game tying goal. These are supposed to be some of the best fans in the NHL, and they acted the fool tonight. The hockey gods made sure to punish them on Malone's game winner.
The Lightning outshot the Habs 47 to 27. Teddy Purcell and Steven Stamkos each had 8 shots on goal to lead the way for Tampa Bay. Purcell's a part of the newly found depth the Lightning have, and Stamkos will be an MVP finalist if this keeps up. He has five points in the first two games and he's scoring big goals between the insurance marker against Atlanta and the tying goal tonight.
I'll keep saying it: I firmly believe Stamkos will win at least one Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay in the next five years, and he might easily win two. He's got something special in the dedication department, and it's something a guy like Ovechkin lacks and something I think he has even more of than Sid Crosby. In the end equation, I have a feeling #91 is why Steve Yzerman took the Lightning job. It's easier to be successful when you inherit a Richard Trophy winner who works harder than 99.9% of the rest of the players in the league. He's like James Brown without the cape and a better shot; the hardest working man in showbiz today, and he's only 20 years old. Part of me is sickened by the fact the NHL isn't the least bit interested in building their brand around Stamkos and would rather market a punk like Ovechkin. On the other hand, the idea of Stamkos being allowed to lay in the weeds of the distraction-free media environment of Tampa Bay and what he could be able to accomplish in it without the spotlight on him intrigues me. In a way, I prefer not having the kind of zoo Montreal has around them on Stamkos' back trying to divert his attention from the only thing that matters to him right now: winning.
I'm not ashamed to say I loved the way Brett Clark played tonight. He looks to be really well suited for this system. He made a play in the offensive zone in overtime that I didn't believe he was capable of making by splitting two defenders and almost setting up a winning goal on his own. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this Lightning defense looks once Ohlund gets back from the shelf.
Dana Tyrell had 2 penalty minutes in 5:33 of ice time. Dana, brother, if you want ice time you can't be taking minor penalties when Boucher finally lets you hop the boards.
Michael Vernace was -1 with 1 shot in 10:57.