Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Game Night 4/18: Capitals at Lightning

The Lightning may live to regret having treated this game like a preseason tilt. WAS-4 TB-1 From the lack of any significant effort along the boards to John Tortorella's decision to rotate his goaltenders mid game, this had the feel of an exhibition. Problem is, no one told the Caps. As a consequence, the Lightning lost the opportunity to move into the 7th seed in the East due to Montreal's loss to New Jersey tonight. Instead, the Lightning are now the #8 seed and rather than playing Carolina they will have an opponent they don't match up as well with: the Ottawa Senators. Ryan Craig finished off the regular season of his rookie campaign off with a power play assist. Paul Ranger was -1 in 22:07 with 3 shots on goal, 1 hit and 3 blocked shots. Timo Helbling, filling in for a resting Pavel Kubina, was -1 in 16:20 with 1 shot, 3 hits and 3 blocked shots. Craig was even in 15:27 with 4 shots on goal. Evgeny Artyukhin was even in 9:09 with 1 shot and 1 hit. In addition to playoff matchups, by night's end we should have a good idea of what pick the Lightning will receive in the June entry draft. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021228.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Thrashers Choke, Lightning In

In the words of Nelson from the Simpsons, [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021215.HTM]"Haaaa haaaa!"[/url] [img]http://www.saintsok.com/pages/medicallibrary/choke1.gif[/img] The Washington Capitals defeated the Atlanta Thrashers tonight to eliminate Atlanta from postseason contention and insure the Lightning a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. At present, the Lightning hold the #8 seed in the East, but if Montreal fails to pick up two points tomorrow night the Lightning could move up to the #7 seed in their final game.

Game Night 4/15: Hurricanes at Lightning

The magic number is one. CAR-2 TB-3 (OT) My girlfriend would like to thank Martin St. Louis for the temporary case of deafness she currently has in her left ear suffered while sitting next to me at the moment of that game winning overtime goal. John Grahame stopped 25 of 27 shots faced in the victory. I will not defend the year Grahame has had nor do I think he has much more time left in this organization, but Lightning fans should forever respect the game he played tonight. His stop on Cory Stillman's third period breakaway may have saved this season, to make no mention his save on Mark Recchi's tip late in regulation. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] was a man tonight. I lost count of how many goal saving poke checks and how many two on ones he broke up in this game. The fact that this is the tip of the iceberg for this young man is one reason to be very optimistic about the future of this team's blueline. Ranger led all Lightning rookies with 19:06 of ice time and was +1 with 1 shot, 2 hits and 3 blocked shots. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] had 15:51 of ice time with 2 shots and 1 hit. [url=evgeny artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] played his customary 4th line minutes with 4:38 and 2 hits. With the win the Lightning's magic number falls to 1 with just Tuesday's home game against the Washington Capitals remaining. Martin St. Louis' overtime winning goal gave the Lightning the point they needed to eliminate Toronto from the postseason. Two things: the Lightning CANNOT relax. They MUST assume that the Trashers will win their two remaining games. They also MUST not adapt the disasterous mindset of playing for one point on Tuesday if the situation does indeed put us in the situation of having to get a point to get in the playoffs. John Tortorella must get his team in the mindset that Tuesday is THE must win game of the season. The Lightning survived a war in back-to-back games against a club that will be no worse than the #2 seed in the East. The conditions are ripe for a letdown against a Capitals team that, however lowly, has two game changers in Ovechkin and Kolzig. If the Lightning don't approach Tuesday's game with the same fear and desperation they showed these last two night's against Carolina, they WILL be golfing by weeks end. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021206.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 4/14: Lightning at Hurricanes

The magic number is 3. TB-4 CAR-5 (SO) Sean Burke stopped 17 of 21 before losing in the shootout. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] had 2 assists in the game including one on a beautiful Martin St. Louis shorthanded goal from Vincent Lecavalier. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] led all rookies in ice time at 16:55 with 1 shot on goal. Ranger was +2 in 15:38 with 2 shots and 1 blocked shot. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] was an undisciplined mess taking two minor penalties in 3:31 with 4 hits. The Lightning still control their destiny with 2 games left to play. They hold a 3 point lead over 9th place Atlanta and a 4 point lead over 10th place Toronto going into tomorrow night's rematch with Carolina. Both Atlanta and Toronto now hold a game in hand. A win tomorrow night and an Atlanta *tie* or loss would seal a playoff berth. Positive thinking. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021196.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Game Night 4/11: Thrashers at Lightning

Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. ATL-6 TB-2 Sean Burke allowed 5 goals on 14 shots before being replaced by John Grahame who allowed 1 goal on 10 shots faced. [url=ryan-craig]Ryan Craig[/url] recorded his 12th assist of the season on Dimitry Afanasenkov's game opening goal. It was all downhill from there. [url=paul-ranger]Paul Ranger[/url] was -2 in 18:37 with 1 blocked shot. Craig was +1 in 13:20 with 1 shot and 2 hits. [url=evgeny-artyukhin]Evgeny Artyukhin[/url] was -1 in 8:22 with 2 shots, 4 hits and 1 blocked shot. Post mortem at [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/GS021174.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]
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