Quick, Kevin

NHL Game Night 1/13: Lightning at Sharks

The Lightning finally implode under the weight of injuries and youth.

TB-1
SJ-7

Karri Ramo allowed 7 goals on 42 shots in the loss. He was mediocre on a night where the Lightning needed a lot better to stay competitive. His rebound control wasn't there all night, although a couple of the rebound goals San Jose got came off of initial shots that were tipped on the way in. Still, you saw the difference tonight between what Mike Smith has been doing all season in controlling rebounds and what Ramo couldn't do.

First Period
02:17 SJ Setoguchi (20), (Thornton, Murray)
14:19 SJ Thornton (10), (Marleau, Blake)(PP)

Second Period
07:47 TB Stamkos (5), (Recchi, Artyukhin)
10:00 SJ Thornton (11), (Setoguchi, Marleau)
17:21 SJ Michalek (10), (Cheechoo, Vlasic)(PP)
19:56 SJ Clowe (18), (Pavelski, Michalek)(PP)

Third Period
00:34 SJ Pavelski (12), (Michalek, Murray)
02:12 SJ Plihal (5), (Staubitz, Semenov)

This is a critical next 36 hours or so for the coaching staff. They can't allow the team to quit or pout based on what happened tonight. They went 2-2-0 on the west coast swing. Is that perfect? No. But, it's acceptable given the rash of injuries on defense and the fact they had to play two games with just 3 or 4 NHL caliber defensemen. The team showed briefly tonight that their system can work, even against a team as deep and as talented as San Jose, just like it worked against LA and Anaheim. This is where Tocchet's got to make sure the room stays fully invested in the foundation that's being laid.

David Koci was +1 with 12 penalty minutes and 5 hits in 9:08. He got some shifts on defense in the third period once things got out of hand. When you're down six goals, why the heck not?

Paul Szczechura left the game after 3:10 of ice time with an injury.

Kevin Quick was -1 with 1 shot in 15:40 in his NHL debut. He made an ill-advised pass that eventually led to San Jose's last goal. Other than that, he wasn't bad. He didn't look timid and he used his wheels to keep pucks moving and the play in front of him. I was struck by how much better he looked at this level than Mihalik or Wishart. It's just 1 game for Kevin, and it was just 1 game for Wishart, but I have to wonder if the pecking order in the organization may get a second look now.

Vladimir Mihalik was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 4 blocked shots in 15:25. He really needs a brain transplant. With his size and athleticism, he could be a world beater if you could wire the six inches of gray matter between his ears properly.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

Lightning Recall Kevin Quick

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that they have recalled defenseman Kevin Quick on an emergency basis. Wow.

AHL Game Night 12/19: River Rats at Admirals

Fun game to watch if you're an Ads fan.

ALB-0
NOR-5

Mike McKenna stopped all 24 shots he faced for the shutout victory.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
NOR Smolenak, (10) (Konopka, Jones), 13:50 (PP)
NOR Wishart, (1) , 16:54

Third Period
NOR Smolenak, (11) (Gratton, Lawrence), 2:44
NOR Downie, (3) , 3:26
NOR Mihalik, (2) (Downie, Gratton), 8:56 (PP)

McKenna, Radek Smolenak, and Ty Wishart were the game's three stars.

I thought the Admirals best two players were probably Steve Downie and Chris Gratton in the game. Gratton looks like a man among boys at this level. Smolenak was in the right place at the right time for a power play goal after a puck bounced off an Albany defender and then on a nice setup by Gratton with Smolenak crossing the top of the crease. I didn't see Gratton out the second half of the third period. Hopefully that was to let the old man kick back and relax as opposed to an injury.

Downie's goal came after he pickpocketed a River Rats defender and then blistered a shot off the wing high glove side. If I have a criticism of Downie's game, it's that he doesn't shoot enough. That said, he's too good for the AHL level. He needs to be in the NHL soon.

Wishart got his first pro goal on a little harmless looking snap shot that skimmed off an Albany defender on the way in and found the back of the net. Not the most artistic goal, but he'll take it. Vladimir Mihalik found a rebound in the high slot and pounded a slap shot five hole on Justin Peters for his tally. Soft goal by Peters, in my opinion. In both defensemen's cases, beggars can't be choosers and I'm sure they're glad just to light the lamp.

Kevin Quick is starting to get back on schedule developmentally. He still makes mistakes (darned near cost McKenna his shutout on one shift in the third) but he's starting to look like a real AHLer, and when he gets it cranked up on the rush you can squint and see a bit of the puck carrying d-man the Lightning organization always thought he could become.

Jay Rosehill is becoming a Grade A badass. I remember when he was a lost little lamb playing for Johnstown in the Coast. He was a manimal dropping the gloves tonight. He beat Mike Angelidis like Angelidis owed him money tonight.

Don't read too much into this game, mind you. Albany is a thin team that was playing without one of their best players and all of a sudden the Admirals are laiden with NHLers and prospects who were recently up and proved their close to being NHLers. This was not a fair fight. Tomorrow night against Philly will be a truer test on just how far this configuration of the Ads can go. Still too many neutral zone turnovers by the forwards and the young d wasn't really tested under fire much considering how non-existent Albany's forecheck was tonight.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night 12/6: Admirals at Sound Tigers

Who would've predicted this after last night's debacle?

NOR-6
BRI-3

Mike McKenna allowed 3 goals on 32 shots in the win.

First Period
NOR Potulny, (3) (Bochenski, Konopka), 3:31 (PP)
NOR Kearns, (5) (Mihalik, Heward), 7:47
NOR Kearns, (6) (Simek, Ward), 16:54

Second Period
BRI Smith, (10) (MacDonald, McLean), 0:23 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (10) (Konopka, Potulny), 10:37 (PP)
NOR Bochenski, (11) (Potulny, Konopka), 11:43 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Segal, (9) (Ward), 9:00 (SH)
BRI Smith, (11) (Walter, Iggulden), 13:06 (PP)
BRI Iggulden, (14) (Smith, McLean), 17:51 (PP)

Brandon Bochesnki, Bracken Kearns, and Grant Potulny were the game's three stars.

Norfolk was an outstanding 3-for-4 on the power play.

Ty Wishart got the night off and Kevin Quick made his AHL season debut in the game.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

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