Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Blair Jones

Back at the prospects tryout camp I rated him as one of two forwards that really wanted it. Because of that I thought he was the organizations best forward prospect overall from that camp (I think Smolenak & Hrdel are perhaps more physically gifted).

Tonight against the Turd's I think he's proving just how much he wants it. On what's supposed to be a cup of coffee, he's going to make it damn tough to send him back if he keeps making the contribution he made tonight. I'm hoping this is actually a tryout to see if he's got enough to flip Feds/Prospal + Affy/Karllson and maybe a D'man for one of the bigger name D'men being rumored as available.

NHL Game Night 11/20: Lightning at Sabres

Kind of glad I skipped watching this one.

TB-2
BUF-7

Marc Denis allowed all 7 goals on the 13 shots he faced in the second period and faced 29 shots overall. Martin St. Louis scored both Lightning goals. Sarich, Prospal, Ranger and Lecavalier all had assists. Let the trade rumors recommence.

First Period
Tampa Bay 15:56, Martin St. Louis 12 (Cory Sarich, Vaclav Prospal)

Second Period
Buffalo 1:14, Paul Gaustad 4 (power play) (Maxim Afinogenov, Teppo Numminen)
Buffalo 2:17, Jiri Novotny 4 (Daniel Paille, Adam Mair)
Buffalo 7:48, Thomas Vanek 14 (Nathan Paetsch, Maxim Afinogenov)
Buffalo 10:49, Paul Gaustad 5 (Daniel Paille, Dmitri Kalinin)
Buffalo 11:13, Jaroslav Spacek 3 (Michael Funk, Ales Kotalik)
Buffalo 14:02, Thomas Vanek 15 (power play) (Ales Kotalik, Paul Gaustad)
Buffalo 17:19, Chris Drury 12 (Ales Kotalik, Drew Stafford)

Third Period
Tampa Bay 1:52, Martin St. Louis 13 (Paul Ranger, Vincent Lecavalier)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

Update:
Hoek notes Blair Jones' first NHL game might've been a good reason to watch this one. Jones played 9:10 and was -1 with 1 shot and was 25% on draws. Uh, I think I'm still glad i skipped the 7 goal second period. Congratulations to Jones though. He's played well to move up to the first line in Springfield and he's earned the recall.

NHL Game Night 11/19: Lightning at Rangers

Next time Tortorella gets thrown out of the game for criticizing the referee, I hope he gets his money's worth.

TB-1
NYR-4

Johan Holmqvist stopped 30 of 34 shots faced in the loss. Eric Perrin scored the lone Lightning goal off assists from Kuba and Holmqvist.

Let me be clear about this: the Lightning didn't deserve any points out of tonight's game. They played dispassionate hockey and were outskated from start to finish. However, it would be impossible to write up this game without mentioning that the league's biased enforcement of video replay from on high in the league offices in Toronto reared its ugly head once again, twice. The first on a play where a Brendan Shanahan tip on a puck looked like it was with a high stick that resulted in the Rangers' second goal and the second on a play where an Eric Perrin goal which was ruled good by the on ice officials was overturned for kicking the puck into the net. Now, you can sit here and microanalyze each play, but when you look at the bigger picture it becomes clear every time the Lightning have a game against a big market, northern opponent the call is going against them. It's obvious. So obvious, in fact, Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson documented the phenomenon on his blog earlier this year with several historical examples of the double standard in video judging that has always existed for the Lightning.

The most blatent case came earlier this year when 6'9" Zdeno Chara batted a puck off his stick at his eye level (the crossbar is, of course, at 4' off the ice) and somehow, mystically, the league office created a baloney explanation for why the resulting goal counted. Tonight's cases weren't as clear cut, but they did nothing to dispell the notion that yes indeed, the video replay process is rigged, which was only made worse by a phantom hooking call on Eric Perrin which resulted in the Rangers' third goal on the power play. If I thought Gary Bettman had an ounce of integrity, I'd be calling for someone in Toronto to be fired. But with Bettman, why waste the keyboard strokes? Instead, I wish John Tortorella would've thrown more of a fit after the wave off when he was thrown out of the game. Then, maybe, just maybe, the national media attention that would've been generated might've cast some disinfecting sunlight on the festering stink we all smell coming down from Toronto.

First Period
NY Rangers 1:43, Jaromir Jagr 9 (Karel Rachunek, Michael Nylander)

Second Period
NY Rangers 2:50, Michael Nylander 8 (power play) (Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka)

Third Period
NY Rangers 4:17, Brendan Shanahan 16 (power play) (Martin Straka, Jaromir Jagr)
NY Rangers 6:46, Martin Straka 10 (Michael Nylander, Jaromir Jagr)
Tampa Bay 17:20, Eric Perrin 4 (power play) (Filip Kuba, Johan Holmqvist)

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 11/17: Islanders at Lightning

Holy Holmqvist!

NYI-2
TB-3 (SO)

Johan Holmqvist stopped 29 of 31 shots faced in regulation/overtime before stopping 7 of 7 penalty shots in the shootout to outduel Rick Dipietro. Holmqvist is a perfect 5-0-0 in his last 5 starts and is now 5-2-0 on the season. Nikita Alexeev and Brad Richards had the Lightning's goals in regulation, but it took Dimitry Afanasenkov's shootout goal to secure the second point. Vincent Lecavalier had 2 assists and Filip Kuba chipped in an individual helper. Richards and Lecavalier were first and third stars of the game respectively. Holmer was robbed.

First Period
Tampa Bay 2:32, Nikita Alexeev 7 (Vincent Lecavalier)
Tampa Bay 5:08, Brad Richards 6 (power play) (Vincent Lecavalier, Filip Kuba)
NY Islanders 8:00, Radek Martinek 1 (unassisted)

Second Period
NY Islanders 19:21, Mike York 5 (Viktor Kozlov)

Third Period
NO SCORING

Overtime
NO SCORING

Shootout
NY Islanders NONE
Tampa Bay Dimitry Afanasenkov

Doug Janik was +1 in 8:25 with 1 shot on goal. Eric Perrin was -1 in 13:01 with 3 shots and 1 hit and he was 4/4 on draws. Nick Tarnasky received just 2 shifts in the game for 54 seconds of ice time with 1 hit with Tim Taylor out due to injury. The Lightning continue to follow the policy that they just won't give Tarnasky ice time unless it is the third period of a blowout.

Game sheet from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night 11/15: Canadiens at Lightning

Huet was just the better goaltender tonight.

MTL-3
TB-1

Marc Denis allowed 3 goals on 28 shots in the loss. Vaclav Prospal had the lone Lightning goal off assists from Cory Sarich and Brad Richards. The game's back breaking moment came when, on a Montreal power play with the Lightning down 2-1, two Canadiens collided in the Montreal zone allowing Brad Richards to walk in on a short handed breakaway which he failed to convert. Moments later Guillaume Latendresse nailed the coffin shut for the Lightning with a quick shot off a toe drag move on the left wing.

Certainly no need to panic. The Lightning outshot and outchanced the Canadiens throughout the game. There will always be a handful of nights throughout the season when the other team's netminder stands on his head. This was one of those.

First Period
Montreal 2:35, Sheldon Souray 7 (power play) (Saku Koivu, Mark Streit)

Second Period
Tampa Bay 7:22, Vaclav Prospal 3 (Cory Sarich, Brad Richards)
Montreal 15:12, Sheldon Souray 8 (power play) (Andrei Markov, Michael Ryder)

Third Period
Montreal 9:24, Guillaume Latendresse 4 (power play) (Sergei Samsonov, Alexei Kovalev)

Doug Janik had 1 hit in 6:49 of ice time. Eric Perrin had 1 shot and 1 hit in 13:40 and was 0/1 on draws. Nick Tarnasky was again a scratch.

Game sheet from NHL.com.

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